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  1. Dannielle Burrus
    Dannielle Burrus February 26, 2014 at 10:02 am | | Reply

    I loved this post. I shared it with a family member of mine who is dealing with similar challenges. Thanks for writing this Elsa.

  2. The Goldfish
    The Goldfish February 26, 2014 at 10:02 am | | Reply

    I feel I was very fortunate with PTSD because although it’s not over, forever, but it was a period of 18 months when it was bad, and now it’s like scar tissue – it will ache a bit, but it cannot cause me dramatic symptoms (although I’m also aware, it might if it were tested in a more dramatic fashion than it has been).

    You say, “The memories have begun to seep into my body like ink spilled on a pad of paper – the color soaking up all of the light. I’m doing alright, even though I feel like my memories are flooding out of me faster than I know how to think about them.”

    This is an experience I remember well. I’m a survivor of domestic violence, so these memories came from over ten years and came out as an utter mess. I thought I was feeling much better before the wave carrying the very worst of it hit the shore.

    The two things I found most difficult – intellectually – about these memories were the detail, which seemed too real to be true – there was part of me thinking, “Can it really be that I have buried this for years yet now I really remember the exact words, or the exact sequence of events?” – and then there was the level of trauma. I think there can be almost a lid on fear when a frightening thing is happening, but the memory – especially in the form of a flashback – can actually be more frightening. Also, of course, with abuse, one hopefully comes to value oneself, one’s physical safety and one’s life a lot more after the fact and thus threats to those things gain meaning.

    Good luck working through all this. I hope you at least get periods of respite and calm amid the flood. Take care of yourself.

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