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That's right. That's another thing that I can relate to that van der Kolk talks about - the fragmentation of the re-experience. There's no cohesion or narrative to make sense of the experience, just shattered bits and pieces. I don't know if you ever saw the movie "Get Out" by Jordan Peele, but he has a scene where the main character is hypnotized and transported to the "sunken place". It's like he's reverted into himself but he's somewhere behind his body suspended in the dark in mid-air and is just frozen there. Your cave reference reminded me of that, but it was the best visual of re-experiencing trauma I've ever seen.There is a point in my memories of both traumas where memory "shatters" for want of a better word. There are bits and pieces, nothing solid, no timeline, just that feeling - everybody here knows it. When triggered enough or long enough, or having flashbacks I can reach those memories.
At that point, it becomes what van der Kolk described. That endless timeless "fog" after trauma. Bits and pieces. Shattered memories. It's the worst place to go. It takes a while to get back to stable after those events. Like i said to my T its like the trauma is a little crack - that leads to this huge dark cave. Every time I end up there I have to fight and find my way out.