Friday 2 February 2018

Imprints on our mind or heart?

Last week I began working with a new counsellor. This particular counsellor has vast experience working with Women who have experienced significant trauma in their lives. It is still a form of  talk therapy but it seems more structured.  I really like structure. The more rules and regulations the better. I won't even walk in an exit at Wal-Mart.

Last week's homework consisted of using two images (one of a young girl and another of a young woman) and I was to write the things that each had been told that influenced my self image.

I of course spent the first hour avoiding the task by convincing myself it was important to colour in the images in order to relate to them.  When I finally picked up my pen and began writing I was shocked at how fast all those hurtful words came rushing back. It was like I was there, reliving each moment of it. When I had finished the assignment I was a bit dismayed at how my brain had held onto those moments of my life. Like some sadistic author writing the very worst moments of my life into an autobiography.

I wondered since my brain had all these memories what else was hidden in there. I went back to the picture of the little girl and let my mind drift back looking for happy moments it had recorded for me. It was a struggle. That is not to say that my childhood was not filled with many happy moments. Why then was it so hard to pull those memories back?

The only two memories that I could reach for that little girl was a sunny summer day,  my Mom was with me out behind our house. Our cat had kittens and I picked them all up in one armfull and hugged them close to my chest. They were so soft and cuddly and the day so perfect.  Then they peed all down the front of my one piece orange and yellow terrycloth jumper. All I could feel in that memory was the bliss of  the sunshine, the kittens and the safety of my Mother's watchful eye.

My second memory is of my maternal Grandmother. I remember being in her apartment and she had a birthday party for me. It was the first time I learned about sticking balloons to a wall by rubbing them in your hair. I can smell her cold cream, her thick red lipstick,  the faint smell of cigarette smoke. I could feel how special it all was. How special I was to her. That's it.

Then I remembered the passage in the bible that said "and Mary carried all these things in her heart". I was mistakenly searching for my happy memories in my mind, when they were in fact stored in my heart. I hope after all the doctors and therapists are done excorcising all my warped perceptions of the past I will find someone who can teach me how to unlock all those good ones locked away in my heart.

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