As most of you know, I went through a horribly craptastic event last year. The Event, I'll call it. It seriously messed me up in a lot of ways, and made me stronger in a lot of ways. It was your typical painful growing experience. The Event ended several months ago, and I'm content with the outcome. I lost something that was dear to me, but what I got in return (my life back) was worth it a million times over. People ask me if I miss what I gave up, and are surprised to hear that I truly don't. When I gave up this treasured thing of mine, I let it go emotionally as well as physically. I just, released it. I can't explain it better than that.
I'm not unhappy with the way things turned out. I do still have some lingering regrets about some things that I did before and during The Event itself, but I have worked through them and have forgiven myself for those mistakes. My point is, I feel like I'm over it, you know? Oh sure, I'm still working through a few issues resulting from The Event, but I'm over The Event itself. So why do I keep thinking about it?
It's not as though it consumes my every waking thought. I don't dwell on it obsessively. But every once in a while, say, once every few days or so, some conversation or scene from The Event will pop in my head. My mind will get distracted by the memory, the scene will start to play out, then I'll snap out of it and force myself to think of other things. Usually the memory will stir up old anger or sadness or confusion (there was a lot of confusion back then) and I'll have to cleanse myself of those emotions as well as the unwanted thoughts.
I don't go looking for those memories. I don't invite them into my mind. They just pop up unexpectedly while I'm taking a shower or making dinner or driving to the store. It's so stinkin' annoying! I know that my mind needs to settle after something so traumatic. I understand that these things take time. But I just want it to end already! I lived through it! I don't need to keep reliving it in my thoughts every three to five days! I don't want to forget the lessons I learned from The Event, but I would like to forget about all the painful, crappy bits. Completely. No, okay, I know it's not realistic or healthy to block something like this from my memory. But I would like my brain to stop bringing it up, thank-you-very-much. Ugh. Maybe I should see a shrink. I don't know, I feel like I've worked through this whole mess pretty well. Perhaps I just need more time to heal.
Have any of you guys gone through this? Any of you experience some long, drawn-out, traumatic event? Did your brain keep trying to bring it up afterwards? How did you deal with it? Does it ever stop?