Bombed-Out Village, Reprise

On May 24, I wrote my “primary wound history,” following the assignment from Matt’s course. At the end of this writing I say:

At least writing this has helped make the fear fade.  I also am somewhat surprised to see what enormous hardship I’ve been through, and how well I have done just to survive.  I haven’t even begun to address the second part of the question.

From my journal for Tuesday, May 25

3rd cup. Kombucha.  Not wanting tea or coffee or caffeine.  Walking Mocha I thought of the bombed-out village, and the dreams of atomic bombs, seeing the pictures of Hiroshima in Life magazine, the possibility that in my last life I died in London during the Blitz, the truth that there are presently bombed-out villages in Syria, in Gaza, in Afghanistan…  I remembered that strange feeling at Debbie’s when I seemed to be in two places at once.  So I continue to be in the bombed-out village, aware of the 3yo who’s there too.  It feels like there’s no point in trying to talk to her right now.  But as long as I stay in the bombed-out village, I don’t feel scared.

Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, 1945.  I was three years old on August 25.  I saw drawings in Life magazine — I presume because there were no photographs — the drawings were line drawings in black ink with some swathes of red.  They showed people running and falling, buildings crumbling, fires. I knew that some disaster had happened to the world.  The earliest dream I remember, I have no idea how old I was, was that I was in the living room of our house, and the atomic bomb fell just outside the window.  I could see it, it looked like a huge bullet, it was an evil yellowish metallic color.  I turned around and tried to run away, but my knees were like rubber and I could barely move.

From my journal for Wednesday, May 26

The “bombed-out village” came to mind, and I kept it present while I walked with Mocha.  It helped calm the fear, and a bunch of other associations came to mind.

I think one reason it helped with the fear is that when I walk around with triggered trauma, I feel like I’m in a war zone, but there’s no one there with me. If I were in a real war-zone, there would be others there to validate my experience.

From my journal for Sunday, May 30

3rd cup. dandelion.  That was a surprise.  Reminding myself of what happened to me actually made me feel better.  There’s so much emphasis on not going over the bad things that happened, and I know that can keep people stuck, but in my case I need the reminder of exactly what did happen, how I had no choice about learning dysfunctional strategies, and that these dysfunctional patterns, and flashbacks to real events, are not character flaws.  Which is of course how I first defined them, because I had no idea of what had really happened.

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