Adventures in Dating, anxiety, David, depression, memoir, memories, mother, relationships, Wyatt

Somatic Symptoms and Problematic Memories

I made a discovery while talking to my therapist yesterday. I suppose I just hadn’t thought about it before as both topics are separate in my head for the most part. But yesterday, we as we were working on trauma response, as we transitioned from talking about specific memories of Wyatt to specific memories of my mother and the basic concept of just having to communicate with my mother I started to shake both internally and externally; teeth chattering even. I realized I actually do that often when I am having to deal with my mother – especially when the circumstances are especially stressful on my part.

Strangely enough I don’t recall having such a reaction when thinking about Wyatt or even David ever. Nausea, yes. Palpitations, often… but never a shivering feeling so intense that it pulsates through my body and causes my teeth to make audible noise.

I suppose at this point, memories of Wyatt are far enough removed and while I didn’t seem to realize it for the first several years after that relationship, I had processed a lot of it in my own way a long time ago. I’ve processed a lot of what happened with David too… though he isn’t as far removed. I do wonder, however, if I was faced with a real possibility of running into him again how my fear of him would manifest in me physically.

I don’t fear Wyatt as much, so if I ran into him I feel like I would have the anxiety and the somatic abdominal symptoms I sometimes get would likely present themselves, but I believe I could hold a confident and unwavering facade nowadays.

I fear David. Not as intensely as I once did – primarily because I have tabs on where he is in the world and just know he is far enough away that turning a corner and running into him unexpectedly is is about a 0.0000000002% chance.

However. The world is small, and the US military/government world is even smaller. There is always the chance that my family could end up in the same country, let alone town, as him again and I can’t with confidence say that I would be able to hide my physical reactions to his presence from him.

Logically I know that at this point in his life he is not likely to care to follow through on his decade old threat to end my life… But he is the one person whose words to that effect I have ever believed and I am not the only woman he has abused. I feel as though my fear is still justified even though he is a Major now I believe, with a Masters degree, a second wife, and four? kids. Surely, he wouldn’t risk fucking it all up on insignificant Emma from what? 12 or 13 years ago. That’s ancient history, right?

Regardless of David or Wyatt, my mother causes what I feel are the worst somatic symptoms in me because it can’t be controlled as easily or hidden inside my abdominal cavity. The shaking is external.

I’ve realized as well that perhaps I have processed the PTSD from David and Wyatt a little better as well due to all of the writing I’ve done on the blog and my book about those memories.

I have done hardly any writing about my mom and the reasons I feel the way I do about her, least of all on this blog. The only real negative memories I recall telling you guys was the one about her gaslighting me and the one about me realizing that my feelings mean nothing. The latter being what I was talking to my therapist about yesterday.

I have a few days off at the moment, so I think I may try to write/revisit and schedule a few more posts about problematic mom memories. Wish me luck.

PS just realized I wrote this one that is a doozy about the absolute gall she had in June 2019.

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