You are only a six-year-old twentieth-century child locked in the twenty-first century body of a fifty-four-year-old mother of four who can no longer hold on to its grasp of the time existing now. Loved ones no longer stop the six-year-old screaming in the physical and emotional pain from erupting up through your oesophagus. The muffled scream held in by the sweaty bovine smelling hand of the snatcher of your childhood innocence. That scream never escaped your throat then and does not now. It’s a scream that is never set free, forever held in and suppressed for eternity only to be relived each time a trigger of the “flashback” happens.
It comes without warning, with triggers that are never consistent and change with fluidity. A muffled sound. Dropped cutlery. A smashed glass on the floor. A banged door. The heavy smell of a recently smoked cigarette on a passerby on the street. A just finished glass of Guinness and its remaining hop odour, distinctly different from any other alcoholic beverage. Cannot be mistaken for wine or gin. No, it’s Guinness and it has transported you from your current 2017 existence back to 1969. You end up in the shower fully clothed as you attempt to scrub yourself clean of their smell and bodily fluids; curled up in the walk in wardrobe in the dark corner hoping not to be discovered, huddled in the corner of the chemist shop where a child has just had a tantrum or in a trance at the dinner table when a family member has mentioned some item from the day’s news that triggers a memory. That is a flashback. It is all consuming and it is real.