Sometimes when you are working to defeat the demons of the past, the hardest thing to hear is, “you put way too much emphasis on that”. As it has been for the past 10 years, specifically, and though it’s getting easier, February has been kind of a rough month. It entails multiple birthdays, a best friends death, and of course Valentines Day. Celebrating two of the birthdays, in the past, included giving myself to the birthday person for as long as they wanted and doing whatever they wanted…and for Valentines Day? It became double the fun. It isn’t something I like to remember or even want to remember, but I do. Each year, as February approaches, my body spikes up and the flashbacks get worse…this year, however, was a little different and none of it started until closer to Valentines Day. The day it began, I mentioned to my friend that the week following might be a hard one because it is a week chalk full of big stuff and she responded, ”you put way to much emphasis on that.” I stopped the conversation and told myself to not mention it again and to not allow myself to be bothered on the days of past events. The 12th came along and I did okay. I had a good day and no flashbacks or meltdowns, until around 11 at night. I completely lost it. I couldn’t understand why I was freaking out but when I looked at my phone and realized the date, I realized that my body was reliving survivor’s guilt all over again. I hated myself for living at a time when I was not loved and my best friend who did die was loved. I hated myself for making it out of Crazytown and leaving everyone else behind. And I hated myself for hating that I lived. Around the same time I started having nightmares about the abuse that occurred with my bio family. My nightmares followed me into the day and little things kept triggering me. I walked my dog and just being outside at night triggered me. The flashbacks turned into body memories and I couldn’t remember where I was and couldn’t separate the past from reality. But the thing is, I wasn’t even consciously thinking about my friend’s death on the anniversary of his death nor was I thinking about the sexual abuse that occurred heavily on Valentines Day. But my body remembered and it needed me to work some stuff out. I still have the two birthdays lying ahead. This year, both fall on a day when I have all day affairs leaving me no room to think about them. My hope is that my body will forget the time, forget the day, and live as if it’s a normal day. The thing is, it’s not that I put too much emphasis on these days. Often times these days are full of activities that leave me no room to think about anything other than what’s going on. Perhaps the problem is that I don’t spend enough time on these days allowing myself to heal from the past. Maybe my body remembers because it needs help forgetting, or working through it. In the mean time, I’m doing the best I can and because my body does remember and I am still diligently working to learn to regulate…my internal time clock reminds me that there was pain and it was never actually felt.


2 thoughts on “Internal Time Clocks

  1. Ruby, I’m an adoptive mom and have been blessed to read your perspective. Have you thought about putting these into a book? You have a gift to be able to articulate you feelings and I think my son would benefit to hear what another adoptive kid feels like and thinks about. He doesn’t seem to put words to his feelings/emotions and much of what you’ve said seems to hit close to home for him. Something to think about (the book!)

    1. Thank you, Jane! I hope to one day put my life in a book…but I think I’ve got to work through most of it first. 🙂 It’s hard to emote your feelings, especially when you don’t know the right label for it. I get that. Most of the things I post here are things that I struggle with and have already been processed…meaning someone has helped me put names to what I am feeling. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting.

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