Popcorn everywhere

Police sirens = shaking. Always. The cackle of the radio that the officers wear renders me foggy, and makes me want to hide.

I never understood any of this until yesterday’s session.

Doc asks for Ronnie. Somehow we start talking about Ronnie’s earliest memory. She remembers sitting in a red recliner with sister Cate. It was popcorn day at school, 25 cents a bag, and she’s clutching it tightly. There’s a picture of a clown on the front of the popcorn bag.

There was yelling. Mom and Dad were yelling. Dad finds a hammer on top of the refrigerator. He tries to hit Mom over the head with it, but Mom fights him. She grabs it from him. He’s too drunk. They are fighting over the hammer. There’s popcorn everywhere. Ronnie held the bag so hard that the bag ripped right through the clown face on the bag. Then Mom’s crying and flipping through a phone book again and again. Dad is gone.

Doc asks Ronnie what happened between the hammer and the phone book. She does not know. I do not know. He asks if anyone inside knows what happened in between the hammer and the phone book. I start shaking, and Belle starts talking.

Belle said she kept her eyes closed. She didn’t want to see. She heard the police come, the sirens. Then she knew they were moving around in the room because she could hear the radios with the loud cackle. She heard the handcuffs click.

Doc then asked me if I had been aware of Ronnie’s memories. Yes, I was aware. Those memories were not new. He then asked me if I was aware of Belle’s memories. I was not. I always recalled the end of that memory with hammer, popcorn and phone book, and nothing in between hammer and phone book except for popcorn. This was new information.

And then it dawned on me that this could be why police sounds freak me out. I’m told that this is progress, good news. It doesn’t feel like either.

2 thoughts on “Popcorn everywhere

  1. You have my empathy in dealing with these PTSD issues. This year I’ll turn 60. Back in the 90’s I was dx with PTSD, but I don’t think it really sunk in. My life was so chaotic, I was stuck in a miserable marriage, so–even though I’d found a therapist because I couldn’t understand why my life kept falling apart–I just couldn’t really comprehend the whole PTSD thing.

    Lately I’ve become more aware of how jumpy I am. I’ve a strong startle reaction, which I’ve known for years, but only recently have I tied it to the PTSD! Before I just thought I was weird. But now I begin to see how sensitive I am to sirens, crinkling paper, any and all unexpected noises, if if they’re not super loud.

    I will be back to read more of your well-expressed blog.

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