TRIGGER WARNING: This weblog discusses sexual abuse
2022 was chock-full of 20-year anniversaries for me. I used to be identified with PTSD 20 years in the past. A number of terrifying occasions occurred 20 years in the past. And I started experiencing dissociative amnesia 20 years in the past. Fortunately, all that dissipated inside about 2 years. The PTSD was the results of youngster sexual abuse.
I used to be on a little bit of edge final 12 months, anticipating the anniversary impact to set off my mind into changing into a damaged document once more. It didn’t occur, maybe as a result of my consciousness of the impact helped preserve a relapse at bay.
The size of time that has elapsed has made me extra assured to place pen to paper and write in regards to the experiences with out worrying a few relapse. Specifically, I’ve been attempting to explain what dissociation or dissociative amnesia seems like. I dipped my massive toe into that water in this text right here on the CPTSD weblog.
What does dissociation really feel like? Can it have a sense? Maybe I had emotions throughout the episode, however as soon as out of the episode, how do I do know what I don’t bear in mind?
In my expertise, dissociative amnesia is a whole blackout of occasions. It has a begin and a cease. It’s completely different from forgetting the place you place your automotive keys. In that scenario, you usually can backtrack your steps: I used to be within the kitchen, however earlier than that, I used to be in my bed room. Earlier than that, I used to be driving the automotive into the storage…and so forth.
As a substitute, I’ve a black gap in my reminiscence.
A black gap is a area in area the place the gravitational pull is so sturdy that nothing, not even gentle, can escape from it. It’s created when a large star dies, and its core collapses in on itself below the drive of its gravity. This leads to some extent of infinite density known as a singularity, surrounded by an occasion horizon past which nothing can escape.
That is such an ideal metaphor for me. Once I was sexually abused at 9 years of age, my interior star died, and the core collapsed in on itself below its personal drive. Now that time of infinite density in my reminiscence is surrounded by the occasion horizon, and no reminiscence inside the black gap can escape.
What’s worse is that something that will considerably remind me of the sexual abuse can get sucked into the black gap by no means to flee.
Nevertheless, I’ve skilled the escape of some reminiscences from that black gap
Nevertheless, I’ve skilled the escape of some reminiscences from that black gap. They arrive trailing clouds of terror from a jail home that has closed upon me. (Sorry, Wordsworth!)
That terror, that speechless dread, that fearsome horror is precisely why my mind tries to guard me from these reminiscences. I suppose a therapist would say, “Good, now you’ll be able to combine these reminiscences into your every day consciousness and reside a greater life.” However let’s be actual. That’s not what occurs. I can reside with the acutely aware reminiscences, however I can by no means return to how I might have been if the kid sexual abuse had not occurred.
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