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#53070 - 06/01/05 02:50 AM flashbacks, triggers, and other pleasant things
puppy Offline

Registered: 05/28/05
Posts: 129
Loc: earth
when i first started therapy i didnt know there were words for every experience i had. what the heck is a flashback? im learning a lot about these things now. i assumed that i was some abnormal creature who was built differently than every other human being on the planet, and these things happened to me and only me. because im that damn special. lol. well now i know otherwise. im not unique. at least not in that sense. so great. now theres a name for it. this horrible thing that happens to me, when, out of nowhere, things come flooding into my head and leave me completely helpless and incapacitated with fear and panic. so i can now say to myself, gee, you must be having a flashback. funny though, the word doesnt make one damn bit of difference to me. call it an apple, it doesnt change anything. it sucks and its scary. and now i find these things happening to me more often. i dont know if that is normal. i tend to think that, with therapy, it is supposed to get better. and fast. but it seems to be getting worse rather than better. and triggers, well, now i can use that fancy word too. i am in the process of moving. and as im packing up al my junk, i keep coming across things. a teddy bear i had from when i was a kid. pictures. just junk. and it seems that everything that i own that ive had for more than three years seems to bring back those sick feelings. i throw everything away. i dont know if that is healthy. i want to erase everything and every part of my life that existed before now. i dont want to see it or hear it or smell it. does that mean im trying to run away fromt he problem? or is it a good thing. trying to start over and leave that all behind me. what do i need a teddy bear for anyway. i dont know. this probbably all sounds very jumbled up. but these are my thoughts today. so thanks for hanging out in my head for awhile.


#53072 - 06/01/05 02:06 PM Re: flashbacks, triggers, and other pleasant things
sophiesdad Offline

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Hi again, Josh:

Yes, flashbacks really do suck. They come out of nowhere and are scary as hell. When they happen, sometimes it helps to stop yourself, and close your eyes and do some deep breathing. One technique that I used that helped sometimes was from NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). If I had a memory that was really terrible, I would close my eyes and create an imagery that I as sitting in a movie theater. I was in the audience and watching whatever that memory was. It was in full color and complete sound. Then I tried to turn the movie into black and white and make the sounds all scratchy like an old 78 record. Then, I forced the movie screen to get smaller and smaller and the sound softer and softer until is was all gone and the movie was over.
Another thing I would do, especially if it was a sound, was to imagine the sound being drowned out by a marching band OR if it was someone saying something (especially screaming at me), I would turn it into a cartoon voice - almost like the person had inhaled helium. I did anything to imagine the scene as "cartoonish" as I could. If you find this helps and want more info on NLP, you can do a search on Amazon and find a ton of books. Some of the techniques really work.

As to tossing everything away.... I don't know. You may regret it later. Have you considered getting some boxes and putting the stuff in them, taping them up and marking them "danger" or "memories"? It is possible that some years from now in your recovery you may want to get in touch with that little kid inside to remember and maybe heal and here you've tossed all the pictures of yourself or the teddy bear or something else meaningful. You could even put the boxes in storage or have someone hold them for you if it's too hard to have the boxes around. That's just my spin on it... someone else may say that even that was too painful and they had to get rid of it.
Another thing that I did in group one time was to write a letter to the uncle who attacked me. I put every bit of rage, hurt, fear and memory on that paper. I read it to the group through the tears and the shaking. Then, with their permission, I took a metal trash can and performed a "burning ceremony" and set the letter on fire (thankfully it didn't set off the fire alarms) and watched all of my fears and hatred go up in smoke.

These are just a few suggestions. No, you aren't a freak. You are simply reacting in a very reasonable and "normal" (hate that word) way that the mind has of protecting you from total meltdown.

YOu're a good guy and you deserve to recover from this mess. We all just have to wade thru some mud and muck to get to our ultimate goal.


There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"


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