State dependent body memories

StillPen

Confident
Does anyone experience this? If so, any specific techniques work for you?

I am dealing with body memories on a daily basis that are debilitating. The weird thing is, the more grounding I do and thus the more present I become, the more intense the body memories become. There is no pain involved, they are arrousal based. If I am happy and excited about my day, an upcoming event, etc., body memories. If I am sad, processing, grieving, anxious about anything, body memories. It is unrelenting. Where I can feel it on my body is based on which trauma that happened (trauma over a stretch of years, and one from an assault). If they are too intense, I dissociate and/or switch from part to part (DID), until I've rapid switched so much I just have to go to bed and sleep it off. If I do anything to alleviate the arrousal/body memories by myself, I feel horribly guilty, like I'm re-traumatizing myself to get physical relief. If I try to alleviate them with my husband, I start having flashbacks and switch to my littles (SO not good). I have talked to my T and we've done some CBT work on it but nothing seems to be helping. My parts are in this place where they have processed most of what they do remember, but know there are more details they (and I) do not remember and are afraid of remembering (they've journaled about it), so I feel confident that is playing a part in all of this. Before therapy, I just thought I got arroused at very strange times, but now recognize that they are body memories. If any of you can relate and have any suggestions, I would really appreciate the feedback.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
For the pain side - yup. Almost every day at some point it tries to sneak back in. It's not real but in some states it can get real ugly. Because anything that stresses for anything can set it off and sometimes its a self feeding loop - more stress- more ouch. That's when I just knock myself out....

Hyperarousal - Its been there since the trauma. I learned 9 months ago what it was from my therapist. It belongs to me and my PTSD and not my wife and our relationship. Love and affection for my partner and hyperarousal are two separate things, trying to mix them is like mixing oil and water. It's always two separate things and even when mixed together its two separate things. It always ends up that after all the shaking is done it goes back to being oil and water. Then you end up caught in the turmoil as the two separate. That's where PTSD sticks its nose in. All that swirling and feelings - OVERLOAD TIME, PTSD time. Quite frankly, my partner doesn't need to deal with that.

So, talk to your partner frankly. Keep the oil and water separate. Create a euphamism and your own space for your alone time to help keep it separate. Throw away your guilt, your shame, and your embarrassment. No one ever mentioned PTSD or Hyperarousal in any bible or health class film I have ever seen. If there were instructions on how to deal with it from those sources then you could follow them, but there are not. Dealing with hyperarousal is part of dealing with PTSD. Nothing more nothing less.
 

z3phyr

New Here
Ive been feeling the same/a similar type of way. the more i open up about the past the more i discover.. which means letting out all the pressure kept inside me but a lot of rough and painful shit to drudge through. Dont have much to say besides anecdotal experiences from my own life.

One thought that did help me a bit a while back was a realization that since its been over 8 years since it happened, just about all of if not all of the cells of the places I was touched have died and new cells have replaced them. Im a person who gets very invested in symbolism, especially the cycle of life from a biological and mythological standpoint, and it made me feel somewhat releived to know that although my body carries the memory of what happened, the parts of me that were touched no longer exist, in some kind of way shape or form. No idea if this will help but I thought it was worth sharing at least.
 

StillPen

Confident
@z3phyr, thank you for that! For many, many years I couldn't feel any sensation in certain areas. As I do more parts work the exact opposite is happening. I've made some progress with using the thought process around the nervous system. It sends the same signals to those areas of the body no matter the situation. It feels like a live wire that needs to be grounded. Sometimes I can "shrink" the intensity, I use the visual reference of knobs on an amplifier and litterally turn down the 'volume'. I'm open to any suggestions and yours is a totally different perspective than what I've been using thus far, so thank you for posting.
 
Last edited:

ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
When this happens, which doesn't tend to happen so much (it's more the reverse, I just don't feel anything), I try to do somewhat the reverse or submerge senses under something. I blast noise music or stay in the shower for an indecent amount of time. There is something with overwhelming signals such as noise or waterfalls or bubbles or whatever that are very quieting for this. It is a form of numbing but that doesn't ignore the pain.

You can't make the parts who know it to go away. They will not die. They are you and somehow in the way you did loose contact with them. Now that you're re-establishing contact it's not necessarily a good conversation around a coffee, they speak in telepathy and feelings. They want you to get to feel what they feel.

Since I consider these flashes as they are (some are really painful such horrible headaches), it's less difficult to manage them as I don't interpret them as pain. I try to broom the secondary emotions such as shame away because there is no sense in feeling ashamed. Perhaps try to contact the part that is feeling ashamed from it and see what they think or feel or why.

You husband needs to know when you're switching to a little. People do feel that about us and it makes them uncomfortable, but when given an explanation most people just go along with it and want to be supportive.

Being fragmented, no matter how much, is a strange experience. It's puzzling. It's tiring. We don't know who we are exactly, but I believe in a way it is the gift of having incredible conversation and insight inside of ourselves with creativity too. The thing is to try to have the switches going more fluid and cooperative, and for sure dice switching is exhausting because each part is willing to take over a specific action and there is no chain of command, it lands in confusion and it's a mess.

I don't know if it helps, but I hope you'd feel better
 

StillPen

Confident
When this happens, which doesn't tend to happen so much (it's more the reverse, I just don't feel anything), I try to do somewhat the reverse or submerge senses under something. I blast noise music or stay in the shower for an indecent amount of time. There is something with overwhelming signals such as noise or waterfalls or bubbles or whatever that are very quieting for this. It is a form of numbing but that doesn't ignore the pain.

You can't make the parts who know it to go away. They will not die. They are you and somehow in the way you did loose contact with them. Now that you're re-establishing contact it's not necessarily a good conversation around a coffee, they speak in telepathy and feelings. They want you to get to feel what they feel.

Since I consider these flashes as they are (some are really painful such horrible headaches), it's less difficult to manage them as I don't interpret them as pain. I try to broom the secondary emotions such as shame away because there is no sense in feeling ashamed. Perhaps try to contact the part that is feeling ashamed from it and see what they think or feel or why.

You husband needs to know when you're switching to a little. People do feel that about us and it makes them uncomfortable, but when given an explanation most people just go along with it and want to be supportive.

Being fragmented, no matter how much, is a strange experience. It's puzzling. It's tiring. We don't know who we are exactly, but I believe in a way it is the gift of having incredible conversation and insight inside of ourselves with creativity too. The thing is to try to have the switches going more fluid and cooperative, and for sure dice switching is exhausting because each part is willing to take over a specific action and there is no chain of command, it lands in confusion and it's a mess.

I don't know if it helps, but I hope you'd feel better
I have begun listening to the TV in the background while I work. It helps one of my littles who is triggered...similar to music I suppose, and yes, it definitely is a numbing technique.

Luckily, I do not want any of my parts to die or go away. While I struggle with bouts of denial, I've just learned they exist, so for me it is more working to try to hear them. They communicate in flashes of pictures, telepathically, and sometimes through quoteable movie lines (weird, right?), otherwise it's just headpain, noise, non-stop talking...like I'm in a crowded restaurant or silence coupled with depression. The more in touch with them I become, the stronger the arrousal.

I really like the idea of getting in touch with the parts who feel the guilt and shame...its mostly tied to religious upbringing...a whole other layer of the onion.

"Dice switching"...I've never heard the term.

I appreciate and respect yours and everyone's feedback and suggestions. This is a journey only few can understand.
 

ruborcoraxxx

Sponsor
"Dice switching"...I've never heard the term.
It’s kinda how I feel about it. I don’t think I do "rapid switching", or that would happen in specific sets of circumstances, such as very violent or very changing. (When it goes stupidly fast some call that "rodexing").

For me "dice switching" is more like, okay, let’s try with this person now and not really knowing why, and doing consecutively until it works. It has more of a span time between each switch. There is a bouncing from a side to another and wandering aspect of it that is a bit conflicted I think, that’s how I feel the term and that’s how we called it for ourselves. We did rodex a few times but most times it’s more dice switching.
 

StillPen

Confident
Ok, thank you for the explanation. I'm switching stupidly fast so "rodexing" it is. I have very little control of my switching, so "Dice Switching" is still a ways off for me yet. Yesterday I realized that one of my very littles is trying to tell me something, but doesn't have the words, and what she's trying to tell me doesn't make sense to her. It is triggering both of us, which makes the body memories flare. My cat won't leave my side which is very telling. This will be a day of deep breathing for me for sure. Hugs if you accept.
 

Bigmess

New Here
Are you me? If it gets that bad with me when it comes to body memory which is always fluctuating since like you it feels like I am almost entirely based on it to try to put that into words, it's become my base "functioning" I go off of and need to work my life around it. I don't fully know what happened to me either, I have a lot of memory gaps but I remember bits and pieces of being assaulted. there are rare times I'll remember an entire event and I don't know if that's a good or bad thing in particular. I can face those but I always get extremely unstable upon doing so and dwelling has never helped even if I'm calm and observational in the moment. If I remember something new I get very sick and nauseated which has happened before while talking to someone about it in which we had to stop. If it's bad enough I split into some kind of alter that deals with it until that gets worn out and I go to sleep at the end of the day. I have control in that I can fight that alter but it's no use and they're efficient at carrying me through more stably anyways. If by little you mean a child like state then I regress like that too often as it's the only clean slate I have and more authentically me anyways at a baseline because I guess I never actually developed much from a normal or at least as far as normal is concerned with me person and much of everything else was trauma based.
 
Top