Body memory/flashback after smoking cannabis?

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
Makes sense, and yeah, full time working in busy settings is a loot of extra stress on your plate.

Admirable and aall the cheers on both the work & Masters, but yes.

Your life and well being always come first, before school.

Good luck on tomorrow & hang in there. ;) *hi5*
 

Juso

MyPTSD Pro
Hey @Ronin , thanks so much for thinking of me.

I just came home from therapy and I am beyond exhausted. I will talk about this flashback stuff now and then I'm gonna take a break from talking about it for a while (its what me and my T think is the best thing to do in my current situation). I don't even know how I'm gonna be able to write it all down but I have to because I know my forgetful scatterbrain. And its important that I don't forget all of this.

I've never been this anxious, dissociated and dysregulated in my therapists office before. I felt like I was 12 or 13 years old after telling her about the flashback and my whole body was shaking violently, I felt like I couldn't breathe, I could barely finish my sentences. Suddenly I didn't even remember words like "teakettle", I was stuttering so much, it was very embarrassing. She could tell I was embarassed about it and she was so, so, so patient with me. She gently helped me to get back to the present with many clever techniques and remained completely calm during my breakdown, which helped me a great deal.
She asked me questions like "what is the size of your shoes", and then she asked me "what does the size of your shoes feel like?" and I was so shocked because I impulsively wanted to answer "duh, they feel just the way they are supposed to feel like", but I couldn't, because that wasn't true. I instinctively knew what shoe size I had, and it was the shoe size I had had when I was about 12 or 13 years old. She asked me where I lived and I answered her question and she said "no" and I then realized I had said the name of the street where I grew up. I've not lived there since 7 years. She helped me remember my current apartment, which was so grounding, because I love my current sun flooded apartment.

It took me about an hour until I wasn't shaking that violently anymore. And then we talked about a lot of memories that had started to flood my brain (I had remembered them before this session already, but they had never really made sense to me. They all come from a time period when I was about 12/13).

I began to sleep in a weird way at night when I was about 12 or 13 and I hated it. I often felt as if I was half awake and half asleep at the same time. In that state, it was as if I could only move and talk with great effort. To this day I struggle with this kind of dissociative sleep, and my (ex?dontknowyet)boyfriend has often told me that if I talk, I talk like a child when I'm in this state. He said I always hide under the blanket and that if he disturbs me, I get very aggressive. He said its scares him a lot because it feels as if he can't reach me. I am never quite conscious when it happens, so I can't really recall what I've said or done.

I started dissociating very badly when I was about this age, too. I remember seeing faces of other people through a tunnel, I remember that everything appeared to move faster around me.

I began to have an "evil voice" inside of my head that told me to kill myself and I was showing a lot of symptoms of OCD (especially regarding cleanliness of my private parts).

I began to wear swimming suits even when I was bathing at home in a locked bathroom. I completely avoided looking at my body. Before this flashback, I said to my T that back then, I pretended as if I didn't have a body.

At that age, I also started to hate hugging or kissing my dad because I was scared of sexually arousing him and feeling his...aroused genitals against my body. I even anxiously looked at his crotch after hugging him. UGH. I hate writing this down. This is still a problem that I'm dealing with, even though not to the same extent.

I also started to stage sex between Barbie and Ken and afterwards, I would throw Ken into a basket and close the lid and say "now he can't come out".

I drew naked men that were peeing.

I was regressing. I started to drink warm (cows) milk out of a bottle again. I sucked at the fingers of my mum and pretended that I was little. I secretly took my old pacifiers out of the cupboard and used them.

The thing is, most of my 11-15 year old past is wiped from my memory, which I always found weird. And today my therapist noticed that I almost only have access to feeling like that age again when I'm drugged (high or drunk), which is very true.
When I got drunk with my boyfriend and had sex with him one time, I felt as if I was 13 and suddenly panicked without being able to move or talk to say "stop". Later I cried in the bathroom, feeling horribly used even though my boyfriend would never hurt me in that way.
The first time I smoked weed I felt as if I was 13 years old, I felt so much shame without knowing why, and then later on, I began to feel unwanted bodily sexual arousal and masturbated without wanting to. I stopped inbetween when I managed to take control over my body but I couldn't control myself all the time. It felt horrible, almost like a violation, and I could never tell anyone about it.

*

Okay, I need to stop. This is dysregulating me again. I need to go to sleep, I feel as if I ran a f*cking marathon. I actually only had a one-hour session planned today, but my T was SO kind and simply extended the therapy so that in the end, we talked for 2 and a half hours??? Until I was completely regulated again? She is just awesome.

In the end, we put the flashback into a safe where it won't come out until we are ready to work on it during therapy (we have so much other stuff going on and I really don't want to explore this further right now).

Thanks so much for listening and caring.
 

Juso

MyPTSD Pro
Oh, and of course I told her about my suicidal thoughts. But we didn't have time to talk about them in more detail because my dysregulation got in the way. I'm not too worried about it right now though, and I'll see her again next week.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Hey, @Juso - sounds like you're working through this stuff in a very brave way, that's really excellent.

If it's useful at all -
I feel like the psychoactive weed could have made me feel as if it was a real flashback when in reality, I just created a false memory (I've heard you are more prone to making false memories when you've smoked cannabis).
This is a very common phenomenon. It's important to remember (as you are doing) that cannabis is a psychoactive drug. Also important to remember that - as much as growers try and control the plant, their CBD/THC ratios, all of it...you cannot know with certainty what ratios you're getting. So, there's a variable in how much THC you might be getting, and that's going to affect the potential for your mind to have an induced psychosis that you might not be able to distinguish from reality (like, a flashback/memory that feels completely real, but is inn fact, not at all)
I really need to know if I made this memory up, its important.
From a science-y perspective: it's entirely possible that you did.
The thing is, most of my 11-15 year old past is wiped from my memory, which I always found weird. And today my therapist noticed that I almost only have access to feeling like that age again when I'm drugged (high or drunk), which is very true.
This doesn't necessarily mean that the access you are having is reflecting real events. It's (frighteningly) easy to create a false internal narrative, and never be aware that it's false. People often have the experience in small ways...things like being 100% certain they told someone something, only to discover that they really didn't. They thought about telling; then forgot to, then remembered it as if they did.

Our brains are pretty amazing, and also pretty tricky.

I'm not saying that your memories are NOT true, I want to be super-clear about that. I'm only posting to say that, yeah - it's probably 50-50 odds that you're having false memories provoked. I'd most definitely proceed with caution, and be careful to have a good, open convo with your therapist about the differences between what you imagine you might have forgotten, vs. what might have happened, vs. what might be a product of drug-induced psychosis.

(Drug-induced psychosis is a very heavy phrase for something that's not always big, like PSYCHOSIS!!!!!! - it's just a way of acknowledging the powerful effect any psychogenic can have on the perception)
 

Juso

MyPTSD Pro
Hey @joeylittle , thanks a lot for your reply! I hope its okay if I answer only once and then try to move on from this, just because my T and I think its for the best in my current situation. I began to have problems with sleep now (can't fall asleep and wake up all often during the night) and I don't want to worsen those problems. I just don't wanna overthink this.

My T is against legalization because she knows that THC can induce psychosis. Thats what she told me last session. That said, she said she thinks its "very likely" that this was a real memory, given what I have told her about my past (there was always a reasonable suspicion) and that after the start of EMDR I began to have flashbacks and especially body memories that we know were real. And memories of me being that age almost always only come through when I'm drugged or half asleep. She suggested that I may have been in a semi-conscious state back then (something that I had thought of myself) but then stopped herself from saying more. She also emphasized that she of course can't say anything for sure and she also held back on a lot of stuff.

I don't believe it was a real memory. But I can't tell if thats me not wanting to believe it or me always doubting myself (which my T reminded me I always do even in regards to confirmed memories, has to do with the gaslighting of my mother) or if I just know that it wasn't real.

It doesn't matter to me in the end tbh. I just want to stop thinking about it.

Thanks again!♥️
 

Juso

MyPTSD Pro
Oh, I forgot to mention that I am completely aware of how easily you can create false memories. I'm in the process of becoming a therapist myself (studied Psychology and Neuroscience, now in my Neuropsychology Master) and I've read a lot about how brain function can be affected by and internal and external influences. ? That's probably another reason why I continue to feel quite skeptical regarding new flashbacks, especially under the influence of THC. I did have new flashbacks during the last months regarding other traumas, also under the influence of THC, which were later confirmed to be real by my mum, which doesn't make this easier. So this whole thing is basically a mess. Which is why I appreciate objective input, so thank you!
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I hope its okay if I answer only once and then try to move on from this, just because my T and I think its for the best in my current situation.
Of course it's ok. :) I'm glad you've got a solid working plan with your therapist, that's important. And it sounds like you're doing better, overall - which is really, the most important thing.
 
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