As a young child, I suffered some of the worst abuse imaginable from a man that should have been my protector. I remembered some of it.
I remembered the drunken steps coming up the stairs, the erratic footsteps coming toward my room. I remembered his words and what he said to me.
And I remembered my punishments.
But they ended there. For the longest time I thought either he eventually knocked me out, or I feel asleep.
But that wasn’t the case.
I dissociated. Though I was still me at the time, my memories of it were gone.
Until after the birth of my son.
For those of you that don’t know what this is like, remembering these types of disassociated memories, this is what it was like for me.
They started small. Some thoughts usually. Something completely random would pop into my head. Maybe it was something he said, or some kind of motion he made.
It was a flicker of a moment I didn’t recall, a thought about being caged beneath his body. And how it felt.
I didn’t understand why I was thinking those thoughts, and they disturbed the hell out of me. Why, after all that time, would my mind start to do something like that.
At first, I thought it was exhaustion, perhaps my imagination went into overdrive. And no matter how hard I tried, they kept coming.
Just like when it started, the briefest of glimpses, or a flutter of a thought, but they started changing, evolving.
Those memories started to become clearer, more vivid. Really vivid. That was when I knew I wasn’t crazy.
That was the moment I realized I was remembering all my mind chose to put behind a wall for safe keeping.
© Sarah Doughty