Flashback patterns?

Widow_of_one

MyPTSD Pro
I have been having the same “somatic Fb” for about a year now. It is always the same symptoms. During the day today I had a memory about the 1 week in September (sophomore year) the most popular guy in school liked me. Is this “memory about him” a reference to the date that the “FB somatic” took place?
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe. Piecing that stuff together can be so frustrating! And rewarding. And potentially retraumatizing.

My experience with my own flashbacks has been that they can't properly assimilate into my working memory because there is nothing to anchor them properly (like time lines or connections with a more global event). Or I couldn't figure out what I was actually supposed to feel about the event. Was it good? Bad? Safe? Not safe? What if it happens again? Is it life and death? My brain just had so many overwhelming things floating around in it that they would hit me over and over again until I figured out what it meant to me so it could be filed away properly.

Sometimes I would get these crazy references and I would think to myself - how on earth is that connected to this? And many times it wasn't in any malevolent way. There was a connection somehow I would realize in retrospect, but it didn't necessarily mean that 'he' was part of the bad.

Give yourself time and try not to take it too seriously if you can. Otherwise the brain spins and that isn't good for anybody....especially yourself.
 

Widow_of_one

MyPTSD Pro
I had a similar experience during a “flashback (FB) I heard the word “veterinarian” I was like ok I will write it down and sure enough months later I realized that that is what my grandfather would tell me to pacify me and lure me. I agree when you say you have got to Figure out what was going on during the flashback - mostly bad stuff!! When I figure out what was happening I will typically see “a visual flashback”. It is painful to go through this “process” which is what I call it “the process” - an innate mechanism that humans have for healing trauma they suffered through.
Also, I have been having the somatics from a flashback that won’t “reveal” itself until “I remebered” all of the components Involved. Makes sense when u think about it? If I didn’t Remeber the “participants” first I might have needed up in the hospital!!!
the “participants” turned out to be: my grandfather
His male friends
My grandmother
His 2 sons
And my mother - were all involved!
once I had all of the participants the “FB dragged” became more “pronounced?” (Not sure what the correct word for this is)...

My experience with my own flashbacks has been that they can't properly assimilate into my working memory because there is nothing to anchor them properly (like time lines or connections with a more global event)
I wish I knew because it seems like flashbacks that I had 10 years ago were forgotten. It scares me to read my 10 year old diaries and not Remeber what I wrote! And how do I get this into my”permanent memory”. Thank you for your insights I appreciate it greatly!!
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
And how do I get this into my”permanent memory”.
My flashbacks have changed now. I am not quite sure what to call them anymore because they aren't dropping me but rather I will get a memory that comes but rather than just being a random thought that I react to they now come with a timeline. The best that I can tell is that when that memory can become 'historical' (aka with a timeline that allows me to understand that it is not happening now), the memory seems to e filed into permanent memory. Of course, I am not a professional so there is no authority in that but my T keeps reminding me when I speak about memories like this that if I can put some time references into the memory it will become a memory rather than a flashback.

Wishing you all the best in your healing @Widow_of_one.
 

Widow_of_one

MyPTSD Pro
My flashbacks have changed now. I am not quite sure what to call them anymore because they aren't dropping me but rather I will get a memory that comes but rather than just being a random thought that I react to they now come with a timeline. The best that I can tell is that when that memory can become 'historical' (aka with a timeline that allows me to understand that it is not happening now), the memory seems to e filed into permanent memory. Of course, I am not a professional so there is no authority in that but my T keeps reminding me when I speak about memories like this that if I can put some time references into the memory it will become a memory rather than a flashback.

Wishing you all the best in your healing @Widow_of_one.
Aren’t dropping me?
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Yes, I used to go catatonic (aka full freeze) with each of my flashbacks. Flashbacks led to dissociation. Dissociation was life threatening for me. That is why it was so critical to deal with the dissociation.
 

Widow_of_one

MyPTSD Pro
As an aside, I will have a cluster of memories that I have not had in 30 years. Right now I was thinking about my college friend s and how I had a crush on his brother. S married an ex roommate of mine T and are very happy. I see myself talking to his brother when suddenly an old painful memory comes up when in parked my moms car at their house and had my moms expensive hubcap stolen - it could have only been removed with a tool! Coincidentally they owned 10 car companies and of course one of them was the make of my moms car. Suddenly NOW I feel “crying” in my chest as if finally after 40 years I am processing that long ago quasi-important event. This has been happening a lot!!

Yes, I used to go catatonic (aka full freeze) with each of my flashbacks. Flashbacks led to dissociation. Dissociation was life threatening for me. That is why it was so critical to deal with the dissociation.
It seems like you are doing well in terms of your progress. I have noticed that my “flashbacks” aren’t being interstates into my permanent memory! Ok I will try o think of timelines or global events
 

Friday

Moderator
My flashbacks tend to come in themes related to what’s going on in my life... transitions, failing to act, etc.... except for the out of the blue triggers.

My intrusive thoughts/memories, on the other hand, are a complete clusterf*ck. Much like anything landing on any point in a spider web makes the whole thing shake. One thought? Leads to 8 more. Leading to 64 more. Leading to... Oh STFU. :banghead:
 

Widow_of_one

MyPTSD Pro
My flashbacks tend to come in themes related to what’s going on in my life... transitions, failing to act, etc.... except for the out of the blue triggers.

My intrusive thoughts/memories, on the other hand, are a complete clusterf*ck. Much like anything landing on any point in a spider web makes the whole thing shake. One thought? Leads to 8 more. Leading to 64 more. Leading to... Oh STFU. :banghead:
Me too! I call them “re-rememories” and I will write them down one right after another after another - back to back to back so that I can “see“ the progression. Many had nothing to do with being sexually abused as a kid. Some end with me Remebering a “non-sexual trauma”. For example, Mike c. I was like what the hell my best friend dated him in 10th grade for 3 weeks! That is when I “re-rememberEd” that I was sitting in front of her when he made his usual Friday night call. And he broke up with her - suddenly I “re-experienced” the sorrow I felt for her getting dumped.
I think that these “random memories” are lesser known “flashback types” they are “negatively charged” aka “emotions”. An emotion is a physical injury - pain in your body that once “processed” brings you to the next phase/stage: having a change of feelings. For example, a wife is punched by her husband. She goes back to him. Of course she goes back to him she is so “numb” her body is injured by the “physical pain” but because it isn’t “processed” she goes back to him. And probably “forgets” (aka amnesia) the incident entirely.
I used to dismiss these “baby flashbacks” but I realized that my entire life seems to be “unprocessed” not just my “sex based relationships” (ie boyfriend) which is what I thought happened. Suddenly I have “baby flashbacks” of a guy I went on 3 dates! This is another great example, many years ago I dated a guy “dave m” and broke up with him after 3 dates. No biggie for me I went about my life. 2 months later I am walking down the grocery isle at Shoprite (where I worked) when he and his new girlfriend jump in front of me smiling and happy. At the time I was so happy that he found someone yet when I went home at night for 1 week I was suspicious that he did this to hurt me! 34 years later I have a “CTd” - what I call a “connect the dots” meaning it was a set up!! Again another “baby trauma” healed!

I think these “baby flashbacks” are very important and you are right sometimes they come one after another after another in rapid succession and it is tiring!!! But I see there value.
 
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