Tag Archives: flashbacks

Subduction

22 Jun

I’m afraid to go to sleep. For the last four nights, I’ve woken with the residuals of nightmares. The moods they evoke take time to dissipate. I drink coffee and will the feelings back. Numbness rushes in to fill the space.

Then yesterday I started having flashbacks, dissociating, and hyperventilating. Nothing triggered it. I haven’t had intrusive PTSD symptoms for over two months, even with the stress I’ve been under. I was in the middle of a support group meeting. It was embarrassing.

The flashbacks receded today, but the anxiety and dissociation keep creeping up on me. I can’t drive because I intermittently float out of my body. People speak to me and I can’t focus on their words; I just stare at them and do my best to feign comprehension. I dig my nails into my arm to try to keep my mind connected to my body. I breathe diaphragmatically.

These past couple of days have reminded me not to get cocky. Never turn your back on your illness. Your mind will get the better of you if you don’t keep your eye on it.

I don’t want to backslide. I’ve made a lot of progress in the past few months. I’m determined to learn to live with this and not let it control my life. Concurrently, I know that I need to be honest with myself about my limitations. It’s a balancing act.

I don’t think I’ll ever get it fully under control. Things happened to me when I was too young to articulate them and they come to the surface sometimes. I don’t try to process them. I attempted that several years ago with a therapist, desensitization therapy. It was too much all at once. My symptoms have been much more frequent and intense since then. Because I can’t clearly recall things, and because no one can fill in the gaps, it isn’t possible to examine the memories and put them in perspective. All I get are sensations, shards of visions, and waves of confusion and fear.

I have no desire to dig into that mess, so I have to contain it. I’m hoping that it will die back down after a couple of days of TLC and sustained efforts. But it will always be straining beneath the surface. All I can do is breathe and prepare for the next time.

Advertisements

What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?

9 Mar

Once, during a heated fight with my husband, I felt a flashback coming on and fled the room. He followed and found me in the bathroom. I had wedged myself between the toilet and the wall and curled up into a ball on the floor. “Please don’t hurt me,” I said. He’s asked more than once why I invariably react to his anger with anxiety, even when it isn’t directed at me. He’s never done anything violent, not to me or in general. Why can’t I just allow him to feel angry? Why must I become skittish and immediately try to placate him? It makes him feel as though he isn’t allowed to have that emotion. (He articulates this easily because he’s a trauma-free, emotionally balanced individual, or as I call him, “a unicorn.”)

The immediate answer is that witnessing a loved one’s anger can be triggering. Anyone who’s lived with domestic violence knows that when your abuser starts losing their temper, it’s wise to hit the deck. It doesn’t matter whether the anger originated with you or how insignificant the infraction was. That rage is always lurking just beneath the surface, and the slightest provocation can unleash it.

Continue reading

healing from the freeze

trauma, dissociation and embodiment

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

'Merica Magazine

For the Unlikely Patriot.....

recovery network: Toronto

people can and do recover from what is sometimes called "mental illness"

suzannerbanks

scent . intention . consciousness . essential oils

we hunted the mammoth

the new misogyny, tracked and mocked

Laura K. Kerr, PhD

Writer • Scholar • Speaker

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

DIVISION DESIGN INITIATIVE

Collaborating to Refine our Design Vision for a Growing Division

Birth of a New Brain

A Writer Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder (Bipolar, Peripartum Onset)

Queer Guess Code

Unraveling Sex and Gender in Pop Culture

Oregon Fall Foliage

Let us help you find the best color throughout Oregon

The Daily Advocate By Painspeaks

Advocacy is FREE and its never-ending ripples spread awareness for all worthy causes!

Musings of a Bipolar Mama

Your not-so-average ramblings of a bipolar mama

Writing for Recovery

Write, speak, heal, live. Say the unsayable.

Kate McKinnon

explorer | ingenieur

Shapely Prose

2007-2010

The Rhubosphere

Ro Smith's writing blog and review site

Sunny With a Chance Of Armageddon

The Beta Project in Textual Stimulation

%d bloggers like this: