I have such vivid memories imprinted into my brain that I will NEVER forget, generally from traumatic events.Even if it was years ago it’s so clear and in vivid detail. For example, when we had the fire 14 YRS ago I can clearly remember what I was wearing: an orange t-shirt with green leggings and barefoot(It was 11pm at night in May). This was the only outfit I ended up with as all my clothes burnt in the fire. I remember the howling, roaring sound of the flames, like a demon,the intense heat and acrid smell, how my lungs were tight and constricted, like something was heavily weighing on my chest, and how the flames chased me up the back stairs and out the back door, singeing my bangs and eyelashes.I remember how time went in slow motion as we sat stunned on the neighbour’s lawn, watching our house go up in flames, the chilling sounds of the sirens and the firemen breaking our windows and smashing a hole in the roof with an ax to let the smoke and heat escape.How we had 3 fire trucks, 2 ambulances and a police cruiser; how they blocked off the entire street and everyone gathered around to watch, at least 50 people! How surreal it felt, like a nightmare in slow motion.Like a movie in someone’s else’s life.Stunned disbelief and numbness.
Another image that has been burned into my mind forever was the day our then 7 YR old(now he’s 12) was diagnosed with leukemia. I can clearly remember me standing there helpless as medical staff scurried around him, poking and prodding him, taking x-rays and various samples,running in and out of the room, wheeling in the portable x-ray machine in a flurry of hurried frantic activity, a whirl of frenzy and haste. I remember standing in the hallway calling my mother, wearing my ripped jeans, and pink and brown long sleeve shirt(as it was Feb.) shaking and sobbing into the phone how I was right; that they think he does have leukemia,and I was trembling and shaking with fear, a hollow sick feeling of despair and terror in the pit of my stomach, how I was the most afraid I have ever been.I could hardly even breathe and it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. The world just stood still and time stopped.I felt my heart stopped as well.
I also only have ONE memory of my father, who I last saw when I was 2 YRS old; I was about 2 and drawing on my little wooden table that had a big decal in the centre, and how he ran out of the shower, naked, letting it all fly, smacking me for not eating my cheese sandwich. “Nice” memory to have of your father, huh? That it is the only memory I have of him.Isn’t that sad?
I have had many other traumatic events that are way TOO personal to get in to here, but they were very threatening and frightening; let’s just say they also have images and memories imprinted in my mind that I will never forget as long as I live and that instilled such fear that I will never be the same again; damaged emotionally and that destroyed my soul and turned my life upside-down and changed it(and me) forever. It’s funny how we also do have pleasant memories(and these are the ones I go back to and recall when I’m having a difficult time; reflecting on happy times and going “back” to a “happy place”), yet they are NOT as imprinted as deep and in as much detail as the life-shattering ones.The terrifying ones resurface every now and then to torment and haunt me, even as I try to push them far back into the recesses of my mind, trying to not dwell on them. When I had PTSD(I had it 3 times, lasting for YRS) I had frequent “flashbacks” and nightmares of the traumatic events that triggered them and fear gripped me tight and refused to let go.Fortunately now I have less episodes where they reappear and shake me to the core, but I will never forget and the memories are crystal clear and have a permanent scar.Some things are so horrible you never recover from.