Making New Memories On A "like-years" Trauma-versary

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dharmaBum

MyPTSD Pro
28 years ago I was abducted at the age of 13 by an acquaintance, held naked in his basement room for 24 hours, about 18 of them handcuffed to a bed, and repeatedly sexually assaulted. Because of various insidious psychological controls he employed, I never told anyone at the time and have only told 3 souls to this day. This was also just one day among years of similar traumas at the hands of numerous perpetrators, so often during the holidays.

It began on the first day of Christmas vacation, and this year. which coincidentally has dates recurring on the same days of the week, really brought those memories up as our 8 year old child bustled with excitement into the season. Recognizably in the past, using hindsight I can see I've gone through from Halloween to Valentine's Day in a dissociative stupor, sometimes dysphoric, often times simply unconscious of the passing of time and suddenly I'm two months into a new year when I snap back to myself.

This year, with a new baby in our lives and a pile of personal awareness that can nearly reach the moon, I am actualizing hopes and dreams and programming future memories intended to trigger joy and warmth rather than dissociation. I organized several branches of my family into a meeting at a rental house where we simply enjoyed each other and the beach for days, capitalizing on the childrens' school vacations. My elderly, formerly abusive and heart-breakingly abused mother and her two estranged half-sisters were part of the group, and nothing felt weird. I wasn't holding back anything or freaking out or hoping to understand anything.

I was just happy and healthy in my life with my husband, whom I truly adore, and our daughters who are my talismans in the world today.

I've seen people write these posts before and wondered "HOW?" How can you manage to be in the room with family members who haven't admitted their wrongs or made amends or who still have problematic behavior? I have NEVER told my mother about the abduction, and on some levels am still bothered that she didn't notice things were amiss. But during our holiday, I had none of those thoughts. I was exceptionally present-minded and was mostly concerned with continually having healthy, tasty food available for the children and making sure I looked out at the ocean waves as much as possible. It happened because I wanted it to happen, because the timing was right for it to happen, and because I worked to make it happen.

I'm glad the vacation went well, because two years ago a similar trip with some of the same players was an actual nightmare of anxiety and bad communication patterns from the past. I've learned a lot in the interim about clear communication and about taking care of myself and meeting my own needs.
 

fly away home

MyPTSD Pro
This sounds likea dream come true. Congratulations on all these massive achievements and changes. I'm sure they didn't come easily. Your story is inspiring. To be able to truly move forward is to be commended. Isn't that what we are all searching for?
 

Britt.f7

MyPTSD Pro
It can be done. Your story proves that. Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad you had a great time and that you were able to rise above.
 
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