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#72240 - 02/10/04 09:30 PM Flashbacks
Steve P Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/09/04
Posts: 5
Loc: Salt Lake City, UT
Hi everyone. My name is Steve and I'm an abuse victim. I'm still Steve and I'm also a recovering alcoholic and drug addict (11/1/93).

I felt so good yesterday. I went to therapy last night and we had a good chat and now tonight, since this afternoon, it's been 1968, '69, '70. I'm feeling the same horrible sad lonely feeling I felt then. It's usually the sun that does it - the way it colors the sky at certain times of year - like this time of year. Some days I have one after another and others, like yesterday, just one and it was related to emotional abuse.

Does anyone else suffer from these kinds of emotional flashbacks? It's not so much that I see anything happening, but the sun is coloring the sky and plants and trees and the glass in the cars and cement and pavement and the shadows are at just the right angle and WHAMMO I'm back to being 12 or 13 or 14 or 8 or 9 or 17. Lately, since December, it has been centered around 8th grade - 13/14 and then eeking out an existence in high school in my first year and I'm as depressed as I could possibly be and so sad and lonely with no explanation - not then and not really now yet.

Please, if anyone is or has gone through this, please tell me how you get through it.

I see myself, young, 13, 14, 15, in hideous depression. Sometimes I see nothing, I just start to feel just like I did when I was 13 or 14 or 15 - even 16 or 17. Since December it has been brutal.

Salt Lake City

#72241 - 02/10/04 11:13 PM Re: Flashbacks
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Steve, I am saddened to hear of these flashbacks you are suffering. I don't have what you describe anymore. But, I have been working hard at recovery from CSA for a few years now.

What I do at times have happen is that I grieve the nights alone in the house when Mom and Dad were out drinking, I grieve over not really having had a period of being a youth, I feel a need for my Mom at times, and I feel that I am so tired of being lonely.

I need to talk to a friend at those times--even over IM. It helps me a lot. If there is no one to talk to, well I get pretty depressed and sleep too much and I isolate. That is really bad for me to do.

I hope you have at least someone that you can talk to or connect through pm's here or IM of one kind or another.


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#72242 - 02/11/04 12:31 AM Re: Flashbacks
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills

Sometimes something happens to me that puts me back into that time again, not as much anymore though. I know how you feel. It seems like I can't think like the old guy that I am, I'm stuck thinking and reacting like an eleven year old. My therapist helped me in dealing with this to get me to 'talk to and comfort' the 11 year old me, to give the 'little steve' some encouragement, love and guidance that he never got. December is my birth month and I always seemed to get depressed then but I have been getting better in spite of that.

Take good care of yourself

I'm another


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

#72243 - 02/11/04 12:18 PM Re: Flashbacks
Brayton Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis

The feeling flashbacks are mostly what I have. I sometimes call them memory-impressions.

When they are at their worst (as they have been lately) I get by hour by hour, trying to concentrate on the present moment and with the support and advice I get from the guys here at MaleSurvivor.

Its like having a (really large) support group available to me every day (if I need it) instead of just once a week.

The guys here have really helped me through some rough times. Not feeling as isolated with my feelings as I did before coming here has made a huge difference.

I find that even when I am not here on MS, I can think of the guys here, especially the ones Ii have posted with a lot, and that helps modify my feelings.

Also, through working with a therapist, I am gradually (very gradually) making progress. Sometimes I don't have a lot of confidence in it but usually when I can look back I do see improvement.


Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

#72244 - 02/12/04 12:10 AM Re: Flashbacks
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hey Steve - My flashbacks have diminished over years of recovery but I may get residual feelings at times! There are a couple of things I do...although I'm not sure if they work for others.

First, I am usually under stress or upset so I practice relaxation/stress reduction skills and gradually baby step my way out of this. Sometimes I refocus myself on only those things I can do..eliminating everything I can't!

Secondly, I realize these are feelings and I need to feel them. That they are not true today. I used to feel guilty as if I did something wrong and if I felt that way it must be true and mean I did something wrong. Sometimes when I felt guilt/shame, I apologized for everything, even if it was raining or snowing. This is called "emotional reasoning" and it's false.

Thirdly, sometimes I felt like when I was younger (sexually/physically abused 5 - 13 years old) and wanted to do something weird or stupid...I catch myself by saying "what is it I really feel or want"?. Sometimes it is my loneliness that surfaces the old rejection, abandonment and victimization issues...what I need as an antedote is human interaction. To know "I am OK!" sometimes I look through my memory box filled with all the letters, awards and positive feedback I received over the years that reminds me "I am OK" and "I am a good, worthwhile person".

Hope there is something there for you!!


If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd


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