Still Life: A Moment  & Poem of Memories

by | May 18, 2023 | It's Complex...PTSD, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Memories Are Funny Things

memories are funny thingsMemories are funny things. Our memories are incredibly inaccurate. Or so we are told.

Our brains will keep things from us. Moments were too horrific to remember in memory’s easy retrieval section.

And though we can’t access those memories, they are still there. Affecting how we react and interact with the world.

And sometimes, those memories haunt us. They are coming forward unbidden, most times at the most inopportune times, but not all of the times.

Mine push forward, wanting to be acknowledged and told. I have realized that now. My memories only want what we all want: to be heard, seen, and, in some way, validated.

Memories Need to be Known

I suppose, in some way, my memory’s need for it is because of me. I spent most of my life pushing those memories away from me. I did not want to admit to even myself that those were a part of me, a part of my life.

And I wrestled with those memories when they would cry out at night, clamoring to be heard. I would push them back. How could I let such horrific things into my mind? Into my life? I could not.


I would scream. The sound reverberated around my head until I felt it would echo across the globe, waking others amid their more fitful moments of sleep. Ah, that wonderfully sounding thing that I am consistently denied – sleep.

Nighttime of Memories

But it is those sleeping moments when the guards are down. That’s when the memories come flooding in. They overrun the gates I had so carefully resurrected in my mind to keep them out.

Those were things best left in the past. But the past would not lay down and slumber as I wanted it to because it will eventually find a way when it is left unacknowledged, pushed away, and silenced.

Memories will seep in, like water through the smallest, imperceptible crack. Then, over time those small cracks, with the snippets of memories, the tendrils, so tiny that at first they are not recognized for what they are, come through those cracks, eventually widening them to allow for more and more to go through.

And when there is an opportune moment when the guards are down, the gates are left unattended. They surge forward.

And that is when the nightmares start.

Nightmares of Memories

Awakening to the darkness, heart pounding, sweat sticking my face and body to the pillow, sheets stuck to me, trapping me in one position, the fright of a moment, beginning to diminish, wisps carried away on the wind of consciousness.

I open my eyes, scanning the room, searching for what woke me. But there is nothing there. Only silence, punctuated by the pounding of my heart and the hitching breath as I desperately try to calm the fear storm raging within.

But what caused that storm? I try to grasp and reach for the tendrils of the last thoughts before the terror wakes me. Those tiny wisps hold the key to that terror, the forced awakening of the clawing up and out, searching for the air to breathe.

Memories Are Annoying

The memories fade as I grope, floundering for any thread in the darkness.

Please don’t leave! I call out, begging, into the recesses of darkness. But, please, I need to know. I want to know. I am ready now.

But those memories dart back through the cracks, retreating through the broken and bent gates, and guards, now awake, are pushing them back through.

As I try to grasp one last time, several thoughts push me back, keeping me from what I think I need to know.

A voice that is mine whispers, no, you aren’t ready. Not for that. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

I frown as my body folds back within the twisted blankets, exhausted from the battle. Sleep eventually overtakes me.

Still Life

A moment of frozen fear

captured for all eternity

within memories replaying over

and over.





Infinite repeat.

A life

once whole

now fractured.





A life taken, moments, pieces

at a time.


Not a whole life

but a hole

in what once was,



Do you have nightmares or intrusive memories? You might have complex PTSD or PTSD. 

I highly recommend therapy. I found therapy a safe place where I could find myself again. I know you will too.

I recommend Online-Therapy.*

Check Out My Other Writing

The Slow Descent to Sobriety

It’s Just One Night

You can also check out my recent poetry:

What Happened to All of My Words?

What Can I Do?

* I receive compensation from Online-Therapy when you use my referral link. I only recommend products and services when I believe in them.

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