“You exist here” Another Star Trek Mental Connection


Most of you know that I’m a big nerd and sci-fi geek. I’ve written a few times in the past on Twitter (maybe here too) about certain episodes of various Star Trek franchises that have interesting connections to mental health. Sometimes it’s been about memory, sometimes trauma, there’s been one about self-injury and one about having multiple personalities and repressed memories.

After therapy this week I was sitting around and an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine popped into my head because of a phrase I remember from it.

It’s from the first two episodes which were two parts, called “Emissary”. In this episode we see that the new commander of Deep Space Nine, Commander Sisko, has experienced trauma in the form of losing his wife to the Borg. He encounters aliens who exist out of normal time and he has to explain to them that humans exist in linear time: a beginning, a middle and an end. The aliens have a hard time understanding this, in particular because when they see inside Sisko’s mind, he is living in what he would consider the past. The instance they see is when he found his wife dead on board their ship and he had to leave her there to save himself and their son.

Sisko doesn’t understand what the aliens are trying to tell him (they have other motives in trying to help him move on). Every time they take  him back to that moment Sisko becomes very upset and asks them why they keep bringing him there. The aliens tell him that he exists there. Sisko insists that humans move along in linear time and that once a moment in time is over they can’t go back.

The aliens finally ask, “Then why do you exist here?”, referring again to that moment of his wife’s death.

Sisko finally understands that he never left that room on the ship. What’s the connection to me?

During therapy this week I told my therapist about the phone call I received from the woman who was there during the time I found my grandmother’s body. I had a bad feeling that I was going to cry while talking about it and I didn’t disappoint (of course it was disappointing to cry but you know that already).

I told my therapist how painful the phone call was and how I’ve been disturbed ever since.

When I think of my grandmother, I don’t have happy memories, not really. Anything I think of always leads back to that room…the room where I found her body. I see her lying there…her body was frozen in an odd posture of distress I won’t forget. I see her eyes which were partially open, staring right at me, and her eyes looked black and evil to me.

That’s the room I stay in when it comes to her. Every memory leads me back to that place, with me sitting against the wall looking at her body.

My therapist said that it’s understandable that I have these flashbacks as I had never seen death before and the whole situation was shocking and I was young. I was surprised that she called them flashbacks because I always think of flashbacks as being images that come out of nowhere and knock a person on the ground and leave them writhing and screaming or incapacitated. I’m not incapacitated by them they’re just…unsettling, unwelcome, immovable and disturbing.

Anyway, my therapist said that what I needed back then was someone with me to talk me through what was happening, to help me with what I was seeing and the fear I felt. She said that I need to do that now. I need to talk to my younger self and tell her that my grandmother was not in that body anymore, that death made her look different, that I don’t need to be afraid…things like that. I need to hold her hand through it and tell her everything’s ok.

So, I felt a connection with Commander Sisko because ‘I exist there’ and there sucks.

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in dissociative identity disorder and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “You exist here” Another Star Trek Mental Connection

  1. aynetal3 says:

    Sci-fi is hard for us, but I know others who do it too. You seem to have a really good memory to be able to recall such little insights that play major when brought forward one at a time. We’ve never seen anyone dead who wasn’t within a coffin. I’m not imagining the shock/trauma you must have experienced in it having happened to someone familiar to you. I encourage you to talk about it as long/often as necessary. There must be a relevant factor you are still looking for? Have you been able to progress your conversation about it?

    Our best,
    Anns

  2. Karen says:

    Firstly, as a fellow Star Trek lover, I can completely ‘get’ the relevance of the story/episode that you’re referring to.

    However, I’m truly saddened that your experience of ‘stuck in the moment’ is stuck in that moment. I know your grandmother was so important to you. A child should never have to go through that, never mind when it’s someone she loved so much 😦

    My heart breaks for you, CI – as if what you’d gone through was not enough. I just hope your therapist can be that person you needed to talk to then, in the now.

    Always sending love and safe, gentle hugs.

    Take care

    Karen xoxox

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Thanks Karen. I knew you’d get the episode. 🙂

      I’m sorry that I’m stuck there too. Talking about it with my therapist was helpful. Hopefully I can get past that room someday. Thanks hun.

  3. castorgirl says:

    Hi CI,

    The question “Then why do you exist here?”, is a tough one… It’s huge, and easy to get lost in. All I can say, is that I hope that the memories around your grandmothers death ease, and that you can remember more of the good times that you had together…

    I sometimes wonder if you remember this awful memory so vividly, because she brought you so much comfort, support and good things throughout your life… almost as if the two extremes in your memories of her were too much… I don’t know…

    Take care,
    CG

    • CimmarianInk says:

      CG it was like you read my mind yesterday. I was trying to figure out why there’s so much unrelenting pain surrounding her and I too figured that it has to be because of how important she was and what her existence meant to me.

      It was more than having her as a substitute mother because my biological mother was so scary and awful. She represented all of my safety in the world and then she was gone in a very graphic way.

      I too hope that one day I can have more good memories and not just bad ones. Thanks for the support. 🙂

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