how do you explain to someone that although you are standing in the middle of town you are in fact being squashed by him and can feel him breathing and what he doing to you? this is a problem that I think a lot of survivors have experienced, that the body remembers. It remembers all the hurt, both physically and mentally, and I personally don't seem to have any control over when this happens and it is an extremely stressful and frightening experience. People will tell me that its not happening now, that he's not there that it was the past. but for me it is now, I am reliving every signal breath that I felt from him on top of me, crushing me.
The body does remember, as does the mind and every single sense that you have. and it is completely frightening. suddenly you can smell something that takes you straight back to the time of the trauma...and that isn't exclusively to survivors' of abuse, but any major trauma. I have also been in a fire 6 years go now, and I remember very little of it, but recently I have been smelling of burning, burning hair mainly, which is what happened. whatever the trauma it is still incredibly scary.
I was systematically abused from the age of 5 right until I was an adult in my late 20s, and my way to cope with it at the time was to learn to dissociate from the hurt that was being done to me. it doesn't mean that it didn't mess me up any less, but I coped and I survived. different people have different experiences of dissociation and even I have a couple. one of which is I am watching myself, but from a 3rd party, and the other one is just to completely loose time. for me personally this is dangerous as I don't know what I have done, and have found out when I have "come round", I can have been out and realised I have no idea where I have come from or know how I have got there, or have self harmed or a number of other scenarios. have you ever driven home and suddenly realised your there? its a bit like that but on a much bigger scale.
The dissociation started out (when the abuse was happening) it was a useful coping strategy it got me through and somehow I am still alive today. it allowed me to completely get away from what was happening to me, at some points on a daily basis, but not to forget this is where the body memories' come in for me. Your body is amazing, and it does these things for a reason, I truly believe for me I have to begin to deal with what actually happened and the emotional side to it to.
I don't know what love is! it is such a foreign idea to me. I avoid my all emotions as much as I can, I rarely show anger, and if I do its on doors etc. rather than other people. I am scared that when I dissociate that this is when it comes out. its all around control, I have to feel in control because for so much of my life I have been out of control, I haven't been able to control my body as it has been damaged so much (mainly mentally). this is why the dissociation scares me so much cause I am not in control of it. the imprint of the abuse means that I still don't know all the triggers that lead me to either dissociate or have flashbacks. its something that is going to take a long time to realise things that make me loose control.
I have this anagram about trauma and how you respond: the trauma is an earthquake, which shakes your foundations, and over time there are aftershocks, often a lot (flashbacks/reliving it), but these become less and less over time, and eventually the ground stabilizes enough that you can start rebuilding (your life).