One of my clients recently shared such a lovely perspective with me and gave me permission to share it. She said some people don’t believe time travel exists. But anyone dealing with trauma time travels all the time. One minute they are in the present and then something triggers and they are pulled right back into the past or the past intrudes on the present. People with unhealed trauma experience emotional time travel all the time.
Such a powerful analogy.
It made me think of fantasy sci-fi books I’ve read. There would often be a character who developed the power of shapeshifting or translocation. They couldn’t initially control it, they would shift without wanting to and not be able to shift when they did want to and things would be very chaotic for a while. But with practice and guidance they became able to manage their gift.
I think this is a part of healing trauma, while trauma is in no way a gift, learning to engage with the emotional injury, to keep company with the felt sense of it without having to avoid it or becoming overwhelmed by it is a superpower.
This journey of healing our wounds helps us to map our inner landscape, to create a coherent narrative so the past and present become untangled. We can begin to choose to remember or think about things without being emotionally hijacked by the past.
Eventually we get to travel through our memories safely, and by choice.