Rewriting the Movie

Draining boiled pasta water into the sink is a trigger for me. Chopping onions, doing laundry, mopping the floor, planting a garden, and driving are just some of the mundane everyday activities that start a frightening movie playing in my head.

I hear every word and tone of voice, see each expression, smell the scents, and experience all the fear as if it were happening again right now. Even after all these years, the memories still stop me in my tracks, and I must consciously stop the horror movie playing in my head and add a narrative that explains these events are in the past.

Intrusive memories of past events are not my choice, but my reaction to them is something I can work towards controlling. I strive to see the ridiculous, petty, and manipulative behavior of the narcissists who hurt me. This rewriting of the movie makes them seem small, less threatening, and senseless, which helps me keep moving forward.

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Author: Undeniably Sara

Abuse is an unfortunate reality in this world and is more than physical assault. The invisible trauma we suffer can result in chronic illness, which is a relentless beast gnawing away at the soundness of mind. Education and support from others are vital in the healing journey.

20 thoughts on “Rewriting the Movie”

  1. I think catching the thought is a huge win.! When this happens we are given a chance as you said to not run away or let it take over, but rather look it in the eye – acknowledge it – and then then let it go. For me when this happens this “shit thought” gets mad that it can’t take me down a rabbit hole, so it gradually stops coming back so often. You are definitely moving foward. Keep it up!!!

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    1. Thank you, Dwight. Yes, trying to re-wire the memory is a good way to move past the awful feelings. I try to look at the absurdity of the incident and find a little humor, if possible. The boiling pasta water is a good example. My ex was convinced I would melt all the drain pipes in the sink if I poured boiling water in it. The idea is absurd and a little funny considering how highly educated he is, but his reaction was brutal.

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  2. I was just thinking back today, too. But I was thinking about the good times (fake as they might have been), which is bad. With memories, you can never win. It’s a constant battle, yet one that seems to be getting easier with time.

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  3. A friend of mine uses four little words from Hawaiian culture and told me it helps her to get to grips with the bad memories of her past. These four little words, well, sentences really, are:
    ‘I am sorry, Forgive me, I love you, Thank you’ or:
    ‘I forgive you, I love you, I am sorry, Thank you’ or:
    Just something in this manner.
    Sounds weird hmm… to ask your demons to forgive you, or to do effort to forgive them, but… it seems that just to once in a while repeat these sentences does help many people.
    It is called H’Oponopono or something.
    Goodluck. Enjoy.

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  4. I had a big emotional flashback not long after everything happened. I went into a panic because I had suddenly realised we had run out of a particular household item. Then it popped into my head, “He is not here.”
    My daughter and I just popped down the local shops. I bought the two of us icecreams and it is now a joyous memory for me. That particular item is im still important to me but for a whole different reason. Now whenever I see it, I feel joy.

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  5. Up until some years ago, I would run with the scenario that came up in my head and let it work its magic. The magic being, taking me back to a place I did not want to be and making me believe I was still a person I no longer was.
    After gathering these thoughts up (a process of several weeks) I went through an affirmation process that none of these were true. Then I let them go.
    They haven’t returned, and when they try, I reaffirm my affirmations. Eventually they faded away, leaving me more space to use on more useful information.
    I guess it’s a process of deleting the programming, or letting the programming delete us from being who we are truly meant to be. 😉

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