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Memories, Flashbacks And Dissociation

Discussion in 'Flashbacks & Dissociation' started by Anna, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Anna

    Anna VIP Member

    Recently memories have been coming back to me. Stuff that was so deeply hidden and now suddenly it is coming back to me. This is causing a lot of pain and the only way I seem to be able to get through it is via complete emotional numbing and dissociation.

    My trauma occured 18 years ago. The other abuse occured before. This is what is coming back. I was ok for the past 4 years and now it is like it is coming back really bad. I have started to isolate myself from people around me. Life carries on as normal, I feel like a robot on autopilot, but the pain is quite overwhelming.

    How can it be that after so many years of being fine and the trauma being so long ago, that this is suddenly happening to me again?
    Unstabletime, Nadia, Maze and 2 others like this.
  2. Muse

    Muse VIP Member

    I am sorry Anna. This is very hard. Yes, it is very hard to handle.
    ^^FlyingSolo^^ and Maze like this.
  3. 712xx

    712xx New Member

    :unsure: Understands. It is tough to think you've moved on with your life, the all of a sudden it comes back -- and sometimes things you've forgotten or haven't thought about for a while can surface again. It does so suck, and I'm sorry you are going through that. It happens to me when I have been so busy and forget everything except for what my next task is -- then when I have nothing, the things I've been blocking out while I was busy ... those things coming rushing in my mind and it can knock you down.

    I try to find things to occupy my mind ... you know, like those recent Occupy Movements that are trying to raise awareness for certain issues. I have come to call my way of coping to get me through these times I don't have much support or busy work -- Occupy Mind Tweet ... any bad memory, thought, feeling that surfaces I allow it to have a "tweet" ... write it down, then go do something else. If more follow that, I write those down as if I were typing a tweet, then go do something else. This helps a little bit.

    What would totally help is a 12hr a day, 4-5 day a week job, lol, but I do what I can till I find something better. :rolleyes: Hope you get to better days soon.
    ^^FlyingSolo^^, Anna and Muse like this.
  4. Muse

    Muse VIP Member

    Yes, it's not workaholism either, is it? I call is distraction or misdirection. If I look over here, I won't have to look over there, where the trauma is. People think I'm smart. I'm a college professor. If smart is just having to have distractions, then maybe that is smart. :)
  5. Muse

    Muse VIP Member

    Anna, you reminded me of another thing I'm learning about living with PTSD. There are times, like tonight, when my kids get into an argument, and I feel emotions like frustration, anger, and guilt. Feelings, negative ones, come with attachments to the childhood trauma I suffered. So even these emotions are haunted for me even in trivial contexts. Soon, I'm shaking and feel panicky, hyper-vigilant, and I'm sure something bad will happen.

    Then, as you reminded me, there are traumatic memories that seem to have lives of their own, complete with emotions, bodily sensations, sounds, sights, and more. These contain all of the trauma, sealed off, and they pop open and ooze. Suddenly, the hurt is "NOW!" and very real. It's like it just happened, or I am in the past. PTSD should be studied for the possibility of "time travel." :)

    So the fragmented, traumatic memories are the worst of it, but the emotions alone, they can floor me, no matter what trivial thing causes them.

    Seeing little girls who look like I did getting off the bus and walking after school puts me in a huge depression lately. It lasts maybe five minutes, but it's hell. This is a new thing this year, since the flashbacks.

    I wonder if they are going home to a place like I had to go home to. It darkens my mood and I can't even label the feeling. It's a visceral dread mixed with fear, and just "yucky." I don't know. What is that feeling? My stomach sinks down into my belly, and I feel sad and like I'm going to be sick. At the same time, I realize this kid may have it made. Why does every skinny, brown haired little girl have to have the same nightmaric home I had? I know it's ridiculous that seeing kids gets me this down and is this triggering. I just hope their lives are not like mine was.
  6. Zef

    Zef Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Anna,
    I don't have any advice, but you are not alone in your frustration. I have memories coming back from long ago and the symptoms from them may force me to stop working. I'm still fighting, but slowly losing, I think.

    I get angry. Haven't we paid our dues, already? I've lost my adult life to this crap, found a way to survive over time. . .and now it's here kicking my ass again? My life is being stolen again, all my hard work was for nothing, etc.

    I'm wondering if someone out there has gotten through to the other side of this and can give us some tips and tricks.
    Anna, 712xx, ericaboo and 1 other person like this.
  7. haunted4ever

    haunted4ever New Member

    As 712xx said, write it down as they come. I find that it helps to lessen the pain right then. Kinda like writing a phone number down, you tend to forget it quicker. Then later in the day, at a better time, you can read it and address the emotions/feelings. Don't know why it seems like it is happy right at that second, but then it is PTSD. Mine happened 16 yrs ago, and it is that way for me too.
    Anna and Zef like this.
  8. Robert D. Cubby

    Robert D. Cubby New Member

    You're right haunted4ever. Writing it down definitely helps me. It's like I took it and shelved it for consideration later. I don't need to hang onto it or stop what I'm doing to relive it. Right now I have about 12 pages of thoughts that have popped into my head since the incident, so there's a lot of memory being used up by this trauma. Seems to be easier using up paper than my memory.
    Zef likes this.
  9. crazytrain

    crazytrain New Member

    Hi everyone! I will throw my two cents in, maybe it will help someone. I, too, have periods where there seem to be a lot of flashbacks/dissociation. I actually have events/even days that I appear to have forgotten entirely. I believe that between the bad coping mechanisms I used in the past (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and the fact that I do not deal well with any strong emotional upheaval have led my mind to "shut down" at times to try and spare me any more of the pain of my childhood. I, unfortunately, have only been diagnosed with PTSD within the last few months, after 35+ years of re-living the abuse and trying to forget it by any means possible. I was always told to "suck it up" and "be a man" and other oh-so-helpful advice from my father, so to look to others for help was a sign of weakness. Now I know that the bravest thing I have ever done is to ask for help. Keep going to therapy, and if you haven't found a good counselor/therapist, keep looking! They are out there!
  10. 712xx

    712xx New Member

    Don't worry crazytrain (cute username... I thought about using runaway-train), guys are not the only ones who receive that "suck it up" message. Women get that too in the form of, "just get over it already". LOL, as if we are holding on to it because we want to. :O_o: I never understood why people would think that? It could be they don't really think ... and it just makes them uncomfortable; they don't know what to say or how to be helpful. Their attitude covers up their vulnerabilites. It is hard not to take it personally. It helps to develop self-love like an invisible shield to dampen any outside judgments.
    soulofLC and Muse like this.
  11. crazytrain

    crazytrain New Member

    Yeah, I've got some serious issues with my father. I think part of it is that he was just born int o a generation where you dealt with things by not really acknowledging them. If you can't see it, it's not really there, you know?
    Anna, soulofLC and 712xx like this.
  12. ericaboo

    ericaboo under reconstruction Staff Member Premium Member

    I got diagnosed with ADHD, and suddenly, this idea that the crap I endured from my family wasn't because I was "bad," released this horrible torrent of memories that I thought I had banished from my life. I consider myself a survivor and success story, but now all the fears, insecurities and horrible memories threaten to steal the successes away from me - I feel like I am a 40 year old little kid. Just trying to hold onto my job and sanity.

    I thought I was over this- now I'm having to learn a whole new set of coping skills.
    Zef and 712xx like this.
  13. crazytrain

    crazytrain New Member

    WOW! ME TOO! I turned 40 last year and still feel like a 5 year old boy in a lot of ways. My wife has to repeat things to me several times before I have a chance to forget whatever it is she said. (When I am actually LIVING with my wife, that is...). My decision making is sometimes a bit rash, so I have my own "special" checking account now...the joys of PTSD, eh?
    Unstabletime, Anna and ericaboo like this.
  14. 712xx

    712xx New Member

    Hey crazytrain, I hear there are creams for those rashes now -- clear it right up. :p
    crazytrain likes this.
  15. crazytrain

    crazytrain New Member

    You are not alone, Anna; we all have different stories to tell, but there are a lot of us that feel the same ways, cope the same ways...that's what I like about this forum. The feeling of community I feel from the people on this site is always reassuring to me. I hope it is for you,too.
    712xx likes this.
  16. crazytrain

    crazytrain New Member

    Yeah, thanks! If I could only find something for everything ELSE I have "wrong" with me, eh?
  17. Nadia

    Nadia Wish I could say all the things that I should say Premium Member

    The exact same thing is happening to me too. Getting flashbacks of events that I thought I had grew out of. The flashback only started recently. It is like the wound has opened and there is no way to close it again. Must be time to work through it, I guess.

    I dont work. I cant imagine me working now at all. I cant concentrate really and have constant anxiety even with the meds.

    Just yesterday I was triggered so bad I became like a little girl crying "stop it. stop it" I dont even know what THAT was about.... It's all mixed up with me. All the memories have dislodged themselves and I get flavours like emotional charges and really fast flashbacks, and then big time dissociations.

    Hang in there! You're not alone. ((((Anna))))
    Anna and 712xx like this.
  18. 712xx

    712xx New Member

    Hmmm, welp, give me a list (I'm great with lists), and maybe I can be your market assistant to find the cure that ails you. I'll shop around to find the right price for each thing -- no reason cures have to be expensive. Just like toys -- little kids & pets often havemore fun with the box and packing material rather than the toy. :) I prefer natural methods to what ails me (plus the journey to find them is nicer and more engaging as well).
  19. crazytrain

    crazytrain New Member

    Yes, so do I; that's why I like having a cat (about as natural as you can get). I am also looking into starting up a non-profit at some point using a combination of massage therapy, exercise (a variety), music therapy, art therapy and also just plain talking/sharing. Building a community, and sharing ideas/accomplishments with each other in order to help each other along the path of healing is what I am all about right now.

    I will have to get back to you about all the other stuff that is "wrong" with me!;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2014
    Unstabletime, 712xx and Chincho like this.
  20. Anna

    Anna VIP Member

    I used to keep journals, many years ago, but I burned the whole lot of them. It was part of the healing. It helped at the time. I guess maybe now it is time to readress and reorganise things a little in my head. For years I forgot the person I was.
    712xx likes this.
  21. ArieaAndersonSmith

    ArieaAndersonSmith New Member

    I have flashbacks of different things that happened to me in the past and when I do I lose sense of where I am can someone help me, PLEASE?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2014

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