Two days ago, my therapist gave me a writing assignment (bless her heart, she already knows me so well). Here’s the thing though, for the last two days, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what I’m going to write.
I’m supposed to write about something positive or happy memories. She explained that for those that suffer from PTSD, our brains become hardwired to always see negative first and that focusing on the positive helps to redirect the brain. It didn’t seem like a big deal when she said it, but now that I’ve had time to think about it, I totally get it. Every time I think of something happy or positive memories, I immediately associate it with something else bad. Every positive moment cancelled out in my brain by the negative. I think about events with my kids and immediately, my brain is telling me, “You can’t write about that, you haven’t been a very good mom.” I thought about memories of my dad (my step dad) when I was young, like him teaching me how to drive or playing one-on-one basketball like we used to do, and my brain responds, “You shouldn’t favor your dad, you are a bad daughter for not being closer to your mom,” or, “How can you write about your dad when your relationship is virtually non-existent now?” It’s hard enough to come up with a positive thing to write about here at all, but even worse my mind is telling me constantly that I’m somehow bad for it.
While trying to think of what the hell I’m going to write, all I’ve done is cry and put myself down and think of what a failure I’ve been. This is exactly why I went and got signed up for therapy in the first place. I know logically that the negative thoughts are lies from the years of pain and brokenness and trauma, but feeling differently is definitely going to take some work. So, for now, I’ll keep on trying to figure out, where are my happy memories?
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