Anatomy of a Flashback

I come back to myself this morning

find that I am staring at the wallpaper

unconsciously tracing geometric patterns with my fingertip

over and over

I am not the strong blue lines that intersect

I am the empty white spaces in the center of the hexagons

I am the void

The memory is an old one

I am 16? 17? 18?

deeply asleep in my bedroom, my sanctuary

someone is touching me

caressing my body

kissing my mouth

I cannot open my eyes

I cannot move at all

I fight against the sleep that is holding me in a vice grip


trying to rouse myself

as I am being touched without my consent

Turns out that it is my girlfriend trying to wake me up from a deep sleep

not wanting to shake me violently

She has already tried calling my name

shaking my shoulder

In a moment of Sleeping Beauty romanticism

she has decided to wake me with a kiss

not realizing how it would panic me

trigger me

because I rarely speak of such things

As I reclined yesterday full of needles

this memory returns in all its technical glory

The sensations on my skin

my mouth

my helplessness

my panic

at being unable to shake off sleep

unable to set boundaries

unable to stop this invasion of my body

I remind myself over and over again

That I am safe now

I am safe

As I calm my breathing, and fight or flight receeds

a knowledge with remarkable clarity

a knowledge with a crystal clear ring of truth rises up from the pensieve of memory

I suddenly understand why I was so upset with my girlfriend that long ago day

A truth my psyche had been blocking unfolds

This was not the first time that this had happened to me

This was not the first invasion staged while I slept


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved



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