I am in the middle of filling out one of my three required clearances for work, and it happens to be the most grueling of them all. It’s the child abuse history clearance, and I have to fill out every address I’ve lived at in my entire life, including who I lived with and their present age. WHAT?! I have previously counted 16 homes before the age of 18, and then a move every year for the duration of my schooling. Total, I have lived in 27 different homes (not including co-parenting or summers)…. and I am only 28!! Thankfully, I’m keeping this document saved (it only took me like 4 renewals to do this!) so I can pull it up next time this clearance is due.
What a wave of memories!!!! Like taking my pregnancy tests for all three babies. When I was a live-in nanny to a beautiful family for the summer before grad school. Or when my roommate and I went to see a scary movie and were afraid so we watched Free Willy afterward and laughed about the bad acting. And when I spent a semester in London and went to the store one day; I bought tampons and was delighted to see an American chocolate bar (Hershey’s) so I bought the large, 1 LB bar…. the clerk said, “Wow, it must be a rough week for you!” I remember watching my body go through puberty. I remember drawing the skeleton in middle school and memorizing the names of the bones for a contest (I can still recite them for you too!), and deciding I wanted to be a doctor. Realizing I shouldn’t be a doctor several years later when I spent time in a cadaver lab and was nauseated for weeks afterward… and then nearly failing every pre-med class anyway. My roommate drilling me on simple biology like mitosis and meiosis so I would pass. Studying psychology and human development, and realizing my passion for mental health. And then I remember walking with my husband into our first apartment for the first time; and in the same place when we first brought my son home from the hospital. Making up dances with my friends during my elementary years. Learning to use tampons in high school because I had a cheerleading competition the next day and didn’t want anyone to see my pad (what a learning curve that I’m sure most women can later laugh about!). My mom tucking me into bed each night into my high school years. Or when I was about 12, I got bored and drew on my leg with nail polish… it took the pigment out of my skin and I had a smiley face on my leg for months!!! My very first kiss. And my first kiss with my (would-be) husband!!!!! 🙂
I think that when we have PTSD, we tend to focus on the bad memories (and why wouldn’t we, they are forced into the forefront of our minds with the slightest of triggers!) and forget or ignore that we probably have many happy memories in there somewhere.
Here’s a reminder to remember the good times too. What are some of your best memories??
Photo credit: http://www.stonerdays.com/memories-of-a-first-toke/