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If You Repressed/suppressed Your Trauma, What Triggered Your Memories To Return?

Discussion in 'PTSD Polls' started by PurpleHope, May 29, 2012.

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If you repressed/suppressed your trauma, what triggered your memories to return?

  1. Becoming an adult/independent (around 18)

    18.4%
  2. Becoming independent (late 20's - early 30's)

    14.2%
  3. Another traumatic event/situation

    49.6%
  4. Learning of someone else's trauma

    13.5%
  5. Pregnancy/Birth of or caring for a child/granchild

    7.8%
  6. Marriage

    3.5%
  7. Death of abuser

    5.0%
  8. Death of loved one

    7.1%
  9. Some other trigger related to the event/situation (ie. news, movies, books, etc)

    44.0%
  10. Not applicable (please explain)

    9.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. PurpleHope

    PurpleHope New Member

    I'm curious as to what others have experienced. Please feel free to share as much or as little as you'd like. I apologize if none of the categories apply to you, please feel free to write what your specific experience was regardless of what happened to you and how your memories returned.

    My memories of CSA started resurfacing when I was 30. I was in a healthy non-abusive relationship for the first time. I felt safe for the first time ever. Out of the blue the flashbacks became very clear and my other PTSD symptoms started getting far worse 6 months after we got married. I was also 5.5 months pregnant and had just found out that we were expecting a girl.
    safenow, nimkekaa, missmary and 3 others like this.
  2. BigBear

    BigBear VIP Member Premium Member

    Some thoughts:
    • You repressed the memories originally because accepting them would have killed you at that point. Now your psyche has become stronger and remembering them is not fatal even though it is very painful.
    • You got PTSD, where others have not that suffered equivalent trauma. Were you weaker? No! But you had no support to help with managing as others had. Now you do, so you can afford to remember.
    • When you have PTSD, you may not remember or be yet diagnosed but you do suffer, as do those around you.
      • The human race is designed to protect the children. Those how do not have this, have reverted to an animal state.
      • Once you became pregnant, the ways that you endangered your own child overrode the self preservation instinct. Seeing her child in danger, a real woman will gather it to her though bullets and bayonets shred her body. A real man in that situation will say to the attacker, "before you touch my child, you must kill me and I will do everything in my power to take you with me!"
    rainy_daze, SCR5star, NIKI and 10 others like this.
  3. sleeping1

    sleeping1 New Member

    I repressed the memories of CSA until I was 18 and out of the house. I was in a Church meeting when they all flooded back. The SA with my mom I tried to ignore as long as I could.
    nimkekaa, gizmo, Srain and 1 other person like this.
  4. Lionheart777

    Lionheart777 Lion-hearted Survivor Premium Member

    (Someone who looked like one of the abuse perps was the trigger for my first memory;... a dark-headed stranger on a motorcycle). Unfortunately once in therapy I uncovered the truth that I had been severely abused over a long period of time and had many traumatic events in my life by multiple abuse perps.

    The biggest triggers for me now, are situations in which I have no control as it brings back memories and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Being in a crowd of men sometimes causes me to feel overwhelmed. However, I've been in therapy for a number of years now and when I am triggered I can recognize it as a painful but basically harmless memory from the past.
  5. Youngmom

    Youngmom New Member

    When I went to my mother's for Thanksgiving, and her husband was cutting up the turkey, he pulled out this huge kitchen knife and I had to dash out of the room. Anytime I see a kitchen knife this happens, or when I see any blood.

    We have one kitchen knife at my house and my boyfriend cut the tip off of it and I can use it! and it doesn't bother me at all! For the first time in almost 5 years I can cut my own steak and potatoes! But unfortunatly there are knives in the world and they will always make me think about it.
    NIKI, safenow, nimkekaa and 3 others like this.
  6. bright_morning

    bright_morning Active Member

    I voted for multiple scenarios because I was originally triggered to remember by becoming independent around 19 yo. I initially remembered one event of CSA, But the story didn't end there. Later through subsequent traumas, marriage, and the birth of my first son many more memories were triggered.

    I finally have the whole picture and as it turns out suffered from years of ritual abuse. It's been a long, strange journey to the truth and clarity. I am now working on accepting that it happened and managing/minimizing symptoms.
    nimkekaa, gizmo and Srain like this.
  7. fairywings

    fairywings New Member

    A traumatic event which was being raped at 20 by a church member.

    Also going to church because I experienced ritual abuse . I'm spiritual and I love God. It's just churches that spin me around.

    Before that happened I never knew what panic was or all this other stuff.
  8. Srain

    Srain "Please don't tell me not to cry." Premium Member

    I got sober and clean, eventually through working my program and in therapy while in abusive relationships things began to reveal themselves - others saw me first, the abused child in me - my mother, when asked confirmed what I began to remember. It was one step in many.
  9. Jen93

    Jen93 VIP Member

    Reading a short story in English class grade 11 triggered my first event memories. Bullying in the news and my friends huge anxiety attack in school one day triggered my next event memories. My largest trigger for the first event triggered memories of my next event.
    nimkekaa likes this.
  10. squirtsmom

    squirtsmom New Member

    My memories came exploding back after my confidant died. I started having night terrors that would wake me up from a sound sleep. CSA starting at age 6 years old.:cry:
    safenow and nimkekaa like this.
  11. Chincho

    Chincho VIP Member Premium Member

    My memories came suddenly back while I was doing some Catholic spiritual exercises. These exercises require that you look deep into yourself and I guess I looked too deep.
  12. Jen93

    Jen93 VIP Member

    Whoa...That statement.... that's deep right there. Really deep. :O_o:
    safenow, nimkekaa and Chincho like this.
  13. cat

    cat VIP Member

    I think mine was triggered by pure exhaustion. In the previous year I'd got divorced, my mother died, son got married, brother diagnosed with leukemia, I was diagnosed with heart problem & I moved house to live on my own - not much really!
    safenow and nimkekaa like this.
  14. Oasis616

    Oasis616 New Member

    Interestingly enough, mine was triggered by the most unlikely of situations: a one-night-stand. It wasn't the act itself that triggered it was the calloused, indifferent, "whatever, I got what I wanted" behavior post-action of the other indivdual which set things off (bear in mind pre and post this incident, I had never had a "willing" one-night-stand).
    safenow and nimkekaa like this.
  15. Bimble

    Bimble New Member

    Mine were triggered again recently by the exposure to the site where I had my accident last year. I never really realised I was suppressing my thoughts and feelings at the time, until they all spilled out at the same time, causing me to blackout and have the most horrendous flashbacks.

    I am working with a support worker to try and overcome my thoughts and feelings associated with the buildings and site where it happened, by regular visits, but in a way they are actually causing me more anxiety and stress than if I just stopped trying and accepted that I actually feel better not being there and experiencing it all over again.
    nimkekaa likes this.
  16. Zef

    Zef Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Mine started when we found child porn on a client's computer. I reported it to the police and also had to force the company who owned the computer to also report. That afternoon, I had my first fragments of my CSA.
    safenow and nimkekaa like this.
  17. jimmy-joe

    jimmy-joe New Member

    I watch them like video clips, when I can find them. It's become comforting for some reason, I can think better, I think it's because my adrenaline kicks in and I go back to normal.
    nimkekaa likes this.
  18. I didn't own up the fact that I had been traumatized until my best friend started having intense flashbacks this past January. Until then, I had gotten really good at distracting myself and was in deep denial about my abuse.
    nimkekaa and Zef like this.
  19. Loveneverfails

    Loveneverfails VIP Member

    My memories were triggered by reading books about recovering from abuse and therapy. The more examples I read, the more my own feelings resurfaced and the memories came along after. It's always been that way it seems. First I feel, then I remember, never at the same time. I think I had to also reach a level of independence in my own mind where uncovering these memories was possible. The more distance I had between me and the abusers, the more they resurfaced.
    nimkekaa and Mcll like this.
  20. Venusian

    Venusian VIP Member Premium Member

    Last year I moved and was on my own for the first time in my life and didn't have anyone else to look after, I was 46. I then began to have have allergy symptoms that turned into being diagnosed with asthma. It was during the months before being diagnosed that the flashbacks started and the memories began to flood back. It was the sensation of my breath being cut off that did it and not having to put my own needs on the back burner.
    gizmo, nimkekaa and Zef like this.
  21. Ruckster

    Ruckster VIP Member Premium Member

    My memories tumbled out of storage when my boss said things to me exactly like my attacker said to me... same tone, same attitude, and nearly the exact same wording.
    gizmo, nimkekaa and Zef like this.
  22. Wanda

    Wanda New Member

    Mine was triggered when my boss harrassed and belittled me saying "I'm ineffective" one of my first molesters said that....had several family members including my dad molest me.
    nimkekaa likes this.
  23. Privateer

    Privateer Well-Known Member

    Being involved in a search and rescue mission after a 'pane crash. Don't know why, but something snapped and all kinds of stuff came back.
    gizmo and nimkekaa like this.
  24. Charmedone

    Charmedone Multiple personalities and they all hate you! Premium Member

    I was working too hard with several families. Leading up to remembering, one person I work with told me about an incident that happened to them and through post natal depression a mum i was working with was neglecting her baby (which is why they called me to go in and help). Then a client was driving with me in the car and we were in a nasty crash...that was it everything came back :(
    gizmo and nimkekaa like this.
  25. Mogwai

    Mogwai New Member

    When I drink alcohol the trauma rushes to the forefront of my brain. It got so bad that I had to quit drinking altogether.
    gizmo and nimkekaa like this.

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