Does anybody have any idea how to suffer through flashbacks?

Discussion in 'Rape and Abuse' started by jameslyons, Mar 23, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Seriously, these thoughts and memories are really putting a damper on my living experience. :mad:

    Does anybody here know anyway of dealing with them?
  2. wheresmysheep

    wheresmysheep Staff Alumni

    i wish i did hun :hug: here if you need it
  3. annie-crafts

    annie-crafts Well-Known Member

    From my experience and what others have suggested - the best thing to do is try to "ground" yourself with something that is around you. Could be as simple as feeling the ground beneath you, touching something, looking at something (all non-trauma related, of course), smell something. It helps to get all of your senses involved.

    Sometimes I say to myself something like, "It's Monday, March 30, 2009......the abuse isn't happening anymore. I am an adult now. My abuser can not get me now." Something like that, anything that puts you in the present moment.

    I've found that it's takes some practice, as I can disassciate to the point that I think that I'm a little girl again.

    Let me know if you think this may be helpful. Flashbacks suck.
  4. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    James: I don't think I have the same type of flashback exactly, but I have horrible guilt for some of the things I've done that continuously haunt me and I've also experienced a surreal feeling like you described in another thread. I really don't know that I get through it or over it in any particular way other than it fades after awhile.:sad:
  5. TBear

    TBear Antiquities Friend

    I try as well as I can to say, "that was then - this is now." I keep pictures of my children or a stuffed toy or something nearby, feet on the floor, changing positions or locations. That only helps however, if I haven't been completely "pulled into it". If it is a partial flashback like a vision or a wave of feelings associated with a smell or phrase, or situation the grounding works. If it is a total re-experiencing of the horrid event, then I just have to ride it out and recover after.

    I also will call a friend or my therapist immediately. My therapist doesn't want me to suffer through it alone ever again. So the first thing is to relate what has happened to someone else.

    Re-examining what happened to me with the help of my therapist helps me to "de-toxify" it so that I can put it behind me, and the flashbacks of that particular rape, beating or trauma gets much better if not non-existant. The memory will always be there but the flashback tolerable or gone. This has taken time... and pain...but it is possible.
  6. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    thanks for your advice and experiences. . . i'll be sure to try 'em out.

    I really appreciate it.
  7. mixedemotions

    mixedemotions Forum Buddy

    I also suffer from Flash backs.. and up to this day I still don't know how to cope with them.
    I often find talkin about them after wards helps, but some times they are so graphic that I cant get the words out.
    I have atleast one each day, some are really bad, others are just short things.
    I also have nightmares which in a way are flashbacks bcoz they are things that happened when i was younger.
    Its strange... I would like to know why these things happen.

    Why does our brains want us to see all that again....
  8. TBear

    TBear Antiquities Friend

    I've written down what I couldn't articulate out loud...

    I've drawn the emotions that I feel, when I haven't the words to express it....

    I've gone to "work-out" in order to get rid of some of the anger (picturing a barbell through my abusers face helps) ...

    It is also important to give yourself "permission" to be upset. I used to feel guilty and like this "shouldn't" be happening...which stops processing on the spot and leaves it to come back and haunt me later...

    Then, pamper yourself after a horrific flash-back...Express it somehow - then, do something nice for yourself - (listen to music, read a book, eat ice cream, take a is different for each person)
  9. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    wow,great post Tbear..great ideas!!
  10. Daisy

    Daisy Active Member

    Tbear said most of the things that I do to cope.

    Sometimes just little things too like moving around, maybe taking a shower or going for a walk can help too.
  11. Jack Rabbit

    Jack Rabbit Well-Known Member

    All of the above. For me, it's reminding myself that I am not the helpless child anymore. (It started when I was a bit less than 2 - a few years ago a family member admitted they knew about it - it was real) And I go through a sort of mantra... If this happened today, I am an adult, I am strong, I am verbal, and this is what I would do.
    Some days it's enough to say I would call the police, some days I fantasize a violent defense. Every day, I realize that it is up to me to control my life, and that I am capable of doing so. Most days, it's even true.
  12. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    that's so important. so many people have reacted like i 'shouldn't be feeling this' and punished me for asking for help, which just makes everything worse.

    james- what helped me was what t bear said. i let it happen, i posted here continuously, i look back and realise i was going to kill myself, i tried very hard not to self harm but if i did it had no use for me. i also listened to myself. if i needed help i'd go to a+e all the time when i knew i was going to die. i knew that i needed extra support and i yelled for it at my MH clinic until i got the attention i needed. i cleaned my flat when i was going through a period of helped detoxify me and the place i was staying (fortunate as it's not a poisonous place).

    safety is what was most important. knowing what safety was but also letting myself express everything inside of me (through writing) without punishing myself as i had been done in the past. and making sure you have people outside to support you, knowing that they are there and you're not alone.

  13. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member


    Thanks so much!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.