Oh, those pesky memories that you just can’t stop from popping into your head.
I hate the effects my childhood abuse has had on my life. The littlest things can bring back memories, and set off triggers. Sometimes, the memories come for no reason at all. This has been happening to me a lot lately. In our new house there are wires that come out of the wall where the previous owners had the living room wired for surround sound. When I look at these wires all they remind me of is a specific time frame of my abuse. My step-dad controlled the remote, and he always made sure we watched certain types of shows. This was part of his conditioning of my mind to get me to believe things that were…well, quite far fetched. I was naive, overly trusting, and didn’t know what to think or believe about these things. I believe, for me, it was easier to believe the lies than to face the truth of what was going on. When the shows became too hard for me to watch because they caused me to feel unsafe; I would go down stairs to my room in an attempt to avoid having to watch the shows. This did me little good. My step-dad would turn the volume up loud enough that I could still hear the show even though I was in my room. It felt like there was no escape from it.
My husband would like to add speakers at some point so that there is surround sound in our new living room since it’s already wired for it. All I can think about is how my step-dad used surround sound to force me to listen to shows he was using to brain-wash me with. The walls are very thin in our new house, and I don’t like the idea of our kids having to listen to what we are watching when they are in their rooms. This is a hard topic for me to discuss with my husband. I know it sounds ridiculous, absurd perhaps to some, irrational, and would be easy to dismiss. It would be all too easy for him or anyone else to tell me to not live in the past. To just move on.
To myself I think sarcastically, “Yeah, like I have a choice”. I know so many would argue that yeah I do have a choice. How the Bible tells us to “renew our minds”, to think on what is pure and good. There is so much talk about how we can control our thoughts, and rise above them. While that may be true to a certain extent; it doesn’t apply well to invasive thoughts which you can’t control. There is no shortage of books, CDs or DVDs out there to show us how to control our thoughts and minds. While there is no doubt great advise to be found in these resources, and I have found some solid advice in these things. It still doesn’t change the fact there is no “switch” to be turned “on” or “off” in my mind which keeps these invasive thoughts out of my head. These thoughts can be very difficult to deal with. I don’t know what to do with them. I often don’t like the way they cause me to feel emotionally. Again, there is no “on/off” switch so that I may suddenly change the thoughts or triggered memories rolling around in my head. While working on controlling our thoughts is great, and does work for most people. I also believe there are some wounds that cut so deep into the soul that it takes the healing hand of God to keep these invasive thoughts at bay. I’ve been feeling increasingly resentful at quotes or anything really which suggests that I can control these invasive thoughts, and the memories they trigger.
I cannot control these memories and thoughts. I try not to dwell on them because I feel this is the best way to limit the effect they have on me. This, however, does not stop them from coming, and coming, and coming again and again…like waves. Having stress dreams with certain family members in them does not help either. In fact, on days when I have those types of dreams I feel exhausted all day, and have no energy for anything.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this struggle, and that many of you struggle with this just as I do. I want you to know you are not alone in your struggle. I normally like to keep these posts upbeat and positive. Focusing on how God has brought me through it all. Make no mistake; God has brought me through so many hard times, and I have confidence He will get me through this too. Right now, I just want to be honest about my struggles and how they have been affecting me. I need to write about these struggles because it helps me deal with it better. Maybe, just maybe, it will help someone know they aren’t alone in their struggles; and maybe, if even for a moment, it brings them some peace knowing they are not alone.
I’d like to end with this last thoughts, remember: You are not alone; You are loved; You are stronger than you give yourself credit for.