No one takes my nightmares and flashback seriously or seems to believe them

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
I've had a few rape nightmares recently and I also had a flashback of grandad holding me down on a bed me saying stop stop, the duvet disappearing and then only seeing part of my bare arm with one of his hands on the wrist I could see. And my vagina throbbing. I believe the flashback was real and since I've had dreams before about abuse I remember I think I may have been raped but it seems like cause I have no memory of these things no one takes me seriously or believes it.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
as one who has dealt with entirely too much of my own trauma induced amnesia, i am utterly convinced that emerging memories are extremely vulnerable to the power of suggestion and can gaslight with the greatest of ease. i don't probe much when a sibling-in-healing is struggling with an episode of this nature for that very reason and that reason, alone.

for what it's worth
several of my own repressed memories began emerging, but they were dream manifestations, not digital replays. i have experienced rape trauma, but in my own nightmares, i believe rape represents a loss of power far more than the physical trauma. just believing. proof unavailable.
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
as one who has dealt with entirely too much of my own trauma induced amnesia, i am utterly convinced that emerging memories are extremely vulnerable to the power of suggestion and can gaslight with the greatest of ease. i don't probe much when a sibling-in-healing is struggling with an episode of this nature for that very reason and that reason, alone.

for what it's worth
several of my own repressed memories began emerging, but they were dream manifestations, not digital replays. i have experienced rape trauma, but in my own nightmares, i believe rape represents a loss of power far more than the physical trauma. just believing. proof unavailable.
No one suggested I was raped when I had the first nightmare and with any other nightmares. I had a flashback of being held down which I believe to be real and a sexual abuse counsellor said in her experience flashbacks are real cause if they weren't why would you have a flashback. He wasn't holding me down for no reason and I could only see my arm at one point but something must have happened.
 

Sideways

Moderator
no one takes me seriously or believes it.
To challenge this cognitive distortion, perhaps break it down a bit.

The things that you've started multiple threads on relate to these 2 things:
I've had a few rape nightmares
I think I may have been raped
What does "taking it seriously" look like for you?

Certainly here on the forum, for a person without ptsd (this is a ptsd peer support forum), you've had numerous empathetic responses to your distress.

Beyond empathy for your distress, what would "taking it seriously" include?

Because, IME, there's not much more than empathy that can be offered, particularly in respect to "I may have..." statements.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
No one suggested

nor was i implying knowledge of other conversations you have had. simply stating my own, strictly personal experience. please believe me.

steadying support while you sort your own experience, lilac. hope healing happens here.
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
nor was i implying knowledge of other conversations you have had. simply stating my own, strictly personal experience. please believe me.

steadying support while you sort your own experience, lilac. hope healing happens here.
I tried to properly read this about 10 million times cause I kept crying again when I thought I'd stopped. My nose keeps running and I can't breathe properly cause my nose is blocked and my throat is all gunky. For some reason seeing please believe me keeps making me cry. I don't know if I've made nothing into something really bad or if I'm getting upset when people say nightmares aren't reliable or accurate cause deep down part of me knows it did happen or I've confused my brain into partially believing it did happen. 😭😔

To challenge this cognitive distortion, perhaps break it down a bit.

The things that you've started multiple threads on relate to these 2 things:


What does "taking it seriously" look like for you?

Certainly here on the forum, for a person without ptsd (this is a ptsd peer support forum), you've had numerous empathetic responses to your distress.

Beyond empathy for your distress, what would "taking it seriously" include?

Because, IME, there's not much more than empathy that can be offered, particularly in respect to "I may have..." statements.
I have finally stopped crying enough to reply. So maybe you have a bit of a point. I don't really know what taking it seriously is other than believing me. Though no ptsd diagnosis doesn't mean no ptsd.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Gotcha!
I don't really know what taking it seriously is other than believing me.
I thinking a lot of folks here have experienced not being believed. And yeah, it can hurt a lot. One of my early Ts didn't believe just one part of my trauma and that left me spinning for a while.

But then I had a trauma-informed T tell me how it is: the only people who can know what really happened? Are the 2 people who were there.

The person that counts here is you.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
rocking you gently and crying with you, lilac. it's a tough phenom to sort. be gentle with yourself and patient with the process.

in my strictly personal herstory with emerging memories, the psychic fog grows so thick that i cannot distinguish a barn from a thick spot in the fog. i ply the same logic i learned in the great outdoors from navigating literal fog. just sit tight and wait for the fog to lift. running for through a fog is most likely to waste huge amounts of energy going in circles. easy does it, my sister-in-healing.

breathing with you. deep, cleansing breaths.
 

Friday

Moderator
To challenge this cognitive distortion, perhaps break it down a bit.
@Lilac98 … This. ^^^^

For example? ONE of the cognitive distortions probably in play here, and there are likely to be at least a few, is : jumping to conclusions.

(See below for a list to 10 primary / most common cognitive distortions found with PTSD, including that one)

This is a PTSD site. Which means that the people here have been raped, gang raped, sexually assaulted, abused, tortured, kidnapped, imprisoned, trapped in wreckage & rubble, witnessed the brutal deaths of strangers, held loved ones as they bled out screaming, inhaled the oily mist of the brains of the person next to them, watched helpless as a toddler carried a live grenade into a crowd, seen the bloody remains and wailing parents as children are used as mine sweepers or object lessons or are rounded up to become soldiers, gang violence, police violence, K&R, acts of terrorism, car bombs, been waist deep in mass graves, starved to the point of being excited to find maggots, watched their children die, been betrayed and left to die… and countless other things. As ^that^? Was just my early 20s / a smallish piece of my own trauma history. This is a place where we can discuss trauma & the consequences of trauma.

People aren’t -typically- going to freak out when trauma is mentioned. Because that’s just what we DO, here. We’ve all lived it. We’re all living it. Whether a one off trauma, or decades of thousands of trauma; whether it happened last year or 50 years ago; makes little difference with PTSD. ….SO IF… one of the ways you define “taking seriously” is acting like how people without trauma histories act when trauma is mentioned? (IE freaking out in various different ways. OMG!!! 😱) You’re not likely to find that, here.

Doesn’t mean that people here don’t take trauma seriously. The opposite.

***

Similarly? People with trauma have nightmares about trauma, AND giant planet eating Panda-Squids, AND everything in between. (Depends on the person. Some people don’t dream at all.) People without trauma may blow off all nightmares as fiction, not to be believed; but when people with trauma are telling you that their own nightmares span the range from true, partially true partially fictitious, and totally fictitious? They’re sharing their own experience. And how they deal with that experience. That most people have told you their nightmares are unreliable? Often containing pieces of truth, but jumbled up amongst fears/expectations/planet eating panda squids? They’re not telling you they don’t believe you. Or which parts of your dreams can be believed. Or which parts of your dreams are truth/fiction. They’re telling you they’ve learned not to believe everything they themselves dream. You may find the same thing is true for yourself. You may not.

Personally, I don’t take anyone’s nightmares seriously, least of all my own. All of my trauma happened in my adulthood, so I can very easily tell you which aspects of my dreams are real, which are a blend of fiction & reality, and which are total fiction. None of that matters to ME. What matters to ME is how to sleep better & recover faster. Sometimes thrashing out themes helps. (ah, so we appear to be doing the transitions are dangerous thing, again. Roger.) Most of the time it doesn’t. Shrug. <<<< NONE of which has any bearing on whether or not I believe someone is having nightmares, or their trauma history, or anything else.

***

So, for ME, both your premise & conclusions are totally invalid. Which is why I can speak to your jumping to conclusions. As I don’t meet the criteria you’ve laid out. At all.

But for YOU, that may be the least important -or totally unimportant- piece of breaking down the core beliefs &/or cognitive distortions in play. No way for me to know… as I’m not in your head & don’t know what causes you the most problems.


The 10 primary cognitive distortions are:

  1. All or nothing thinking -- You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
  2. Over-generalization -- You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  3. Mental filter -- You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it so exclusively that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that colors the entire beaker of water.
  4. Disqualifying the positive -- You reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
  5. Jumping to conclusions -- You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. (Involves mind-reading and fortune-telling.)
  6. Magnification and minimization -- You exaggerate the importance of things, or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny.
  7. Emotional reasoning -- You assume that your emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are, as in "I feel it, therefore it must be true."
  8. Should statements -- You try to motivate yourself with "should" and "should not," as if you have to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything.
  9. Labeling and mislabeling -- This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself.
  10. Personalization -- You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible for
 

SallyO

New Here
I've had a few rape nightmares recently and I also had a flashback of grandad holding me down on a bed me saying stop stop, the duvet disappearing and then only seeing part of my bare arm with one of his hands on the wrist I could see. And my vagina throbbing. I believe the flashback was real and since I've had dreams before about abuse I remember I think I may have been raped but it seems like cause I have no memory of these things no one takes me seriously or believes it.
Have you spoken to a doctor about it? They are certainly symptoms of something that is going on.
 

Lilac98

MyPTSD Pro
Have you spoken to a doctor about it? They are certainly symptoms of something that is going on.
I tried not that long ago to get my gp to refer me to the mental health team for a ptsd assessment but they wouldn't see me I'm trying again but with my old kooth worker referring me but I don't know if I'll get seen.
 
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