The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. – Milan Kundera
I escaped my abusive marriage nine years ago this month. I didn’t celebrate though for I have taught myself not to look back. A silent acknowledgement of a job well done at this point in my journey is all that I need. When I first left I never thought that I would make it to this point in my personal development. I have arrived at a place where I have gained hard learned wisdom. It has taken tenacity and sheer willpower to keep believing that I would come out on the other side of this battle stronger.
Almost everyday I am asked, “How did you do it?” I know that the answer that most are looking for is not what I have to offer though. There is no quick fix to letting go..it takes time. I must tell you that it may not heal all wounds, but will it certainly softens the edges.
Now by no means do I have it all packed together in a nice and neat package. My PTSD is so often beyond my reach, and it can send me reeling at a moments notice.
How do we balance the conscious from the subconscious? How do we find balance there? I believe that it is in learning how to react, or NOT react, to the intruding memories. That is what we have control over. It is in this fine mingling of memory and now that we can create our balance.
Last night I awoke from a bad dream. It was one of those dreams that you continue to have though out the night even when you break your sleep. It just keeps going and it seems so realistic that you are not sure that you are dreaming at all. These dreams can shake you to your core.
In my dream I was reunited with my abusive ex-husband. He found us and I was forced to pretend that I was happy to see him. I found myself back in my former life…one that I have so frequently chosen to forget. In my dream there was no forgetting though. I was in a hyper vigilant state as I slept. I was re-living my past. I was trying to prepare to escape with my kids without him discovering my plan; knowing all to well that if he caught me leaving that would have been the ultimate end for all of us. I was re-living my past reality in my sleep. The past I work so hard on forgetting.
When I woke up I was in a panic, but I went back to sleep and continued to dream. I woke up again having heart palpitations. I was caught between wanting to go back to the dream so that I could finish it out again victorious and staying awake. This continued for hours and it brought up memories and feelings that I haven’t had in a long time. Remember that I have chosen to forget. What did this dream teach me? I believe that this dream was a message. That while I want to forget, I must not become complacent. The scenario of my dream could so easily become my reality if I am not careful. It was an eye opener for me and I really feel that I have been given an angelic warning.
How did I choose to proceed with my day? I laid in my bed and separated the reality of the situation from the dream. I thanked my inner self for allowing me to remember this scenario so that I could remain safe. Then I decided to let it go. There is nothing for me to hold onto. There is no reason for me to cling to the fear of the nightmare. I continue to learn the fine art of forgetting, which by now I know is not really about forgetting at all. It is about letting go. xo Ella
Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go. – Herman Hesse