Do you have the memory you just wish you could forget? I think we all eventually have it. Some are lucky enough to have that memory come into existence late in life. Some have the experience which triggers their first awful memory all too early. But I think we all eventually hold it: The small recollection sitting in the back of our subconscious, just waiting to surprise us with its overwhelming presence.
So what do we do with that underhanded memory once we develop it? At first, we mull it over daily so that it seems to become everything that makes up our waking existence. Slowly, that memory we have stuck on replay begins to have skips between its recurrence. Eventually, those gaps become almost unbelievably large with extraordinary, wonderful, memorable days of joy filling the space between.
Now, almost two years later, my memory no longer haunts me every day. But every once in awhile, without any forewarning, something triggers the play button in my mind. I find myself unable to turn the past events off. What these now isolated replays cause every time is a reopening of a wound I have to accept is still (and may always be) healing. It feels like the picking away of a scab. One might say something pricks or pulls at the memory and my soul feels as though it is bleeding out once again. As time passes, I continue to learn to deal with the pealed away flesh better, to have a new, stronger scab grow back more quickly each time. But sometimes I wonder if it will every really be enough.
When the memory hits, my breathing is steadier each time. I can write better. I can speak more clearly with less anger or avarice or hate than before. But the heaviness he placed on me and the lightness of the innocence he took away is still there each time I relapse.
My nightmares are gone now. I no longer wake up to dreams of him returning; Of him searching ruthlessly to find a way back in. The release of these nightmares is a good thing. But when will I be great again? These last two years have taught me so much. They’ve matured me. But they have also weighted me down and taken away the excitement, voraciousness, and willingness to take risks in life I know I once had. I do still have joy in the strength God has given me, the hope faith has helped me clasp onto for dear life. And I believe I am regaining trust in some sort of overall plan.
But happiness feels so very rare so very often. Nights like these, when a random movie sparks that God-forsaken, haunted memory, still hurt. I still re-bleed. But perhaps each time, I face something more—something I had been afraid to face before. Slowly, I am taking back what had been taken away. I am steadily winning. I am healing. As long as I have hope, as long as I have faith, the pealing scabs will some day tear away to show new growth rather than pain. So today, let me– let us all– be thankful for new growth which only comes from the unforgettable memory of yesterday.
—- Written by Sandy Heights
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