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Sufferer Seeking support & understanding for PTSD lapse

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Hi. I'm a 43 year old, mother of six. I've had PTSD since childhood, (before it was classified PTSD) due to sexual assault. It had been somewhat under control throughout the year's. Then I had a bad breakdown that triggered my lastest PTSD episode. It's been almost 2 years and I'm still being triggered by dreams and what I think are actually memories. I'm driving my family crazy trying to figure this out. Is their anyone out there that has had a similar experience?
Any advice is welcome and appreciated!
 
Hi. I'm a 43 year old, mother of six. I've had PTSD since childhood, (before it was classified PTSD) due to sexual assault. It had been somewhat under control throughout the year's. Then I had a bad breakdown that triggered my lastest PTSD episode. It's been almost 2 years and I'm still being triggered by dreams and what I think are actually memories. I'm driving my family crazy trying to figure this out. Is there anyone out there that has had a similar experience?
Any advice is welcome and appreciated!
Hello, and welcome! I'm so sorry to hear about what you've been going through. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for support, and I'm glad you're here. Many individuals in our community have had similar experiences with PTSD triggered by past trauma, and they understand what you're going through.

It's normal to feel overwhelmed by triggers and memories, especially after a breakdown. It's important to remember that healing from trauma is a process, and it's okay to seek help and support along the way. Connecting with others who have had similar experiences can be incredibly helpful in feeling understood and supported.

I encourage you to explore the different forums on myptsd.com dedicated to topics related to PTSD and complex PTSD (CPTSD). You may find it beneficial to share your experiences and learn from others who have gone through similar challenges. Additionally, seeking support from a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can also be instrumental in your healing journey.

Remember, you are not alone in this. There are people here who care and want to help support you. Please feel free to share more about your experiences or ask any questions you may have. We are here for you.
 
I am not in that situation, but multiple people here are. I hope you find what you want here, welcome.
For me it's more recent but I also have the nightmares/memories, even far removed and safe from what happened.
 
I am not in that situation, but multiple people here are. I hope you find what you want here, welcome.
For me it's more recent but I also have the nightmares/memories, even far removed and safe from what happened.
Thank you for your advice and time. I too am far removed from the initial trauma...but that doesn't mean I ever escape it. For me these past 5 years, in particular, have been a rollercoaster of emotions, painful memories and confusion. I've been working towards closing these "boxes" in my mind... trying to heal and put distance between or close the horrific memories box all together. My dreams are settling down but when they do happen it's a mix of past and present all discombobulated into one nasty mess that I can't decipher. It's maddening!
 
Thank you for your advice and time. I too am far removed from the initial trauma...but that doesn't mean I ever escape it. For me these past 5 years, in particular, have been a rollercoaster of emotions, painful memories and confusion. I've been working towards closing these "boxes" in my mind... trying to heal and put distance between or close the horrific memories box all together. My dreams are settling down but when they do happen it's a mix of past and present all discombobulated into one nasty mess that I can't decipher. It's maddening!
I think sexual trauma is uniquely horrible in those ways.
Is anything working for you at the moment, to help close the boxes?
You aren't alone in the confusing dreams too. Mine mix people and places and memories from the past and present too. They don't make sense but they're frightening. I'm glad yours are less at the moment.
 
I think sexual trauma is uniquely horrible in those ways.
Is anything working for you at the moment, to help close the boxes?
You aren't alone in the confusing dreams too. Mine mix people and places and memories from the past and present too. They don't make sense but they're frightening. I'm glad yours are less at the moment.
My doctor prescribed a medication to help decrease dreams...not sure how much it helps. I'm sleeping but I wake feeling either scared or angry or a mixture of different emotions but having no idea what I was dreaming. So, mornings around my house can be overwhelming for my whole family!

I suggest talking to your doctor about medications to help control your dreams. It's not a cure-all but it seems to be helping me, or at the very least, it's not making me feel worse.
 
I’ve had something similar happen. You might have been triggered by something that brought all this up. For me, before the pandemic I was just sitting at work and an image of my mom abusing my brother popped into my head. I was bombarded with all these emotions and voices of all the awful things people have said about me. It was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced even worse than the traumas themselves.

I would say be patient with yourself. It happens and for some reason at times when we’re safe or trying to be. The perverse abusers in the mind won’t let us be free without some work around why they are there. It’s weird to think about but the memories were boxed away to protect you but needed to be revisited before you could move on completely.
 
Welcome to the forum!

Glad to here your doc is helping you out with your sleep. Good sleep alone can help make it so much easier to get through the day.

PTSD is one of those conditions that can relapse when life throws a significant stressor at us. Being able to get everything back in its box is a fantastic skill.

But don’t forget that you deserve to actually heal from the things that you’re putting in those boxes. It doesn’t need to be a priority, but maybe its time to get some help with that part? Your deserve a future that doesn’t include lugging all that around.
 
Thank you! I have been trying to explain the "unboxing" of old memories to move forward to my family but I don't think they understand. I totally get that they can't understand, being that they have no experience with PTSD. I hope they never have a personal understanding of it! I get so frustrated because I can't express what's happening in my head.
For example, last evening my husband and I were intimate and he, as he's done for the last 20 yrs plus, without triggering a negative reaction, went to touch my neck and I instantly pulled away as I was pushing his hands away from my throat. My husband has been wonderful to me and our family. I have no reason to think that I can't trust him in this manner. I find myself apologizing for the reaction, which of course, kills the mood. I can't seem to get out of this cycle 😭
 
My doctor prescribed a medication to help decrease dreams...not sure how much it helps. I'm sleeping but I wake feeling either scared or angry or a mixture of different emotions but having no idea what I was dreaming. So, mornings around my house can be overwhelming for my whole family!

I suggest talking to your doctor about medications to help control your dreams. It's not a cure-all but it seems to be helping me, or at the very least, it's not making me feel worse.
That's interesting. I wonder how that works. I'm sorry for the lingering stress, though.
Do you have anywhere to get the thoughts and feelings out?

I can tell you're a real mother, you came for help and now you're trying to help me.
@BuildingSelf24 is right, sometimes something unexpected triggers it all to come back. I was sitting, I forgot what it was, but it made me feel so helpless. Like I was still there. Suddenly.
 
Honestly, I'm happy to have someone that understands what I've been dealing with. I was beginning to question my sanity. Not that I haven't been told by my doctors and therapist that this is typical and that I'm making progress...it just seems like it's never going to end!! Thank you for your advice ☺️
 
Just when I feel like I'm getting a handle on this...BAM, SMACK 😭... I've been feeling much better, a better headspace this last few weeks. Working with my therapist and doctors, really putting in the work. I can honestly say that I had never taken the time to think about the boxes I'd been trying to close in my head. Mostly due to fear and pain and a whole lot of guilt about my past, how it affected my ability to fully connect to people, even my own family. I've spent years pushing everything down and locked it up and never looked back.

I realized today that I use detachment as a defense mechanism. I've known for a long time that I push people away because of my past experiences. I'm working on reconnecting with my family but I feel like I'm making them more uncomfortable and I can tell they are mad at me. I don't know how to make things easier on them. I'm trying to give them space, trying to be a better mother, better wife, a better person. I've apologized repeatedly. Nothing seems to help. I'm already walking on needles in my own mind and now in my own home.

It's been like this since I had the episode. What I remember makes no sense...why would my husband and kids intentionally hurt me, especially given the state of mind I've been in? Right? My husband of 20 yrs has always been kind and loving, very hands on. The kids are all great, they have their issues but we all do. So why is my whole body saying this isn't your family?

I'm aware that my personality and outlook on life has been hard for some to except. I've survived rape, beatings, emotional abuse, PTSD and most recently 5 attempts to end my own life. After the 4th attempt, God started showing me signs that he has a bigger plan for me. Weeks, maybe a month after the 4th attempt I started falling back into that depression mode... you know, where you can't make yourself do anything and abuse yourself as bad, if not worse than some of your abuser did. Then the 5th attempt.... approximately 30/40 anxiety pills and then my daughters face came to me and I realized I still have purpose. God saved me AGAIN!

So, I'm dealing with my issues on top of 2 kids that are recovering addicts, 1 with a birth defect with her kidneys, 1 with epilepsy and calcification on the brain and my epileptic husband. Then out of nowhere, we get a call from the nurse home saying there had been an accident and my grandma was dead. So, you see, the cards were already stacked against me. All I needed from my family was and is understanding. I don't feel like that is too much to ask. If I try to talk about what I've been working on or how I feel, it's brushed away. Kind of like they want to "reset" me.

I do understand that they too suffered from my state of illness. I know who I am when I'm in pain. Saying I'm more than direct is an understatement. I try very hard to stay away from my family when I'm in pain so they don't get the asshole side effects. I can't imagine what I said when I was mid to full episode. Nothing can make up for my past or behavior when I was in full PTSD mode. This though, like they are intentionally being mean and hurtful, I just don't understand. Everything I do is for my family.

So, why when I'm finally starting to feel awake and of sound mind, do I feel like I'm a nuisance to my family? Why do I feel like I'm being used and punished and sometimes being made fun of for being this way? Is this more of a detachment or another PTSD episode coming on?
 
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