Can I trust a flashback??

Smile

MyPTSD Pro
I’ve only started having flashbacks around 6 months ago. I’ve had PTSD for around 8 years.

My flashbacks are horrible but they’re helping me piece together my memories, which I want.

Last night I had a stomach curdling atrocious flashback. It was so bad (& inconceivable to me) that I immediately googled how I can know whether a flashback is real.

I’ve never thought of a scenario like this so I don’t see how it could’ve come from my subconscious but it’s so disgusting and inconceivable to me that I don’t believe it.

Anyone else experienced this?? Advice please… Thank you and hope you’re all doing well :-)
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
So what does that mean for me?
I'm not sure if I'm qualified to say. Trauma can mess with our memories and have you ever had psychosis? It's difficult to comment without knowing more details. Even though flashbacks are horrible it's also part of the healing process in terms of how you deal with that, the thoughts and emotions associated with it.

What triggered you? Because flashbacks usually happen when your triggered by something. Sometimes I can't tell the difference between flashbacks and bad memories.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I have had memories come back in a variety of ways. Sometimes initially through dreams and then overtime it works out it is a memory. Other times in visuals (which I suppose are flashbacks). Sometimes through other ways, like emotions I think.

Before I started having these dreams in my 20's I would have said I never experienced sexual violence. It shook me. I didn't know what to make of the dreams. We're they dreams? We're they memories? What was it? But when I started to unlock things, there was always this "knowing/not knowing" thing going on.

What do you think it is?
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i feel flashbacks like nightmares i have while i am awake. they are very real and terrifying, but i do not trust them to be accurate. with much support from my psych pros, i treat them like psychotic episodes which are often worth unpacking but far from gospels of truth.
 

Smile

MyPTSD Pro
I have had memories come back in a variety of ways. Sometimes initially through dreams and then overtime it works out it is a memory. Other times in visuals (which I suppose are flashbacks). Sometimes through other ways, like emotions I think.

Before I started having these dreams in my 20's I would have said I never experienced sexual violence. It shook me. I didn't know what to make of the dreams. We're they dreams? We're they memories? What was it? But when I started to unlock things, there was always this "knowing/not knowing" thing going on.

What do you think it is?
I feel the same way you describe. I feel like I’m in that in between place of remembering & fighting to believe myself

i feel flashbacks like nightmares i have while i am awake. they are very real and terrifying, but i do not trust them to be accurate. with much support from my psych pros, i treat them like psychotic episodes which are often worth unpacking but far from gospels of truth.
I’ve never had a psychotics episode

I'm not sure if I'm qualified to say. Trauma can mess with our memories and have you ever had psychosis? It's difficult to comment without knowing more details. Even though flashbacks are horrible it's also part of the healing process in terms of how you deal with that, the thoughts and emotions associated with it.

What triggered you? Because flashbacks usually happen when your triggered by something. Sometimes I can't tell the difference between flashbacks and bad memories.
Never had psychosis. The person in the flashback is someone who hurt me. It’s not coming out of thin air. But what he did here… it’s unimaginable. So I immediately tell myself that I must of made it up…

is that clearer?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I feel the same way you describe. I feel like I’m in that in between place of remembering & fighting to believe myself
I've been there: the fighting yourself. Am prob still a bit there, but also I do fundamentally know that all that happened did actually happen.

It's amazing the level the mind goes to totally wipe out memories. But , whilst that clearly helped at the time to survive and protect the self, because it comes back in such a confusing way and because denial of reality was so complete: it then creates this total confusion about what is real, what isn't, what is a memory, what isn't, is it made up? What is it?
Thing is: no one can say. Other than you.
It just takes time to work that out.

Like @Survivor3 says, do you have a T? It really helped me to work it all through and build confidence in my knowledge of what happened (and then even more memories came back....)
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I trust my flashbacks. That doesn’t mean I need to give weight to them. I have far fewer now than a couple of years ago but they tended to focus on aspects - not imagine but focus- sometimes this was an innocuous aspect but it would just ‘be there’ with all the emotions. Sometimes it was hyper focus on the worst aspects which felt they were magnified. This makes me feel stupid for doubting myself or being passive or confused. I do not get ‘big picture’ flashbacks .


I think this is something to take to a professional to help you through. The ‘unimaginable’ part of trauma is a commonly experienced thing but that doesn’t make it easier, quite the contrary.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I think that because of the Executive Dysfunction trauma causes we tend not to trust our memories in the present.

It also makes us believe we can't trust earlier memories.

Funny though, all that stuff that floated to the surface between therapy sessions led to the real memories. As much as I questioned them all the pieces fit. As much as I didn't want to believe it, they were true.
 
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