Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Why do I remember specific, traumatic memories so well from my past? Why do these haunting images stand out so vividly when I can't remember what I did for my daughter's birthday two years ago? Why is it that things that made me so mad haunt me years later? Why is it that memories deep from within a drunken blackout suddenly become vividly clear after many years?
Instead, I desperately lay in bed wanting so badly to envision the setup of the hospital room when Parker was born. This memory I actually want to keep. I wish I could picture the scene of when Brayden arrived on this earth. Another memory that has begun to fade. I try to search for the sounds of when Chase let out his first cry. But I can't. And it breaks my heart that these memories are not present and that other more horrible, disgusting things take their place instead.
Trauma is the body's response of protecting itself. It forces the mind to remember the horrible things it endures in order to avoid putting itself through such experiences down the road. It is a shitty situation, having to relive the pain over and over again. But it is a necessity for oneself, in order to avoid future hurt.
There are different types of traumatic experiences that I have endured over my lifetime, all of which I chose to never deal with at the time. Regardless, they stand out too vividly in my mind today. Horribly so, that often I am jolted awake in the night reliving them over and over again. After discussing this with my therapist recently and why this is so unfair that this keeps happening to me, she explained why my body and mind keep doing this.
It was comforting to understand that my "body is just doing what it is supposed to do." But it isn't okay to know that it is still dealing with past traumas from so long ago. And these traumas were buried so deeply beneath bottles and bottles of alcohol, which have now come bubbling to the surface.