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Can't Remember the Trauma

Discussion in 'General' started by EmeraldRiver, Aug 20, 2007.

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  1. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    Well, I've read a few of the trauma diaries...not many...it's not really pleasant reading...and am wondering if I should even bother to work on one. I can't remember anything that happened - I've blacked it all out.

    I've gotten conflicting answers from the pros - some say work on remembering, others say leave it be and when you're ready it'll come back in bits and pieces.

    Personally, I don't really want to know. I've read the police report, and have lovely nightmares, and thats enough for me. But, thought I'd ask the opinions from people who have actually been there, since I don't have a high opinion of the 'professionals'.

    Do you think it would help or should I leave well enough alone? And if I'm supposed to try to remember...is there a way to do it without a shrink? I'm just so not fond of them...
     
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  3. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    One of the good, & bad about PTSD in my opinion...It let's us remember what we can handle, and what we can't we suppress... I think if we could remember everything...We would need the "Men in the white coats, to take us away, literally."

    By knowing what was in the police report, and dealing with the flashbacks, you do have things that you can either work on or ignore at this point. But remember by trying to suppress what you already know....It will come back and bite you in the arse...It always does.

    IMO....Try and work on what you do remember. I would think that by doing this, you will have a jump start on just how to handle things, if, and when the memories do start to flood out. You're here, so that says something in it's self. You are looking for help and answers...good job!!!!

    JMO,

    Wen
     
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  4. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I agree with She Cat, I can't remember some of my trauma either and right now that is ok with me but I do work on what I can remember and sometimes that will open a little door and I can pick up another memory.
     
  5. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Agreed. Work on what you do know as fact. As you progress likely more will come back to be dealt with then. Many many here have wanted to forget it all and push it down, then progress into just get it all out now any way possible (hypnotherapy or the like) to getting on level ground and do the original, heal what you know and deal with the rest as it comes on its own.

    I would have to go back to see your trauma, but if it was an accident it may be long lost.
     
  6. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    No accident - the ex husband tried to strangle me to death. At least, that's what the hospital and police reports say. But, I can't remember any of it, and REALLLLLY don't want to try counselling again. Any ideas on how to trigger memories?

    And by the way, I am angry that I can't remember that! You'd think I of all people would be strong enough to remember anything (and that doesn't sound very traumatic, compared to what some people live through and remember.) I mean, I'm sure it was no picnic, but it doesn't sound as bad as being sexually assulted or stabbed, or something. So, just feeling like an idiot, I guess, for not remembering it. Maybe if I did remember I would have moved on more with my life.
     
  7. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Why is it "less than"? I recall hearing "I am going to put a bullet in your brain". No recall of a gun and did not much of the rape for a long time. It was an ex. That incident is no worse than another here.

    There are no short cuts. You have to have therapy of some sort even if your own self help books, but what when you get stuck? Some therapists suck, but not all. We need them like it or not. Just time and working through the emotions you have right now.

    You have a lot of anger and mention elsewhere it is easier to be angry. Yes, it is. But anger is not exactly what you need to work on as you will stay that way spinning your tires. The emotions that are fueling the anger is what you need to address. There is a list of emotions in the info section that explain this a bit.

    And it looks like you are going through the motions pretty quick as in the first post you said you don't want to remember and now you ask how to trigger? Please read the info section throughly, it will help.
     
  8. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I agree with Veiled.....Pain is pain, trauma is trauma, hurt is hurt. It;s ours and we have to deal with it. So it doesn't matter if you were raped, or beaten, or held at gun point. To YOU it was trauma. Don't trivialize your pain and suffering, it gets you know where. I also think by doing that...it's called denial....

    Is it possible that you don't remember, because you actually for the life of you can't fathom that he actually wanted to kill you?????? That's where the denial would come into play....JMO

    Wen

    ps..keep digging for answers.
     
  9. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    EmeraldRiver,

    My initial trauma was being molested almost 30 years ago. I remember what happened as it started, I remember what happened afterwards. I have a few physical sensation memories of what actually happened.

    I've been angry (at myself and pretty much the world) that I can't remember. I've berated myself for not remembering, tried to force myself to remember. No dice. I'm in therapy for the second time to deal with this issue (and now all of the other connected issues).

    I don't know if I'll ever remember. But I finally had to make peace with myself over this. For the longest time anytime I would think about being molested I would just push it away as fast as I could. It scared me because I don't know what exactly happened (i.e. was I raped?, what did he do to me?). Telling myself that I will deal with what I know and deal if any more memories show up. And if they do, it doesn't negate what I've done with my life, it won't take away successes in my life. It won't change me by remembering because I've reclaimed my life. Once I gave myself permission to not pursue these unknown memories it was like a load was taken off of my shoulders.

    Work with what you have and if these memories come back...then you deal with them, too. Cut yourself some slack, too, for not remembering. You're not going to force your brain to give up something that you're not ready to deal with.

    Lisa
     
  10. Kathie Costos

    Kathie Costos New Member

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    EmeraldRiver, I don't know if this helps or not. I pop in here from time to time when I get a chance. I've been doing outreach work with veterans who have PTSD for 25 years because of my husband. He's a Nam vet with full blown PTSD. I wanted to respond because reading what you wrote hit me hard.

    I was married before before for a short time. It ended when he freaked out and, tried to kill me. My land lady called the police. I knew a lawyer and the divorce was filed for in two days. I remember thinking how could someone who was supposed to love me want to suddenly kill me. After a lifetime of trauma with one thing after another, I really think that is why I do what I do. I didn't end up with PTSD, just a lot of bad memories. I was not the one out of three in any of the times. Someone pointed out what my character is like and it made sense. I am the type of person who doesn't really think about myself a whole lot. I tend to think of others more. I have strong faith, but that only accounts for the forgiveness end of all of this. I even work for a church as head of Christian Education. That part healed my soul, but it was more who I am that I believe kept me from developing PTSD. From all the people I've talked to over the years, this is what I think is more behind it.

    Take three people exposed to the same trauma. One tends to be the selfish type and will think how lucky they were not hurt and walk away. They don't see or feel what others went through. They can't. Then there is my type who ends up rushing to help and doesn't really think of themselves. The other type will not only want to rush to help but will also deeply feel what others feel. They are the kind of person who takes it all in and feels it. Every sound, every detail is taken in. Yet all humans have automatic responses to protect themselves. The mind takes over. Things get buried. Walls are built to protect you and in the process of keeping pain out, everything is kept out. It is the body's reaction to trauma. The emotions are not so easy to control because they are part of our character, part of who we are inside.

    Although I love my husband dearly and we've going on 23 years married, there is still a part of me he can never reach because of what happened to me so long ago. For you, when you fully understand what PTSD is and get to the point where you forgive yourself fully, not blame yourself for what happened, you will begin to see what has been walled up to protect you. Maybe I'm wrong and you don't blame yourself. It's just a guess from what I've read and a lot of experience. We are not to blame for loving, they are responsible for what they did to that love.
     
  11. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Welcome to the forum Kathie... well said and thanks for sharing such experience.
     
  12. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    Veiled: I think you misunderstood my first post. When I said I didn't want to remember I meant it as - who WOULD want the memories? But even in the first post I'm asking for help in doing so. Mostly because I feel that I've reached a plateau in my progress. And while I'm quite comfortable where I am now it's not where I want to be for the rest of my life. So, I must find something else to work with, and these buried memories seemed like a good starting point.

    Not sure why I feel my trauma is less than the other's. It just seems like it shouldn't have been such a big deal, and yet...here I am. I'm sure I would have cut myself some more slack had it been something that I would have classified as more serious. But, I am often too hard on myself so I'm not surprised I feel that way.

    I have less anger than you think...I'm not even sure why you say that I have a lot of anger. It's just easier for me to feel anger than saddness, but I'm hardly ever angry anymore.

    Hi Kathie - glad my post inspired you to pop on and share a bit of your story. Before PTSD I was quite a bit as you described - would jump right in to help, but was very sympathetic to others. LOL...not so much anymore, but I work on it.

    She Cat - well, actually I'm pretty sure I understand the why behind his actions. I'm a very hard woman to live with, and with him being unstable (obviously) to begin with I'm sure I didn't help matters. I don't blame myself for the attack. I blame myself for marrying him....but more in the sense that it was a mistake, and I fixed that mistake to the best of my ability.
     
  13. EmeraldRiver

    EmeraldRiver Member

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    Nevermind, I know what post you're referring to when you think I have anger issues. Please understand that that was 3 years ago now, so my personality has calmed down quite a bit. Nowadays I know that the counsellor just had no clue how to treat me, but back then it was quite frustrating...to say the least.
     
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