Everybody has a past, I get that. And everybody is shaped by that past, but for survivors of abuse that adage is taken to the extreme. And when MY past comes knocking (just like when yours does, I am sure) it can knock the wind right out of me.
There are days, still, that I just want to hide in my pillow fort and forget the world. I start crying for no reason, have a panic attack because the washing has all bundled into a sheet and I cannot get it out of the machine, and I lash out at my dear partner because he left his empty mug on the counter. See that is the trouble with emotional trauma, it can sneak up on you.
I am sure you will have heard reference is some army film or TV show about veterans having PTSD flash backs. In those films they are usually portrayed as full on hallucinatory flashbacks. PTSD flashbacks can be far, FAR more subtle though.
Most commonly for me, is when I get absolutely consumed by an emotion that is not related to my current situation, like an anxiety attack over laundry. Clearly my body is responding to something very different. It is sometimes hard to pin down though, because an anxiety attack can take a while to reach tsunami stage. So perhaps the trigger was encountered a few hours earlier. I often have these anxious flashbacks in the supermarket. I still have not narrowed it down, but I figure it is a smell or maybe a specific label that does it. Or maybe there is a someone who shops there who simply reminds me of one of my parents…?
It can be tricky when my past comes knocking. It can really get the better of me, and sometimes it takes me days to shake the feeling.
Trauma, it is a tricky beast…