Meeresbande Zine #2, S. 54 – No pause, no break, no end
Often, we would remember one traumatic situation, work until we can somehow understand and bear it and free the inner person who had gone through it from the belief and experience of still being stuck in it. Then, we would be confronted with new flashbacks, different memories. There is almost never time to get to know the inner person who had suffered a traumatic experience and shared it with us before s_he is pushed away by some new problem. There is no time to get to know them or help them recover and get to know themselves, maybe experiment with and experience all the new possibilities of our life as it is now: free of domestic violence, with compassionate, joyful, understanding, curious and courageous headmates to support each other and be friends and have fun with. And we also have support through a really great therapist and friends.
It feels as though there is never time to catch our breath, to take a break, to relax, to just BE, and very little time to recover, to process the memories, to be ourselves, to get to know ourselves and each other, to form bonds and friendships amongst ourselves and to understand (and perhaps work with, change, adapt) our internal structure.
All this is similar (but thankfully MUCH LESS extreme) to our situation as a child: We were thrown from one traumatic situation to the next, we had to switch people quickly, we could not begin to understand what was going on, there was no time to process, to think about, to make mental connections, to judge or relate different situations with one another (so that we could not see the glaring illogic and self-contradiction in the perpetrators‘ words and actions). There was no time to recover, just enough for the body to stay alive. There was no time to get to know ourselves or the world in which we lived for almost all of us. In fact, we were punished extremely hard whenever we tried to be and/or express or even feel ourselves as the different individuals that we were (and are). We were not allowed to communicate with one another. The perpetrators divided us and turned us against each other.
There never seemed to be an end in sight or even possible… Now it still is hard to believe that one day we will be free of PTSD.
We don’t really know what to do… We feel that we must remember as many traumatic memories as possible as soon as possible (that is, go through them again, feel them again) because this is often the only way to free the inner people who bear these memories from their excruciating burdens and to release them from their dungeon, where they are still stuck in the traumatic past, in never-ending terror, pain, confusion and agony.