Have you ever had snippets of your past flit thru your mind? If you have, you may have an inkling of what someone with PTSD and it’s related Flashbacks experience. For me these are almost always paralyzing and confusing , and definitely debilitating. In my experience as a violent sexual assault survivor three times over, these flashbacks often begin with a lovely little fleeting memory from childhood, maybe a teddy bear pops into my thoughts, or a certain dress I liked when I was little. Innocent and pleasant thoughts…but then they change. Suddenly I am that 8 year old again, standing in front of a judge with my molester staring at me, and he is asking me to explain, in detail, the evil deeds this grizzled old pedophile did to me. Then the judge says, Can you speak up, and can you repeat that in greater detail…louder… Then my brain goes on auto pilot, but it must be like the poor doomed Boeing Flights recently. My thoughts are taking a 500 mile an hour nose dive. A dive I have no way of pulling out of.
This 16″ x 20″ mixed media painting illustrates me inside those disjointed , fleeting nightmares , one’s I live with everyday, in any seemingly ordinary moment. Hands touching me that seem to come out of the fog, touching me without my permission, making me feel violated and unsafe 50 years later. Making me party to the torment, because my own mind is the person betraying me, reminding me, and playing these videos on an endless twilight zone-like reel.
But I am still surviving my past darkness, and I have stepped squarely into the light.