Every now and then recently I've started to suffer from flash backs. Anything can trigger them, a sight, smell, sound or emotion, then before I know it I feel like I'm back in the past again. I have a few specific ones that happen time and time again. I'm wondering if flash backs are like dreams, you know how people reckon if you have a nightmare and talk about it then you won't have that same dream again? I don't know. It's worth a try because these flash backs are starting to grate on my little brain.
The most common one is when I'm sat at home doing nothing, just letting my mind drift off to where it wants to go. For some reason it likes to take me to a specific moment during what I refer to as "The Breakdown" where I'm laying on my bed in the middle of the day, wrapped in my dressing gown, alternating between sobbing and staring in to space, while my mum tries desperately to snap me out of it. I remember how over heated I was wrapped in my grey stripey dressing gown, and now I think how ridiculous I must have looked. I mean my dressing gown has EARS. Imagine this small, stripey, flannel, cat-eared thing laying in a ball on the bed making over the top crying noises. Then almost as suddenly as I was in that moment, I'm back in the present moment.
Sometimes during the night when I wake up at 3am, I remember when also during that time, I was sat in my bed with the spotlight off, and the lamp on, again I was crying, and I was on Google on my iPad. I'd searched the train times of the train stations nearest to me, and was sat there staring at them.
Another one I get a lot at work. I'll be walking in to someones room in the middle of the night, and I'll hear the sound of their nursing bed. Before I know it I'm travelling back to when we were nursing my nan at home before she passed away. I see it clear as anything, I'm sat next to her bed in my grandads old arm chair, and I can hear the sound of her breathing, and the power pack attached to her bed whirring away, and see her small movements through the bars of her nursing bed. I can see that it's dark outside through the curtains we hung up in a panic the day before she came home.
Sometimes when I walk in the bathroom and look at the floor near the bath, I remember how my nan looked down there when she'd fallen on the floor just seconds after she'd had the stroke. I remember hearing the bang, and running up the stairs. I remember noticing that one slipper had come off, and how her face had fallen to one side. I remember how her voice sounded when she tried to tell me what had happened. I remember there was someone here, and how much I wanted them to leave right then and there but I didn't have it in me to say it.
If it was just the superficial things I remembered from these moments it wouldn't be that bad. But for the few seconds I'm in the flash back, I feel all the emotions exactly as I did before when it was actually happening. For example I remember how much I felt like I could easily walk out my front door and in front of the first train to come along. I remember the point where I realised I couldn't carry on living how I was. I remember the heart break every time I looked at my nan in her hospital bed in her lounge, and how it felt to know that she was dying and there was nothing I could do.
I have to accept that these are important moments in my life, and that's why I remember them so strongly. Those moments are the reason I can look after myself again, and the reason I can function, keep toxic people away from me, and the reason my friends mean so much to me. They are how I can make a decision for myself. They're the reason that I'm going in to nursing, and the reason I have the compassion in my job that I do. I'm never going to forget them, but it would be nice to just remember them, not end up back in the moment every single time.