I drove down the expressway after dropping my mum at the airport, a particularly stressful affair since we missed her flight and had to get up just after 4am. Some kind of ‘alternative’ mess of music comes on the radio and I instantly regret not putting Justin Bieber on when I left. Oh shhh it’s cool to love the Biebs now.
I lean over to change the radio station, keeping my eyes on the road and suddenly I’m gone…
It came in a rush, in a slam of feelings, if it were physical the life would have knocked from me in one swift slap, I know instantly that I’ve been here before. I’ve had this flashback but it has always been incomplete, detached, almost lacking in feeling or emotion and merely images coming at me in waves and flashes. It’s always made me unsure, saddened and confused with my own mind, because when you don’t know of something happening then you are forced to relive it with no prior memory of it, it is almost surreal, because if there’s no memory and only the here and right now of reliving it is, did it even happen?
This is one I have gone over and over in my head like a shopping list that’s sitting on the bench at home, reaccounting each item and each step of the flashback to try to prove or disprove to myself that it did or didn’t happen.
This flashback has only been with me since this year and coming to terms with it has not been easy, this new installment complicates this even more.
A flashback is a ‘repressed’ memory, something your mind will do to protect the child [you/me] from experiencing the trauma of it at the time because some things a child just can’t deal with, unfortunately they can come back at any time and blow everything in the ass. Right in the ass. Right in my ass.
The Flash back is dark, it’s night time, it’s almost like my eyes are half closed because when it happened originally I’ve probably been woken up, like when you can just see through your lashes. I am scared, I feel sick and I feel like I’m in a dark tunnel that I can’t escape that’s closing in around me. Engulfing my small body.
He has it in his hand, he’s trying to force his penis into my mouth but I clamp my mouth shut just like the time my Mum tried to give me Penicillin when I was 5 for tonsillitis, I am forcing my mouth to stay closed and he’s pushing it against my lips and hitting my teeth trying to get it in. The Villain is pushing it around the side of my mouth almost waiting for me to take a breath as I wince away, saliva builds in my mouth and squeezes through my teeth, it feels slippery and disgusting as I cry silently. The tears are heavy drops and slide effortlessly into my ears. I am moving my head side to side to get away. My heart races, I am distressed, my chest is so tight and I panic, it’s like I can’t breathe, let alone call out because if I call out…..if I call out my mouth will be open then that will be it and the fear of it being inside my mouth is bigger and scarier than attempting to stop it.
It’s not the act itself that hurts me, it’s not the physicalness of it that bothers me the most, it’s the terror, the desolation, the incomprehensible confusion I experience in this as a young girl. I am there.
I come out of what seemed like 30 minutes of heartbreaking hurt but it turns out to actually only be maybe 10-50 seconds, luckily because I’m driving at 100km p/h.
My body is still in the moment even if my mind is not, and my chest heavy, my back and shoulders tense and my present mind completely frantic.
Suddenly my body and mind matches those grey clouds.
I cry, and wipe the tears with the corner of my black slightly grubby peanut buttered cardigan. Please…. not today I think. Today Is Little Fleas 3rd birthday.
I am greeted with excited open arms once I am home, my home, my safe zone. I tell my husband Batman of the flashback, leaving out all the details because to speak out loud about it would ruin the whole day. He walks over to me, embraces me and I feel this uncontrollable heave of sobs come from my body, aching, almost racing to escape me, I almost don’t want it to stop because holding it in almost feels like it’s poisoning my body. Those black spots on my soul getting bigger by the second.
But my safe zone can not stop the tears from brimming when I try to be brave, when I try to let it go, my safe zone can not stop the feeling of the flashback from re emerging at every moment I get to myself, or to sit and watch my kids play. I sit and colour in a ‘My little pony’ colouring in page with Little flea with tears brimming my eyes the entire time, she comes and cuddles me, hands me a pack of basil seeds she got for her birthday and claims that they will make me feel better, and momentarily they do.
We head to the Cinema for a birthday movie but even there I can barely hold it together as little flea sits on my lap, I deliberately force myself to not look over at my husband and son because I don’t want them to see my tears which only makes the tears fall harder and my attempt to hold in sobs weaker because I really just want to be held.
Batman sees right through my meek attempts to put on a brave face, because sometimes I just can’t be brave, sometimes rolling with the punches or in this case rolling with the guttural stab wounds is the only way to get through it. Batman took charge today when I couldn’t, He took the leads from me when my arms could no longer hold them. Tears brim my eyes right now, because he is there every time I trip and he catches me every time I fall.
He will never ever understand the respect and love that I have for him for being who he is for me.
While my safe zone can’t always stop the hurt, the safe zone is always there for me when it gives me a break. Surround yourself with people that you love and that love you in return.
Despicable and unrelenting selfishness brought me here, but love. real LOVE keeps me going.
All we need is love.