in an odd, yet familiar turn of events. this week started off the way this week has for the last 4 years or so. or maybe longer. i only started actively noticing a pattern in 2016.
this week. last year this week. 3 years ago this week. 10 years ago this week.
everything went numb.
the green worms
this year. it started with the veins in my hands turning to green pulsating worms. a strange cat wondering into my kitchen. and me staring at my hand in horror. screaming with no sound. at times i was eerily aware of being asleep. but also living in the world of the green worms popping out of my skin and their white fuzz bouncing joyfully to my horror.
i eventually woke. but the worms, i still feel them moving.
but i, i am unmoved.
i am struggling to sleep. battling to wake up. fluctuating appetite. fighting to feel. unable to make eye contact. irritable.
though. i am at a stage in my life, that though it feels like stumbling most of the time. i am very sure of who i am. i am happier where i am. unafraid of endings. and reassured of my ability to begin again. so when this week, i felt that all too familiar squeeze at my throat and heart and the numbing descent. i was confused. unable to fathom it. i looked for explanations- sleep deprivation? diet? sex? loneliness? frien—-
and suddenly it made sense. tis the season to be numb.
1 year ago, i wrote “and on some days- insomnia feels like this”
of memory and trauma
this week a colleague and I were discussing intergenerational trauma, she calls it ‘cellular memory’. the ways in which your body and your mind remember past traumas and find expression, in illness, depression, muscle aches, addiction etc.
perhaps due to my academic study in transitional justice, I named it intergenerational trauma. however i found her term resonated with me more. i feel like my body remembers that this has always been a tough period for me. so out of pattern. in january, i break.
in a conversation with an academic from Rwanda. we had spoken about depression, intergenerational trauma and the Rwandan genocide. he spoke at length about the ways in which a deep depression fell over Rwanda in April (the month the genocide happened in 1994), and how every year he felt that sadness in April too. i am unable to capture here how a somberness fell through the room as he spoke.
i remember thinking of the movie “Sometimes in April”
this discussion was in February 2018. i was in the third or fourth week of unfeeling. i went home and i cried. i cry often when i recall him speaking about this. i have wondered regularly since then. about the memory my body carries, that makes me break in january.
i have also long since realised that i have repressed many memories of trauma from my childhood. whose to know what is repressed from my history. but for a while now, i have been taking active steps to remember what i can about my childhood. most of my memories however come back disjointed, surreal and hazy- like the green worms with the white fuzz- i am unsure whether they are real or metaphor
i also wonder,
if any of these memories,
-the forgotten past
the childhood trauma-
are from the last weeks of january.
– sometimes in january.
Featured Image source Joka2000 on Flickr