Anniversary Triggers

Have you ever come across one of those self-help/seemingly-meant-to-be-inspirational articles or positivity memes that feels “wrong” in some way? They’re usually an overgeneralization that actually invalidates what a person is feeling. Most of the time, I perceive these as trite and contradictory. I get that my perception of life and a lot of other things is skewed and sometimes illogical and/or irrational; but there are plenty of concepts that make absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. No manner of explaining them to me has ever made them “click.” I’ve experienced that “click” before (it’s exactly that, a click in my brain), usually with mathematical concepts, but never with emotional or other types of abstract ideas.

For instance, the acts of “letting go” or forgiveness are two concepts that baffle me to no end. I don’t understand the action involved in either of those. They seem like abstract, intangible notions that have no real end or meaning. Does that make sense? I’m not sure if my words express the level of confusion I feel when trying to grasp something so vague, so incomprehensible to me. And my perplexity is not limited to those two concepts alone. Those are just the two that popped into my head at the moment.

Maybe, these two concepts popped into my head at this moment because I’m struggling to understand how to leave the past in the past and move forward. The anniversary of the first rape is coming up, April 11/12. Because I associate Easter (April 12th was Easter Sunday in 1998) with that rape, even Easter Sunday each year is particularly difficult for me, which prolongs the turmoil I feel around this time of year. Throw in the anniversaries of 1.) April 27th — the birth date of the child I gave up for adoption from the second rape and 2.) April 14th — my dad’s death a few years later, and it just makes April a month of bad memories.

Every year, I tell myself, “I’m over that. It’s in the past. No sense in dwelling on it.” And every year, despite my best efforts, I feel so helpless in the power each event holds over my mind. Maybe, that’s why I’m feeling so exhausted… so spacey… so numb. I’m filling my days with distractions — obsessive distractions — in the hope that I’ll make it through another year.

I will.

I always do.

It just doesn’t make it any less painful when the flashes of memories come whether I want them to or not.


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