Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Brokenness: repressed memory

The tension is both physical and emotional, when one is reliving a memory of abuse. It is as vivid as  'last night's dream' or an argument just shared, and yet it is a shadow from a moment-in-time lived years ago. During the flashback, there is physical tension that grips the stomach, and breathing is more laboured than usual... or perhaps that is a deliberate attempt to impose calm. Is there sweat? Perhaps, sometimes. Throat tension stifles any sound as you watch your memory playing out on an internal screen, eyes focused inward instead of looking out at the world.
The most pervasive feeling is the overwhelming sense of nervousness.

It's a long time ago I had the memories, the flashbacks of terrifying moments - desperate scenes with my mouth gagged by a disproportionately large hand, and weight born on my chest and torso.
I still hate anyone touching my face or my neck, even in a joke, even my husband. And yet this is not proof, this is not evidence that the memories were in fact real.

There was never any blood, not in my memory, so that provokes doubt. But if not a memory then what was it? Hysteria? Certainly what I relived in memory was real to me, but that does not make it real, any more than denying a fact makes something false.

When experiencing a repressed memory, it is impossible to disbelieve it. The moment is too absolute to be imagined. Yet we are not victims to it; they can be switched off... Once enough of them occur and are dealt with, we can choose to stop them.

After months of having memories of abuse and talking them through, eventually I stopped having them.
Decades have passed and they do not recur.

They are part of my past, part of my brokenness, part of my story. A testament to my healing.
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