So many times in life, I have heard people say that victims of abuse should just forget about what happened to them and get on with their lives. While I understand that these are ignorant words and have learned to ignore them, sometimes I wish that people could understand how small things can set in motion a flood of memories that we do sincerely wish we could ignore….
Like the smell of green beans cooking…
While I’ve smelled this aroma many times, for some reason this time it was different. As I walked into the kitchen last night to see how much longer the beans needed to cook, I took in the wonderful smell and suddenly remembered how it used to smell at my grandmother’s house on Sundays. That memory in itself was pleasant. However, it was quickly followed by the recollection that my grandfather did something bad on a Sunday, while this scent filled the air around me….
It is moments like these, when memories of abuse interject themselves into the present moment, that we, as survivors, realize that we will never forget. These memories are as much a part of our experience as the rest of our lives. Yet, unlike the rest of our experiences, these traumatic events are recorded in a completely different fashion, one which time and all the wishing in the world can never erase.