Flashback Facilitator

 

For Sunday Scribblings prompt #235     Flashback
http://sundayscribblings.blogspot.com/

A flashback is a fast trip back into the past, a moment, or moments of remembering, often experienced as though it were actually happening for the first time. And although that is not a necessary part of actually experiencing a flashback, they do come with sometimes startling information and knowledge attached to them.

Keeping a daily journal is a constant open door to such experiences. So, I have a lot of flashbacks. But that isn’t the only place I experience them. I often have flashes of memory when I’m  actually writing other things, especially poetry, and reading is also another fertile field for such experiences. But, flashbacks are not limited to only those arenas. They may occur from smells, spoken words, a tone of voice, a bright splash of familiar color, and the list is probably endless.

They are a function of the associative faculty of the brain. When I saw the prompt for today, I started laughing because I’ve been caught up in a flow of flashbacks for a few weeks now, all pertaining to my experiences at age four. Which goes to show that flashbacks can be a sort of time-travel built right into the human brain. I am presently 64 years old, which means I’ve been doing a great deal of time-travel and no wonder I’m tired, a bit much for an old lady, right?

Let me explain. This is not the norm. It has to do with the fact that circumstances have brought me to a place where several different elements have come together and created what might be called a flashpoint for this current plethora of flashbacks. Whew, that’s a mouth full. I’m just going to list all of them and hope you catch the drift.

1. I’ve been responding to prompts and the prompts led me to redefine an aspect of my childhood experience. I even created a phrase for it: The Throw-Away Child.

2. I used that phrase while speaking with my counselor, and at the end of the session, he asked me to write about it in detail.

3. I went for my annual physical and the doctor wanted me to have a chemically induced stress test, because I am not physically capable to perform a regular one.

4. The results showed some blockage in my heart, which meant I had to see a cardiovascular specialist.

5. Meanwhile, I’m writing my journal pages, responses to prompts, and the stuff about The Throw-Away Child and all of that led me to the experience when I was four years old and in the hospital with a severe head injury.

6. The cardiovascular specialist recommended an angiogram, a heart cauterization, and we are now on a collision course. A field day of associations exploding all around me and in me.

The four year old me was lying in a hospital bed, actually tied down to some extent, to prevent her from movement and more damage to a severe concussion and awaiting surgery that would alter her existence with dire predictions of possible death.

The 64 year old woman, who lives in my body, was sitting in a chair, listening to a very young heart specialist explaining the risks involved in the procedure he feels is necessary, which calls for a period of time lying still and flat on my back, and one of those ‘minor’ risks is a possible heart attack and death. Have we been here before? Yes, flashpoint.

Logic says, “this is not at all the same thing. This is a necessary procedure to ensure a better future and a healthier existence.”

Heart says, “Screw the logic, this feels like the same place, run like hell!”

I couldn’t run when I was four. Now, I’m 64, unable to run because of disability, so I came home and did a whole lot of writing. More flashbacks, but this time with an adult’s understanding. I called and made an appointment to see the educational video about the procedure so I’d know exactly what to expect. And afterward asked a whole lot of questions and got answers that both calmed me and my inner child.

In that process was a memory of a recurring nightmare that had plagued me for over forty years. As well as the memory of how I had resolved the nightmare and ended years of episodes that had found me waking up screaming and covered in cold sweat. The nightmare hasn’t come back in years. And this was no different. The nightmare was a major breakthrough based in flashbacks. My distress in this present moment was no different. I handled the nightmare. I can handle these feelings as well.

Flashbacks are not all horrendous. Mine just happened to come at this point and, synchronistically, with this prompt. Flashbacks cover the entire spectrum of feeling responses, can be golden with joy, or as dark as an unlit cellar. Mine could have been a lot worse, but weren’t because of all that writing. Yes, the writing facilitates the occurrence of flashbacks, but it often also facilitates the opportunity for healing as well.

I have made the appointment for the angiogram. I am far better prepared to move through it then ever before. I am deeply grateful.

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About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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25 Responses to Flashback Facilitator

  1. If only one could arrange to receive only joyful flashbacks. I found your experience quite moving.

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    • 1sojournal says:

      Thanks Keith, all the while I wrote this, I could hear my inner resister whispering, this is all so foolish, everyone will see how silly you are. But,the nightmare wasn’t foolish and it did a lot of damage. These feelings and thoughts needed an airing. And I thank you very much for listening to them.

      Elizabeth

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  2. Mary says:

    Glad you made the appointment! You WILL get through it, be okay!

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  3. 1sojournal says:

    Making the appointment wasn’t ever in doubt, Mary. I know how important the procedure is. But getting through all the boogeymen was, they were affecting me in many ways, taking up my time, playing havoc with my thoughts and emotions. Exhausting and that I don’t need at all.And yes, I know I will get through it. Thanks for all of your encouraging words,

    Elizabeth

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  4. Susannah says:

    I found this very interesting and I believe that significant flashbacks such as these often occur at the time that the original memory is ready to be reassessed, bought to light and healed in some way.

    The body holds memories as does every level of being and trigger points are a help in bringing these issues to light.

    I have had significant flashbacks such as these that helped in letting go of and helping to heal things that had influenced me from the subconscious level for almost all of my life.

    A very deep and profound subject thank you for bringing it up.

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    • 1sojournal says:

      And thank you Susannah, for reading and commenting. The nightmare I mention was a result of being tied down. I have never been able to tolerate anything tight around my head or feet, which makes it difficult in winter. I become restless and agitated so choose not to wear hats or socks. Although I resolved the nightmare, the other became a life long habit, I still occasionally test, with little or no success. Guess there’s still some work to do on that episode. Thank you for your understanding,

      Elizabeth

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  5. Jane Olinger says:

    Hi Elizabeth–

    Thanks for letting us in on such a deeply personal level. My thoughts are with you as you undergo the procedure.

    It is no surprise that something so intense in the present triggers something so parallel in the past. We are so many levels, so many ages all at once. Perhaps allowing ourselves to experience all these layers also allows some resolution.

    As you also described, some flashbacks can be wonderful and magical. These are experiences that help us reconnect with what is most life-affirming and sometimes even transcendent.

    On a personal level, every year I have a flashback of giving birth to my daughter in January (31y this January). I relieve every amazing moment and am swept away by the power and joy of bringing her into the world. How grateful I am to be able to re-access those life-altering hours.

    I hope that knowing that many people are thinking of you helps you get through this scary time a little more easily. We are all metaphorically by your side, holding your hand.

    Jane

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    • 1sojournal says:

      Jane, your comment is so heart warming. Because of other circumstances and schedules the angiogram won’t take place until the 19th of this month. And I already have two volunteers to hold my hands, physically. That doesn’t mean I don’t want or need all the positive thoughts and prayers coming in my direction. It is beyond comforting to know they surround me.Thank you for understanding.

      Elizabeth

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  6. KB says:

    I too use writing to dig deep and bring forth memories I have tucked away. Thank you for sharing this very personal experience with us.

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    • 1sojournal says:

      KB, Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I have been told that I think too much and have always been confused by that statement. At least until I realized that my thoughts were taking me to places others might choose not to go. Yes, this is deeply personal, but I’m sure I’m not the first to have this, or similar, experiences and you make that clear with your comment. I am all about sharing the knowledge, especially if it will help someone else who thinks they are alone. I do believe that the more we share, the better our world will be.

      Elizabeth

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  7. BJ Roan says:

    I try to keep a journal, but there are only so many hours in the day, so I let it slide and only write when I have something really interesting to say. I’m in the process of writing my memoir, so could have used that journal now. Thinking of you.

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    • 1sojournal says:

      BJ, thanks for the thoughts, it does help. The child in me, pretty much went through her experience alone, as back then, one didn’t talk so much to a child as act. I was left to come to my own conclusions and a four year old doesn’t have a well developed sense of things, so my conclusions were pretty messy, to say the least.

      As far as the journal writing goes, it is my anchor and my best friend. It’s the way I begin my day and have for over twenty years. It’s a great deal of what I taught and am actually thinking about offering journal writing prompts here on a weekly basis. If you are interested in that please read the essay, here on this site, titled Opening New Windows. No pressure, but I’d love to hear from you. I so enjoy your story writing skills.

      Elizabeth

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  8. neil reid says:

    Can Elizabeth come out and play? I hear that under my ear. And the response, always seems to be – yes. And there you are! (Have I even felt or said this before? It seems that familiar to me.) Maybe that’s the little girl too somehow. It is certainly the adult we read right here. Willing to express yourself.

    (Long short meaning) I don’t think a person would feel alone being with you. Your self-expression is very trustable. Thank you for the light.

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    • 1sojournal says:

      Neil, I started grinning and hearing that old song, “Playmate, come out and play with me,” the minute I read your comment. And I’m so glad you feel that way. Yes, my little girl is alive and well, and glad to be so, as is the 64 year old woman who works hard to keep it that way. We are quite the team.

      Thank you so much for the comment and the compliments, they mean a great deal to me. And I still think playing is the best way to learn anything, lol.

      Elizabeth

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  9. auntiequary says:

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog.

    I’m so sorry you have such serious issues to face. My prayers are with you!
    ~OMJ
    http://theoldmasonjar.wordpress.com/

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    • 1sojournal says:

      Hi OMJ, and thank you for your kind words. I’ll take all the prayers I can get. Life can be fun, if we allow it. I’m glad I wrote this essay. It helped me to put it out here, in the open. And the responses have been both heart warming (maybe they will melt some of that blockage?), and humbling as well. Always room for both,

      Elizabeth

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  10. LeiffyV says:

    I actually have to thank you for sharing this, it unlocked a memory I had completely forgotten about until just now and it forced me to write it out (and resubmit to Sunday Scribblings) so thank you very much.

    It is amazing what we see when we see it from different perspectives from our lifetimes. Good or ill, they remind us who we were and who we are now. I look forward to more tidbits that you have to offer up, that is for certain.

    Like

  11. 1sojournal says:

    Glad to meet you LeiffyV. I went to your site and posted a response. We may have a whole lot in common, from the looks of things. I’m glad to know that my words sparked a response in you. And what a response! You, in turn, reminded me of a lot of things, as well. Thank you for that.

    Elizabeth

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    • LeiffyV says:

      I am glad I could help, I am not sure how much I had to do with it but thanks! Looking forward to seeing what we have to offer next to the universe!

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      • 1sojournal says:

        Hello Matt, you are the first person I have met who has had ongoing spontaneous imaging experiences and writes about them. I know others have them, but many ignore or dismiss them and do not realize the value to be found there, or the fact that when they are ignored, we dismiss a very important and integral part of our own reality. One that can teach us so much. That’s what you did for me, validated my own experience. And I thank you for that.

        Elizabeth

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  12. You have been on my mind. Perhaps it is the sacred space I hold for you. I went to your other site, and found nothing new. Oh dear, where is she, and came here and found you. And read of all the work you have been doing. You are a very brave and strong woman. You give me courage…I reach for you, and say, be not afraid.

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    • 1sojournal says:

      Annell, sorry, but I am the biggest chicken shit I know! And the last words of your comment made me cry. Soft quiet tears filled with awe and warmth. Thank you, my friend, for being you and for holding that sacred space. I hold one for you as well.

      Elizabeth

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  13. Tears we can share. Thanks so much!

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  14. ~L says:

    Thanks for all your honest words…. Very helpful.

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  15. 1sojournal says:

    Hi, and welcome ~L. I’m glad the words are helpful, that is always good to hear. It also gives value to the time and energy used to write them, lol. They say you must write about what you know. And although, I still remain a mystery to myself at times, that is what I know.

    Elizabeth

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