The Silent Nights (When Trauma Memories Get Too Comfortable and Start Mixing)

No one talks about the silent nights. The nights when your past traumas pull up a chair and get comfy after knocking you out with their familiar scenes and scents (I’m writing this while dissociated—I may as well be drunk).

I thought I was getting better; I was halfway ready to let J. go for real—and then tonight happened. It started with an image of notes, of someone’s name I couldn’t remember. I found the notes, and the name, and then… they came.

No one tells you that sometimes, with PTSD, sometimes you trigger yourself and the guilt eats away at you like a slow cancer.

No one tells you that sometimes, or most likely, most often, your memories might make themselves really comfortable and start mixing with each other to create a whole original cacophony of pain—especially if you’re lucky enough to have C-PTSD (the kind of PTSD that stems from multiple traumas).

You’ll be alone in your apartment reading a book or scrolling on your phone and an intrusive memory will sneak it’s way from your hippocampus (the place where long term memory is stored) to the forefront of your mind. And you’ll hear your parents having sex—which in and of itself is already a gross and uncomfortable thing but even more so when you’ve been sexually traumatized—and that will be the soundtrack to the bizarre memory orgy train you’re on now.

And you’ll see the white, crisp walls of the bedroom you were in when Baker Acted for a failed suicide attempt, and you’ll hear that one patient scream because the staff is having to subdue her again, and you’ll shift uncomfortably on the bed while having a steadily increasing-in-intensity panic attack because you feel the handcuffs the officers put on you and they’ll immobilize you—again—all while your college abuser watches from the corner of your childhood bedroom in his disgusting gentle way. And he’ll ask, as the soundtrack of your parents crescendos (and is seemingly unending), “You like that?” with a sinisterly sincere smile. And you won’t be able to do anything because…you’re stuck in the psych ward in handcuffs again, suffocating from the ghosts of your past stealing your present breaths.

And once again, you’ll blame yourself—I mean, technically, it is your fault for going around digging in the literary skeleton closet—and pray to God for Him to “be kind” and put you out of your misery but He won’t—because He’s God and you’re His kid—and you know that. So, you sit in your nausea, silently wanting the dark of night to swallow you without shredding you to twenty thousand pieces first—because that would be the “kind” thing to do, seeing as you’re already in pain—as you try not to throw up your dinner. No one ever told you how nice, how blissful dissociation could feel—feels—when your mind becomes Enemy #1. It’s nice to be able to escape, if only for a little while, even though you have to drag yourself out of it in the morning before work.

3 thoughts on “The Silent Nights (When Trauma Memories Get Too Comfortable and Start Mixing)

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  1. This was a raw and much needed post. I don’t know what it must have been like with PTSD but I just prayed for endurance for you and I imagine its a journey with haunts coming back again and again

    Liked by 1 person

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