After my success last week with the intrusive imagery, I decided this week to hunt down other pain in the ass residues of being a survivor that are persistent.
I have a fear of walking up stairs from basements. I manage to do it on a regular basis, in fact my bedroom is in the basement and my bathroom is on the main floor, so I go up the stairs at night frequently. However, pretty much every time I have to bat away a monster, a flashback fear that something is going to grab me and haul me back.
This week in therapy I went hunting to figure out what this is and eradicate it.
(Following may be triggering, but is not graphic)
So I’m in session doing stuff like talking about the fear, the feeling that someone is hovering right behind me, and trying to trace it back to the earliest I remember having this fear (I’m about 12) and where I think it came from. I don’t remember the basement of the first house we lived in, which is a red flag to me, since I remember the kitchen, front yard, side yard, front carport and living room. I also have no memory of the inside of my bedroom there. Sound suspicious to you too?
Hunting something I’ve been batting away for years is a bit hard. It’s like trying to get inside a sweater made of clouds, you’re never really sure if the images or sensations are real. My therapist says, trust the body memory (the part of the memory that is sensation, that I do have, the sensation of being afraid, being on a stairs, and someone being behind me and dragging me back by the ankles. Also behind me is dark and in front of me is a lit doorway. I’m on the lower of two flights of stairs, near the landing. This is pretty much all I’m super sure of. Then the feelings come. I’m trying to get away, I’m running up the stairs to the landing where the door to the outside is. The door is partially open and I can see the light outside. As I’m sitting in the therapists office, my left toe and foot curl under like they’re retreating away from something – I moved my legs to avoid his hands and get free. I almost escaped, another sensation snaps into sharper focus, I can see the edge of the stair tread, I’m holding on with my hands to the top stair tread to resist being pulled back.
I’m less than 7 years old at this point, since that’s when we moved from this house.
Tonight, when I go up the stairs to the bathroom, instead of swatting the monster feeling away, I’m going to tell myself. “This is a physical memory of something that happened. You know what happened now. Thank you for holding this for me, body. Thank you for telling me. He had no right to hurt you. You’re safe now. ”
I’ll let you know how that works.
I put in a call to my older brother and got his machine. I’m going to ask him what the floor plan of the basement is. It will be awkward, since we don’t talk very often, but I’m going to try. He’s five years older than I so hopefully will remember something.
~Sword Dance Warrior