Saturday, May 01, 2010

Wet Cement

Recently I finally put many pieces of memory together which were all part of a major chain of events that happened in my life which I have been working on for many years. This year was the first time that I had been able to take the accumulated pieces and assemble them into a narrative in order to understand what had happened to me to create the effects that I kept suffering. The purpose of this hard work is to move the memories from the storage containers they stay in, in the subconscious part of my mind, and put them into my conscious mind so I can integrate them into the story of my life and history.

Many people mistakenly believe that when memories are stored away from the conscious mind, they cannot harm the person or effect them in any way. They believe that to not know about or remember a certain event is to, in effect, make it disappear. It would be very nice if this were true, and I used to believe that it was, but learned through long and hard experience that the opposite is true. Memories stored away from the conscious mind are far from harmful, in fact, when they are stored this way, you could say they are "flash frozen". This means they are frozen and stored in the present tense. This means that until they are taken out of storage, they can never become "past" events. They live on in corners of our minds producing effects on us as if they are presently occurring events, cycling around and around in a loop of constant experience. In effect we live through them over and over and over again whenever we come across either dates or experiences or circumstances in our present day life that trigger remembrance of them, but until we intentionally allow them to resurface all the way into our conscious mind, they just affect things like our behavior, our emotions, or our thoughts and we are mystified as to why these things are occurring.

For me it was a specific time of year that triggered these stored past events to become "activated" in my present reality, but in shadows, fragments, snippets that I could not understand. Over a period of years I came to realize that something very traumatic and significant had happened to me during the late winter-early spring months because, like clockwork, I always experienced the same kinds of moods and depressions and anxieties during this time of the year. As the years rolled on, every time this window of time rolled around, I would pay attention and gradually clues started to assemble as to the nature of this part of my history. I came to realize that whatever this memory was, it was not stored all together as one complete story. It was stored as a collage of fragmentary pictures, impressions, effects, and snippets of memory, all in different parts of my consciousness. So to find out the whole story, I had to accumulate the clues and eventually piece them together in the right order to finally unlock and understand what had happened to me and what effects they had on my life. Only then could I finally put the events to rest in the past, as the past, where they belong and their power over my present life could be broken.

This process is akin to putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle where one groups parts of the puzzle together into sections: all of the pieces of the sky over here, the pieces of the house over there, to then assemble the areas of the puzzle together in their associated sections and gradually see a whole picture emerge.

As I have remembered different traumatic events in my history I have also remembered how people in my life "helped" me to bury and keep these events out of my conscious awareness and acknowledgement. There were many things done that facilitated the burying and storage of these events. One huge one was simply acting as if the events had never happened. If everyone around you carries on as if these things never happened and you also so desperately want to believe they never happened yourself, they quickly fade from your conscious recall and become non-events, so it seems. Another thing that kept things buried away was to have people involved in the events or involved in my life constantly suggesting things to me like: "You should just live in the now.", or "Why do you have to dig up the past?" or "You are a new creation in Christ, none of that matters now." Suggestions like this communicate to a person that past events, especially if they are negative ones, are unimportant and should just be ignored, denied, and forgotten and that it is actually good and healthy to practice this. Would that it were so.

This year, I finally assembled the pieces I had accumulated over the years, into a string of events that had happened in my history and I was finally was able to see the picture they created. Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally and suddenly, many different people from my past started contacting me and wanting me to respond to them. Most of the people who re-contacted me were people who had either done or said things like I described above, or both. It was hard not to answer these people's requests but I realized that I had recently brought probably the most life changing and significant set of traumatic events out of the storage chambers of my mind. I was finally acknowledging and integrating them into the fabric of my life and history and at this stage, they were still fragile and prone to suggestion to rebury and forget them all over again and regard them as either false or unimportant.

You could say that newly remembered sets of memories are like wet cement in the landscape of the mind. When cement is fresh, it is soft and prone to impressions made upon it, or to ruin from someone destroying its integrity. If you had just poured wet cement and made a foundation for say, a house, if someone came along with a bulldozer just after and drove through it, that foundation would be ruined and the builder would have to start all over again. This is why signs are put up after work like this has been done saying "Wet Cement". The sign tells people to keep their hands and feet and wheels of of this smooth construction until it hardens. After it hardens, it can take much pounding, walking, and driving over its surface for years to come without losing its integrity.

Newly remembered and integrated memories are like that. When they first emerge into our conscious mind where we are working to understand their meanings to us and how they have affected our lives, they need outside protection to keep their integrity and to later become foundations or walls or sidewalks that help to organize and build a new understanding of who we were and who we are now. After they are allowed to be owned by us and processed a beautiful thing happens. They are now things that happened to "me" instead of things that never happened, or were dreamed, or that happened to someone else. And more importantly, they can now be part of our past instead of our present and we can finally stop living parts of them over and over and over again. They become "hardened" to suggestion and attack and it is very difficult at that point to destroy their structure.

So my refusal to speak with certain people from my history at this time is, in effect, a sign to them that says, "Keep Off. Wet Cement."

It is the remembering that sets us free; not the denying and forgetting.


Exhale said...

Well written post..thank you for sharing these truths. I totally agree with what you've shared.

Shamai said...

Sure sounds like a wonderful 'aha' moment. What you're saying has so much truth in it. I hope many get a chance to read it.

Sunny's System said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. It comes at a time in my life where I am able to hear it. I am far from piecing together my memories but I am glad to hear it can be done.

Vague said...

thanks we needed this

Kraughne said...

I've been following your posts, Hephzibah. And it kind of makes me mad to see everyone say minimalizing things like "Wow, that's so truthful, you're brave, God bless you, safe hugs..."

Sure, those niceties are well-meaning, but the thing is, people won't tell you that much of what you write is hard to comprehend. That's not a bad thing, though. They're your honest feelings reflected from where you've been. I'm not even going to say anything about your past, because that subject happens to be a little too touchy for me to remark upon. In fact, anyone who thinks they can understand what you went through is pretty much an idiot―I'll leave it at that.

What you write is so deep as to seem esoteric. And I feel it would take a really special person to say the right thing about it all. That person is not me, of course, but what I can say is that despite everything you've been through, the depths of which can only be underexpressed by a common slouch like me, I'm relieved you were able to find God. Now that's a miracle.

Eliana Hephzibah said...

Kraughne- Thanks for your candid observations. I believe that what I have been through can be understandable to anyone in terms of knowing the mechanics of how these things work. Difficult to understand? Yes. Impossible? No. But then there is trying to understand how people could allow this level of harm to befall their loved ones who are dependent on them for life is harder. But with a Biblical worldview (see The Story Behind the Stories), can be somewhat grasped.

I plan to make a glossary and some basic articles on the basics of how I experience a programmed polyfragmented DID system and maybe that will give a better picture.

Again, thanks for reading and for sharing your heart.