*This entry is from earlier this year. I’ve decided to post things from the beginning of this journey.
I sit at my desk typing. My coworkers are talking about their childhoods. I’m purposely avoiding the conversation. They continue to recall the games they played and the shows they enjoyed. I continue to type. I hear one of them call my name. I pretend I don’t hear her. She calls my name again. She wants to know if I recall the games and shows. Truth is… I don’t know.
This scene has played out more times than I can remember. Sometimes it’s childhood memories. At other times, it’s a random person coming up to me with a familiar tone. The end result is always the same… frustration. I can’t recall most of my life. When I’m trying to recall information, it’s always the same. There is nothing. There are dark shadows that are just outside of my grasp. I’m always so close, yet so far. At other times, the mention of something random will flood me with memories. For example, someone mentions reading The Babysitters Club book series, and I’m flooded with the recollection of those familiar stories and the smell of used books.
Thing is, I can’t predict what I’ll be able to recall. More often than not, I have no memories to draw upon. This makes me anxious. Why can’t I remember my childhood like my peers? What happened to me? What was done to me? Those are the most frustrating questions. What if something horrible was done to me, and I can’t even recall it? The feeling of powerlessness is overwhelming at times. This isn’t exclusive to my childhood either. There are events in my adult life that I simply cannot recall.
Recently, I decided I could no longer live this way. I decided to try finding a therapist once again. After 5 failed attempts, I was a little hesitant, but I had also gone as far as I could alone. I needed support. I was in desperate need of professional support. Thankfully, I found someone. So far, she’s been amazing. In a few weeks, I’ve received two diagnosis. The first one C-PTSD. This one was a bit of a shock. I had never heard of Complex PTSD. According to my research, many victims of childhood abuse have C-PTSD. It happens as a result of prolonged exposure to interpersonal trauma in which the individual has little or no chance of escape. As soon as I left, I ran to find books. I had to know all of the information. The diagnosis has helped. A couple of weeks after I was diagnosed with C-PTSD, I was also diagnosed with dissociative amnesia. This means that I have disruptions or breakdowns in my memory, consciousness, awareness, identity, and/or perception. This is also due to trauma.
Right now, I’m going through therapy. My hope is to be a more healthy version of myself. I don’t know that I’ll regain access to my memories (therapist feels that I have memories, but they’re blocked). I do know that I want to integrate and move forward from my trauma. I’m also beginning to explain to people that I simply cannot remember certain things. Until recently, I avoided speaking this truth. It felt embarrassing, but I’m now realizing it’s part of who I am.