I know this blog is finished, but today is an enormously special day for me and I need to celebrate it here.
One entire year of no flashbacks.
This means I've not had to experience the following for 365 days:
1. Disorientation and embarrassment when with friends because I have no idea what we were discussing or the conversation has continued without me and I didn't hear what was said.
2. Stumbling while walking because my knees buckle during flashbacks and a few times I've lost consciousness.
3. Canceling doctor or dentist appointments because I couldn't face the thought of going through the experience brought to me by the flashback one more time.
4. Fatigue--emotional and physical.
5. Reliving ugly, violent memories.
6. Feeling like I was some sort of freak because at any time I could be attacked and raped in my head.
7. Phantom bleeding--horribly embarrassing when I was not prepared and completely unexplainable.
8. Random feelings of intense fear and vulnerability.
9. Always being hyper aware, ready to mask my reactions and shelve them until such time as I could appropriately react (which usually meant large-scale tremors, crying, loneliness, and misery).
I understand that this seems silly--after all, everything took place in my head. But it felt completely real and I often spent long moments reminding myself I was safe after a flashback took place.
During this last year I've had plenty of opportunities for flashbacks to occur. The usual triggers haven't disappeared, but for whatever reason, I've not had to endure even one.
I call it a blessing--a huge blessing--and I'm grateful beyond words.
So today--all day--I'm celebrating quietly. And I'm recording this here, in the same place where I've mourned the interruptions and inconvenience and horror of flashbacks, because I've treasured every single flashback-free day this year.
I'd like another year free of flashbacks, but even if it doesn't happen again, it happened once.
An entire year without flashbacks.
How beautiful is that?