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New flashbacks from childhood

Discussion in 'Dissociation, Depersonalization & Derealization' started by T2L, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. T2L

    T2L Member

    Hi everyone. I don't know where else to turn at the moment.

    This past weekend I was doing my best to avoid a flashback. It's like the image/short clip would try to play but then I distracted myself enough. Well, I did the best I could but it was like "nope, you're not getting away that easy!" It brought my emotional defenses way down, so work on Monday was super stressful.i think normally I could have handled it, but I just hit my "I'm done" wall.

    I woke up yesterday irritated and angry. I wasnt angry at anything in the moment, so I think it was past anger I never felt. The images were constant and they wouldn't stop. I thought maybe it was clips of a previous event I knew about, but I confirmed it wasn't .. It was new. I luckily had therapy yesterday. It was the first time I ever read anything about any flashbacks. Unfortunately it was very fragmented, not complete sentences. I started going "fuzzy" while writing and my handwriting got more childlike... It was odd.

    Anyway, in theory I guess it's progress my mind is now "allowing" (aka forcing) me to deal with further incidents. It certainly doesn't feel like that right now. I'm bombarded with sudden thoughts of "you're too F-ed up, your friends deserve better..." And suicidal ideation (no plans). Logically I know it's just my mind's response to "just make the pain stop!"

    I put off negative coping skills for days until today. I was chugging along fine until this spontaneous new flashback... When it hits out of the blue, no immediate trigger I could connect it to, etc hits me much harder. I think it goes from "hey look, I'm doing better! Then BAM... Nope here we go again.

    Will it be like this forever? Will my brain just finally let it all go or does it *have* to process everything to move on? My therapist said I don't need to know everything, every event or every detail. That would be nice, but when new events pop up, I have no control over that. If only I could just "move on."

    I also hate and feel so embarrassed that in addition to feeling the past, anger, and other emotions I can't name...I then feel like I regress from a 30-something male to a child again. I hate it.

    I'm doing my best to sit here at work. At least I made it in, but I'm unsure if I can stay the whole day. No one knows at work I have PTSD and I doubt I'll share, but I...I dunno, lost my train of thought.

    Thank you for reading, even if this is disjointed. I just think the new random incidents that pop up out of the blue impact me much more these days than recurring ones I'm "used" to. It's like "here we go again...."

    I guess I'm feeling kind of hopeless and defeated right now. :( I hate this.... Why won't my brain just leave me alone.
    Junebug and AnD like this.
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  3. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    Hmm...Well for me, the flashbacks aren't processing per se, they only got better after processing in therapy. Of course we're all different, so I can't say what its going to be like for you.
  4. Hopeforlife

    Hopeforlife Active Member

    Hey @T2L I could almost have wrote your post. I have been back in therapy for 6 months just to deal with specific memories but they have just kept coming! Feeling like I have failed in therapy :( When I finally deal with one thing another thing surfaces. I’m exhausted. Just wanted you to know you are not alone. As what @eve said above everyone is different. I was almost symptomless for 15 years after being diagnosed in teenage years and doing therapy. So I hang on to the hope that I have been symptomless before so maybe it can happen again. We just got to work through it and see your therapist as your teacher. Learn as much coping skills as possible. :hug:
    Junebug likes this.
  5. Junebug

    Junebug I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I know. I woke up this morning feeling like awareness of all of it feels like self pity. Of course the end game intention is to get rid of it, but it doesn't leave me alone, but then how does that differ from being self-pitying or self absorbed when it keeps coming? :meh: Except that it's maybe self-anger more than self-pity. But nonetheless yes feels defeating. Since normal or greater stress doesn't stop, demands don't stop, but amidst it all is supposed to be 'life', connection, joy, things like feeling one has worth or being loved, contributing, having dreams or goals or a sense of peace or fulfillment. Being able to shake it off, or see the world through other eyes. not allow it to influence so much. Yes it feels like failure and emptiness and separation from what makes life, 'life'.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  6. Junebug

    Junebug I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    But @T2L I was thinking, progress seems nil if measured in cure and no symptoms at all, or no background noise. As others have said, yes it can wax and wane but it's peeling an onion. So I suppose (any) new realization itself can potentially be progress, though painful at first onset.

    Sometimes I simply default to offering it (mentally or from my being) for who needs it out there. Who knows . As others have said don't give up. :hug:
  7. T2L

    T2L Member

    Thank you for the replies you guys. I'm still trying to process this and haven't been able to fully respond yet, but I wanted to say I appreciate the support and listening ears. I think I was somewhat dissociated when I made the post because I barely remember writing all of that and I struggled with various levels of dissociation since the flashbacks started.

    Can you explain what you personally man by "processing" in therapy for you? Although this therapist is the best I've ever had and this is the most progress I've made...I still kind of feel lost or stuck. Maybe I'm just impatient. I naturally disconnect my emotions and can now write out multiple incidents in vivid details...I guess that's processing by getting it out of my head, but I still cannot get my mouth to physically read them out loud to her... Until this short one that is. I don't know how to "process" things if I can't even discuss it. It's like I want to, I want to process and move forward, but there's a disconnect between my brain and mouth.... It's like it's on the tip of my tongue ya know? Sorry, I'm rambling and I know "processing" is different for everyone, but I'm still trying to figure out what works for me.

    Thank you for sharing your experience, but I'm sorry you're having to go through it as well. It's nice to know we're not alone and can relate on some level. Like I said, I guess new flashbacks could equate to progress, when is it's painful. Maybe over time as we learn positive coping skills and distraction techniques, positive self talk, and grounding techniques, we can use them more readily whether it's an old or new flashback? That's my hope anyway. They say"practice makes perfect." No, nothing is perfect, but the more we practice positive techniques, the easier they should come in the moment. I don't know about you, but when the moment is very intense my mind blanks out and I can't think of any positive things to try. I've been told to put a list on the refrigerator to see (OCD won't allow thatt unfortunately). Anyway, I'm trying to remember to practice them even when I'm not having flashbacks or something. My hope is that in the moment, they'll pop up as positive options to try to either ground myself, or reduce harmful urges.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2018 at 1:18 AM
    Harmonics likes this.
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