This morning I had a flashback. I haven’t had one of those in a long time – thought I’d worked through them all. Those of you who have worked through your personal demons, you’ll understand the shock of remembering an event you’ve blocked out. Once the memory comes, you remember it in crystal clear vision and sound. If you haven’t had to deal with this kind of thing – you’re lucky.
I was 22/23 and living in Provo, Utah at the time. The apartments there were all rented by the room or sometimes by the bed. As if they were dorms, though they weren’t. I had just moved into a 4 bedroom apartment with three girls I didn’t know. One of the girls had a boyfriend. He came and spent the weekends and then went away to wherever he was during the week.
One day I left my bedroom and walked down the hall toward the living room and suddenly he came out of nowhere and slammed me up against the wall. I remember standing there in shock, not understanding why he’d done it. The shock worsened when his girlfriend started to laugh. He laughed and backed away and I skirted around him. I had barely reached the living room when he grabbed me and threw me against the wall. The pictures on the wall crashed to the floor and broke. I can remember the terror as I cowered against the wall and he stood over me.
Another roommate walked in, in that moment, and he walked back to his girlfriend’s bedroom, the two of them laughing as they went. My roommate cleaned up the room. I didn’t think on it at the time, but I now realize she knew what had happened. She had been living with that other particular roommate for some time. She never said anything. I never said anything.
I was good at disassociating at the time and shoved that into a corner of my mind, never working through it. I guess my mind was ready to release it as I relived the event again and cried. And cried. I’m still crying as I write this.
The tears were the release I never got back then. I’ve been carrying that terror and stress and worry of “what did I do” for decades. I’ve been carrying around a sense of ‘I can’t trust anyone because they will hurt me.’ Now I’m crying it out and can release that energy. But I’m feeling utterly shitty while I do it.
I am exhausted and I just woke up.