What you don’t know can scare you

When I saw Doc near the end of the week I was not doing well at all. I arrived at his office all twitchy and jerky. He took one look at me and said, “Oh no, you’re short-circuiting.” Doc’s the witty one alright.

We decided that the best thing for me was a neurofeedback session, and I did feel calmer after that. However, somehow, I got tangled up in the sensor wires without noticing. When Doc went to take the sensors off my head he picked up my hand to disentangle me from the wires. And that was all she wrote when he did that. I started twitching and jerking and freaking out. He started apologizing, and then the world went foggy.

Next thing I know Doc is asking me if I remember saying “I’m sorry” to him in this little girl voice. I was just incredulous, and I asked him, “Are you serious?” He was very serious. I asked him what he did when that happened, and he said he asked the little girl if he could have Beatriz back, and I came back to the session.

I managed to take myself to the little town cafe that I like so much after our session. I started texting my sister, Cate, asking her how things were with her. Somehow we got on the topic of our mother. She started talking about how the therapist she started seeing thinks our mother has schizophrenia. I thought Cate must be mistaken. I started asking her if she understood what schizophrenia was, and I could tell I was vexing her a bit. She started talking about how our mother saw and heard things that weren’t there. Apparently, Cate did not think this was news to me. According to her, I was present for many of these moments when my mother was experiencing psychosis.

I have absolutely no recollection of such behavior from my mother. There are plenty of negative memories associated with my mother, but none like this. Dumbstruck is an understatement for how I feel. I asked Cate what I did when these things were happening. She said I did nothing, that I never said anything about it or acted as if anything was wrong. I said to her, “I’m sorry, none of it is in my memory bank.” Cate replied, “I wish it wasn’t in my memory bank.”

I can only wonder if this is when my dissociation began. I feel betrayed by own brain, like I cannot trust myself.

5 thoughts on “What you don’t know can scare you

  1. I know you probably already know this – but our brains did what they did to protect us. I was dealing with similar feelings two days ago over why I can’t remember a certain set of traumatic experiences, and I had to tell myself (out loud), “I have to trust my body. It has done this to keep me sane. I have to trust that my body will let me know these things when it is ready.” And then, I realized, my body may never let me know. I may never be ready. And I have to be ok with that. It’s hard because you are fighting something that is not in your control. I hate not being in control!

    -Nel

  2. I know it is scary when you start to notice gaps. Minutes of lost time in the present day and a lot of lost time in the past. It was only this time last year I was feeling the same. Here for you xx

  3. I know how scary it is to not remember important events and childhood stuff. What has helped me is realizing the worst is over. I survived and made it through. Your brain is beautifully brilliant to protect and save you. You are probably a very sensitive person, right? That’s a gift but it can be overwhelmed by scary events (such as the ones your sister described). You needed a place to go so you could continue to grow and thrive. Now that you are stronger and older, you are going back to heal the stuff that was frozen in you. It’s scary, I know. I’ll be praying for you. Don’t give in to fear . You’ll work through this and will become even more compassionate and resilient than you already are. Comfort yourself. Thank yourself for being so creative and resourceful. Hugs.

  4. Pingback: Under the table | A Year in the Life of PTSD

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