Sunday, March 2, 2008

On Flashing Back

Today in my little Episcopal church, which I now love, we talked about the blind man whom Jesus healed. We also sang “Amazing Grace” – “I once was blind but now I see…” And for once, I didn’t have flashbacks to the cult. It was amazing.

The thing about flashbacks is you’re “flashing back” to a time of traumatic experience. It’s as though the mind is trying to bring light to a horrific situation by reliving it. But in reality, flashbacks, as anyone who’s had one can tell you, only terrify. They retraumatize the survivor. That’s why it’s so tricky to write about violence and abuse.

The point in writing about trauma is to bring light into the darkness, not to overwhelm the reader….or the writer. Sometimes, when I talk about my book, I find myself once again consumed by the trauma I experienced. I find myself remembering painful things that pull at me like a surging undertow. In order to maintain my balance and see clearly, I need something greater than myself to hold onto.

It’s hard to survive reality on your own. I’ve found I need the spiritual support of a Higher Power. Because to God, “darkness and light are both the same” and Jesus is the one who made the blind see. When I “flash back” into the darkness, I now take the light of the Spirit with me like a great lantern. That way, I am no longer blind. I see reality for what it was and is and I can thrive.


ghostfoot said...

Hi Kristen,

I recently ran across your blog and I've been enjoying reading it. There aren't too many that are as genuine as yours.

It's related to my favorite topic, spirituality (to put a crude label to something really inexpressible!). Please check out my blog at if you like.

I look forward to reading more of your blog. Take care.

Robert said...

hey Kristen-

I saw you at pams blog and wow you sure have quite a story!!! I admire your openness and way you discover allowing God and Jesus to show up as They only can because They are Divine!!! I hope you really enjoy your job, sounds quite intense. Im glad i found you , feel free to come on by my place anytime. Your blog title is coolness btw :)