It–the unexpected and awful event or events: a violation, abandonment, betrayal, loss– happened so long ago. You can’t understand how it’s still controlling your thoughts, your emotions, your sense of security. Your life.
But no matter how much you try to forget, the imagery is there, vivid as the day the event occurred. When you do manage to get to sleep, your dreams conjure up the scene over and over.
You’ve altered your life, subtly or overtly, in order to try to limit your exposure to those things that feel triggering. You avoid reminders that trigger the memories, as well as avoid participating in activities that do so too.