Childhood Flashbacks after being stable

RNrecovery

Learning
Hello- I am new here. I am a nurse in a leadership role. I have stable relationships and an wonderful wife (I’m a woman as well). I was lucky to get some pretty fantastic therapy in my late teens/early 20s. I worked really hard and an outsider wouldn’t know that I still struggle with flashbacks. I have accepted that some of my trauma will still affect me but I have the skills to manage it.

2020 was hard on me and lead me back to therapy. To be clear- I am not working on a COVID unit but COVID added a new level of stress to my work and life.

Recently I had a really intense flashback during intimacy. I am so frustrated because I thought I had this handled. I didn’t think I needed help with this part of my trauma. I’m disappointed in myself to have this pop up.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I’m curious about your current age. My flashbacks and such came back in my mid 40’s which I read is common in peri-menopause for survivors. My particular situation was set off by stressors and a bad chain of events at work—but the actual flashbacks were of csa and late teen rape. I personally think that my hormonal shifts helped bring it into a perfect storm of yuck. Because I had never had therapy after my original traumas, this felt like a perfect storm. I’m hoping that with your prior therapy, you will be back to your normal self soon.
 

Friday

Moderator
I’m disappointed in myself to have this pop up.
Might as well tell a diabetic to be disappointed in their pancreas themselves, when they’re doing everything right but still have a sudden spike outta the blue one day. Or an asthmatic to be disappointed in themselves for needing to use their rescue inhaler. 😉

Nothing to be disappointed in yourself for. Truly.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel ya. I was virtually asymptomatic for over a decade. I thought I’d had, past tense, a perky little case of PTSD way back when. Not anymore. LeSigh. Nope. I was “just” (yay!) exquisitely managing it. My entire life was built in a way to absorb, reflect, redirect, stress & symptoms ...& keeping my own self lively, vivacious, challenged, thrilled, balanced... most stress & symptoms managed before they could even get a glint in their eye across a crowded room, much less strike their way across it to come at me. What few others managed to make eye contact? Pfft. Sorted before they could even take a step in my direction, 99/100. I didn’t know any of this, until retrospect made it clear as day, because I simply loved my life. It was set up perfectly for me.

Until KABOOM! I had a whole bunch of things happen at once, and all my unprocessed trauma & formerly managed stress/symptoms flooded back into my life, again. Not just a single spike (which happened once in a blue moon), or funk to rearrange things a bit to crawl out of, but my legs kicked out from underneath me.

This disorder? Is cyclic & reactive. (Come to find, darn it. Didn’t know that the first time through.) That I was managing the cycles and stress so seamlessly before a whole lotta stuff went wrong? Didn’t mean In ever have brief flare ups. It’s that I handled them so swiftly I usually didn’t even notice them. It wasn’t until things got baaaaaaad all over again, that I had the, ah, opportunity??? <cough> To look back and see what worked, and how, and to purposefully start rearranging my life back to stability and exquisite management. And to work on old trauma I thought long buried (unfortunately, it actually was. Rather than processed and a non-issue. Doh.) To do on purpose, this time round, what happened organically the last time.

This (below) is one of the BEST tools for that.

 

RNrecovery

Learning
I’m curious about your current age. My flashbacks and such came back in my mid 40’s which I read is common in peri-menopause for survivors. My particular situation was set off by stressors and a bad chain of events at work—but the actual flashbacks were of csa and late teen rape. I personally think that my hormonal shifts helped bring it into a perfect storm of yuck. Because I had never had therapy after my original traumas, this felt like a perfect storm. I’m hoping that with your prior therapy, you will be back to your normal self soon.
Thank you for your response. I am just about in my mid 40s. I wouldn't be surprised if hormones play a part. This year has certainly been a rough one at work. Over and above the COVID stress we had a shooting and I had someone follow me to my car threatening me. I have had worse things happen at work but when I added three deaths in the family, COVID stress, and a family friend's death from COVID- it was like my reserves went out the window.

My flashbacks are about a variety of things but the CSA flashbacks have probably been the most disconcerting. I have rarely addressed the CSA in therapy, and focused on skills to deal with the aftermath. I have a newish therapist now and feel a bit weak that I need to talk to her.
 

RNrecovery

Learning
Might as well tell a diabetic to be disappointed in their pancreas themselves, when they’re doing everything right but still have a sudden spike outta the blue one day. Or an asthmatic to be disappointed in themselves for needing to use their rescue inhaler. 😉

Nothing to be disappointed in yourself for. Truly.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel ya. I was virtually asymptomatic for over a decade. I thought I’d had, past tense, a perky little case of PTSD way back when. Not anymore. LeSigh. Nope. I was “just” (yay!) exquisitely managing it. My entire life was built in a way to absorb, reflect, redirect, stress & symptoms ...& keeping my own self lively, vivacious, challenged, thrilled, balanced... most stress & symptoms managed before they could even get a glint in their eye across a crowded room, much less strike their way across it to come at me. What few others managed to make eye contact? Pfft. Sorted before they could even take a step in my direction, 99/100. I didn’t know any of this, until retrospect made it clear as day, because I simply loved my life. It was set up perfectly for me.

Until KABOOM! I had a whole bunch of things happen at once, and all my unprocessed trauma & formerly managed stress/symptoms flooded back into my life, again. Not just a single spike (which happened once in a blue moon), or funk to rearrange things a bit to crawl out of, but my legs kicked out from underneath me.

This disorder? Is cyclic & reactive. (Come to find, darn it. Didn’t know that the first time through.) That I was managing the cycles and stress so seamlessly before a whole lotta stuff went wrong? Didn’t mean In ever have brief flare ups. It’s that I handled them so swiftly I usually didn’t even notice them. It wasn’t until things got baaaaaaad all over again, that I had the, ah, opportunity??? <cough> To look back and see what worked, and how, and to purposefully start rearranging my life back to stability and exquisite management. And to work on old trauma I thought long buried (unfortunately, it actually was. Rather than processed and a non-issue. Doh.) To do on purpose, this time round, what happened organically the last time.

This (below) is one of the BEST tools for that.

That is an interesting way to visualize it. I know that the ongoing stress has for sure made things flare up. I appreciate hearing from people who "had it handled" and found things flared up. There's a part of me that knows I can get back on track and another part that is just mad that I still have to deal with this.

It's funny you mentioned the asthma. I have severe asthma and am always judging myself when I need an inhaler, lol
 

RNrecovery

Learning
Might as well tell a diabetic to be disappointed in their pancreas themselves, when they’re doing everything right but still have a sudden spike outta the blue one day. Or an asthmatic to be disappointed in themselves for needing to use their rescue inhaler. 😉

Nothing to be disappointed in yourself for. Truly.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel ya. I was virtually asymptomatic for over a decade. I thought I’d had, past tense, a perky little case of PTSD way back when. Not anymore. LeSigh. Nope. I was “just” (yay!) exquisitely managing it. My entire life was built in a way to absorb, reflect, redirect, stress & symptoms ...& keeping my own self lively, vivacious, challenged, thrilled, balanced... most stress & symptoms managed before they could even get a glint in their eye across a crowded room, much less strike their way across it to come at me. What few others managed to make eye contact? Pfft. Sorted before they could even take a step in my direction, 99/100. I didn’t know any of this, until retrospect made it clear as day, because I simply loved my life. It was set up perfectly for me.

Until KABOOM! I had a whole bunch of things happen at once, and all my unprocessed trauma & formerly managed stress/symptoms flooded back into my life, again. Not just a single spike (which happened once in a blue moon), or funk to rearrange things a bit to crawl out of, but my legs kicked out from underneath me.

This disorder? Is cyclic & reactive. (Come to find, darn it. Didn’t know that the first time through.) That I was managing the cycles and stress so seamlessly before a whole lotta stuff went wrong? Didn’t mean In ever have brief flare ups. It’s that I handled them so swiftly I usually didn’t even notice them. It wasn’t until things got baaaaaaad all over again, that I had the, ah, opportunity??? <cough> To look back and see what worked, and how, and to purposefully start rearranging my life back to stability and exquisite management. And to work on old trauma I thought long buried (unfortunately, it actually was. Rather than processed and a non-issue. Doh.) To do on purpose, this time round, what happened organically the last time.

This (below) is one of the BEST tools for that.

I wrote you a thoughtful response and somehow deleted it. I like the link you shared. It is a nice visual. I know that the overflowing stress is a big part of this. I am trying to see this as an "opportunity" as well. Maybe I can come out on the other side better than I was before? That feels like a bunch of BS most days. Most days I just want my life back. But I know that is a bit self centered because most of the world feels like that right now.

Thank you for sharing. It helps to hear from people who have had a similar experiences. I feel bad reading so many of the posts because I remember being in the first round of the crisis stage. I don't want to even compare what I am going through to that level of pain. But it can get lonely going through this.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
. I have had worse things happen at work but when I added three deaths in the family, COVID stress, and a family friend's death from COVID- it was like my reserves went out the window.


the objectively ‘worse things’ perspective is not really useful. We use it in society and professionals use it in diagnosis- but I strongly feel ‘worse’ is subjective.

for example - someone can receive a ‘worse hit’ to their body than another person but not have say - the brittle bone disease that other person has - so suffer far less.

we can receive the same blow at different stages in life and be more or less impacted by it depending what state and stage we are in ( age, physical and mental health and whether or not we have support) .

the trauma that finally triggered PTSD for me was ‘objectively’ the least worst of those I suffered but hurt me the most for various Reasons.

Here is something my T reminds me of - would you judge another ad harshly as you are judging yourself here? Why are you expected to be superhuman? And - this one might be a bit ouchy if it lands/ is there a superiority thing going on that you should be better than feeling trauma over this/ using your inhaler? The superiority thing always brings me down with a bump because it makes me realise I’m setting unrealistic expectations on myself and therefore inadvertently judging those around me:( .

you experienced great remission. You’ve loads to be proud of. This last year and a half has been wretched especially for your profession. That stress cup might be refilling anytime you get to take something out of it 🌷
 
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