Sunday, March 27, 2011
I'm about to have baby #2, and I'm having flashbacks of all the things I hate and fear. These flashbacks normally occur in dreams and in those short periods between awake and sleep that you sometimes experience when you are really tired. Normally the second type of flashback will jolt me back to life, and not in a good way. I'll feel more than a little apprehensive after one of those.
I read in my UN Safety Training (I forgot the actual title of the training course I had to take in my previous job), that flashbacks are part of Post Traumatic Syndrome. So a person who has suffered some trauma in their lives is bound to experience flashbacks now and again, and trauma does not just come from war, abuse, etc. It can be from any adverse incident a person experiences. Something which you thought would be nothing, like accidentally cutting yourself with a sharp knife, can be traumatic (loss of blood, shock, etc). If you dream about the incident over and over, then it means the incident was traumatic to you, even though you overcame it, and managed to heal the wound.
The UN Safety Training, was a bit blasé, though, as it ended the PTS part of the course by saying a person with PTS has to undergo some form of psychiatric counselling. Next slide. Usually, I would think ya, a person who doesn't know that they have experienced some sort of trauma would not want to talk about it at great lengths with a therapist, simply because they don't have a clue what to talk about. Because you know, their brain probably tried to forget it or contain it in a little jar. And then it would get really frustrating to keep replying "I don't know" when being asked questions (I watched this documentary about American soldiers in Vietnam). They really didn't know what the hell was making them have the flashbacks. Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint one event. It could be a whole series of events or even an entire lifetime of events. Then what are you gonna do? Try to erase all the events? No, right? Sometimes it just doesn't make any sense.
So I was saying, I was having these flashbacks. And I really can't recall why in the world those flashbacks would be flashbacks... I don't remember being anxious about those events at all. I just know that I hate elements to do with those flashbacks, so maybe hate is just a byproduct of PTS. And if you hate someone or something (like hating cockroaches) then maybe that thing had caused you some trauma that you had forgotten (like maybe there was a cockroach crawling on your food and you realised too late). Just to let you know, too, I was just now woken up at 4.26 am by the sound of a cockroach (and I hate those damn things) crawling on the plastic bag that lines the wastepaper basket in the room. That small sound actually woke me up. I tried to kill it with a rolled-up magazine, but it went under the bed, so I have no idea if I managed to kill or injure it. And I am still awake now being anxious about it. Whether it's still alive or not. I would like to be able to just find it and kill it, but it's invisible now. And it's making me blog about it.
And these are the type of articles I used to write for an online magazine once. This type of musings. I miss this sort of writing. But I include it here because it's about an experience related to my pregnancy, and this entire blog is centered on my life as a mom. So, moral of the story is, don't ignore your flashbacks. Your brain is trying to tell you something... but I dunno what.