I had trauma therapy explained to me as the reintegration of disassociated snap shots into a movie slideshow to create a continuous narrative. Otherwise these chaotic images float around the psyche constantly interrupting or perverting the proper functioning of consciousness. Apparently there are limits as to what can be reintegrated, where drugs were used (presumably gbh) there will be no memory trace, just the confusion of waking up dazed and knowing that you’ve been violated.
I am sceptical. Sometimes feels like one’s creating a narrative just to please the therapist. But something has to be done. Where have my own efforts got me?
Apparently very far. Seems like I use lots of the techniques recommended anyway.
This process of therapy I contrast to my own writings. As you may have noticed, when I remember something I blog it, often in a frightened, somewhat hysterical voice. You would think that this sort of recollection should be kept private, in a secret diary or something. But after years of suppressing the truth, keeping revelations secret is too much to ask. If you want to use these details to prove the deficit of my character then so be it.
Meaningful recollection puts you back in the situation you had chosen to forget. There may be tension, emotion and pain involved, but they are nothing compared to the out flowing and cathartic sense of relief and clarity. I am concerned that this can be an addictive process, like flagellation to trigger endorphins. And I guess this is one of the aspects of victim mentality that draws most criticism from those who do not understand.
As a writer I am getting ever more feedback from my readers. What I find curious is how they see these cathartic releases. Invariably I am offered emotional consolation. But for me they are like finding a life raft – sure the sea is choppy and the boat’s gone down, but I SURVIVED! Phew.
I think the disturbing aspect of my writing is that I put the reader through the emotional decontextualization of the victim.
Yes, you should be shocked that as a child Simon was more outraged at having to clean dog poo of the lawn (for nothing) than give a blow job (for the new console game). But that’s human nature, we accept what we’ve been conditioned to do as normal. We deal with it as best we can.