Working on my latest novel has been quite an adventure. While it’s a work of fiction it’s brought up a lot of random repressed memories as I’ve been focused on piecing the story together. PTSD is weird that way. You can be intensely focused on something else when out of the blue here comes this random memory fragment that’s been hiding from you.
I’m sure it has a scientific explanation having something to do with the neurons reconnecting or something. I don’t know that for certain, but what I do know is that it’s become a bit annoying as I’m trying to wrap up my latest project.
At least I finally have some answers to a few open ended questions lingering in my memoir Candy Apple Butterscotch. I knew they were in there! It was just a matter of getting my brain to actually let them go.
At the end of chapter 23 I referenced an accident that Noah had at school and the phone call from his father informing me of the accident. At the time I sat down to write Candy Apple Butterscotch, I couldn’t remember the specifics of what happened to him other than his heart stopped.
Last night as I was sitting in front of my computer fighting with a difficult scene in my latest book, I sat up in my chair and stretched my back. When I did my sternum popped, and like a light bulb the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. A conversation with Noah flashed into my minds eye. Suddenly I remembered him explaining how his heart stopped and why.
That was it. Just that tiny little piece of a conversation between Noah and myself that I had long forgotten. As often is the case with flashback memory repression, other small snippets of conversations began to make their way to the surface. I also remembered what Noah and his father discussed in the living room over Christmas break.
Ironically, a coworker attended the same school and asked me if I remembered hearing the Candy Land story. I told him yes, and he repeated the story reminiscing. Then… I had a good long emotional cry. Not due to the memories themselves, but the feeling of freedom and relief that came with remembering them in total detail. Or, at least much more detail than I had before.
Memory fragments, at least for me, still hidden under the fog of repression are like butterflies in a glass jar. They flit around back and forth in my consciousness, but they never land long enough for me to properly process through them. When they finally DO light just long enough for me to process them, I’m able to set them free. Instead of constantly flitting around in my head, they finally fly away. My focus is renewed. Things are a little bit easier to see without the mess of fluttering wings.
It’s a great feeling.