Baby Memories

I wrote this in shorthand (which I expanded for the post) last night while I was laying in bed trying not to lose my mind.  I think some of the turbulence this year is from having gone deeper into my system than ever, and being in contact with some of the youngest and perhaps most wounded people (the babies) that exist on the inside.  I don’t know.  I can analyze all day, but the truth is that I’m still pretty much lost at this moment.  I’m writing and posting this more for the people who haven’t experienced it, so they have a glimpse into what’s happening since I usually go mute right about when I wish I could tell them what’s wrong.  My day to day rhythms, as they downward shift, when the waves of pain and panic hit me, are not really describable in words – the brain tends to shut off the language centers in extreme pain/flashbacks/trauma – but this is the closest I can come.  Even words like “pain” or “torture” or “fear” don’t really convey the experience.  But words are all I’ve got to work with.

10/8/2014 nighttime (laying in bed, trying to fall asleep):

It feels like my insides are collapsing.

Like a panic attack but also so so so much sorrow and grief I feel like I mentally cannot stand up under the weight of it. It feels like it’s crushing me into the ground.

Can’t breathe.

Chest physically hurts.

Heart rate is off the charts.

Images swirling in my mind’s eye.

Extreme primal desperate skin hunger.

I want to be held, rocked, and sung to – “want” is the wrong word. It feels like an inner demand, but that’s not the right word either, because “demand” has a negative connotation.

It is not angry, entitled, or taking for granted.  It is pure humble unassuming desperation.

Desperately needing…something.  Attachment, I presume.  Brain is frantically trying to heal itself.  In the absence of nurturing, the brain cannot organize itself.  It continues to cast around on the inside for something – anything – to answer such a torturous state of un-answered aloneness.

Feels like I’m going to fall to pieces, but I can’t even name what’s wrong.

In the absence of a response from, or a connection to, or even a memory of a connection to, a safe person, an attachment figure, a rapid downward mental/emotional spiral happens.  The thoughts come flooding in.  Even the thoughts are irrational, illogical, somewhat stream-of-consciousness but of a consciousness that is pre-verbal.  My translations are just translations at best.  They feel like baby thoughts, which are not thoughts, but more like existential conclusions based on immediate, uncomprehendable data. My translations are much more mature (and decipherable) than the experience itself.

It goes something like this:

I am in pain.

I need.

I cannot meet my own need.

My need is all-consuming and I am totally overpowered by and swallowed up in it.

I need you to help me.


The unmet need is killing me.

I can’t live without you.

I can’t stand this endless separation.

I want to die.


Until the very end, there is hope inside the agony. There is hope that someone will hear, will see, will respond, will reunite.  The problem is the spiral happens so fast – maybe because the hope hasn’t been rewarded consistently enough to keep itself afloat for very long? Or maybe because babies have no sense of time or ability to delay gratification? – that I go from heart-wrending emotional and even physical pain, to hopeless, in a very short time and often without understanding what’s happening myself, nevermind trying to describe it to or reach out to (or alert) anyone else.

The primal mind is no joke.



…I wish I had resolution, so I could tell you the happy ending, but I don’t.  If I ever get to that point, I’ll be sure to share.  Cheers. ~J8

2 thoughts on “Baby Memories”

  • 1
    gertrude van voorden on October 9, 2014 Reply

    Emotions are preverbal for that state. No clear events, nothing for certain, like later traumaevents. Only solution is becoming your own parent, making a vow to put that part first always, no matter what the outside world demands. For more then 10 years, after already decades of intensive traumawork, i woke up fists cramped, unbearable sadness, a foetus not yet born. i survived through dissociation. Until my adult children put me an ultimatum to dissociate, not confront them with triggered cptsd. Then there was this definite NO. I learned parenting through having/mothering children. Now i knew i had made that vow to put that foetus not yet born first, always. It cost me the relationship with 3 sons. Only my daughter stayed and stood the process of traumahealing/symptoms. It made me calmer inside, this choice for the first time in my life for myself/the foetus not yet born.The point where i only want to die, comes by less and less. Supplements like B3, niacin, the flush kind, and taking Rhodiola take the edge off and prevent me falling into the abyss of deep suicidal depression, which used to take weeks or months. That also makes room for a more progressive healing towards living instead of just surviving. Brainwavetherapy, Mindfulness, Heartmath helped me a lot. Right now i have started neurofeedback, according Bessel van der Kolk able to help transcend prenatal, early childhood trauma. Supposed to make my brain calmer, stabilize the brainwaves. Did 2 sessions now and it is great to see in front of me what i knew all the time, but doctors, therapists never saw from the outside. My brain not working, unable to sleep and a psychologist, neurofeedbackspecialist able to see and validate that. Acknowledgement so important. Wishing you well. Gertrude

    Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 19:36:50 +0000 To:

    • 2
      talktoj8 on October 9, 2014 Reply

      Thank you for sharing. So sorry for all of the pain you’ve been through. I hope you find continued peace and healing as you press on.

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