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I had no idea I belonged here until just a wee bit ago. Still wondering about some of it...

History first. Childhood emotional and physical abuse and abandonment (by parents), sexual abuse (by others), rape/threatened murder in teen years that left me seeing death coming around every corner for about a year. I wouldn't have come here for all that stuff b/c the damage is psychological, not biological, and it seemed this board was more for the latter.

But. I've struggled for ten years now w/severe memory and thinking problems. As in literally can't remember what happened yesterday, or this morning, or figure out what to do with the mail when it comes.

A while ago I was in the audience when a new treatment for trauma was being demonstrated. I volunteered, and in twenty minutes the man restored my memory. I was astounded, the audience was astounded. It didn't last more than a few days, but it did clue me in that the mental fog was related to the trauma.

Recently discovered I have tachycardia and blood pressure spikes whenever I leave my house. Was not consciously aware of anything except coming home exhausted no matter where I go, which has led to a general reluctance to go anywhere. I'm turning into a hermit. Thank God for a loving family (not the family of origin, obviously). New pdoc had been urging me to try diazepam and I had been saying, "But I don't *have* anxiety!" I look and feel calm and have no worrisome thoughts. But I learned a new word "somatic anxiety" and I tried a tiny dose of Valium. It worked! It restored my ability to think and remember. It made me "me" again.

So now we're clearly in the realm of the biological, and so here I am.

I know this isn't the place to get a dx, but I would like some input. I have an exaggerated startle response, and react to any unexpected touch or sudden movement as a threat. Even a child who's already sitting in my lap can trigger this. I'm not aware of it, but clearly my *body* is in a state of fear all the time. I believe this comes not from the garden-variety abuse listed above, but from other, sadistic and life-threatening (at least to my baby mind) things that happened before I was three, only some of which I remember. So here's the question: how do you do trauma work with trauma that you don't actually remember?

Marya Slodovska

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I have a history of abuse starting very early in life, and I doubt that I'll ever remember all of it. I have done a lot of trauma work around memories I do have, and more came back to me during that process. But there are treatments for PTSD that don't require memory. EMDR was helpful for me, as was hypnosis, early on in my trauma work. More recently I've been doing psychoanalysis with a therapist who specializes in trauma, which has also been helpful. Others here might have additional suggestions, too.

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I have a history of abuse starting very early in life, and I doubt that I'll ever remember all of it. I have done a lot of trauma work around memories I do have, and more came back to me during that process. But there are treatments for PTSD that don't require memory. EMDR was helpful for me, as was hypnosis, early on in my trauma work. More recently I've been doing psychoanalysis with a therapist who specializes in trauma, which has also been helpful. Others here might have additional suggestions, too.

Thank you. I'm in the market for an EMDR practitioner at the moment myself. Would *love* to cure it without reliving it, if such a thing is possible. Have already spent years and wads of cash reliving the garden-variety trauma. Worked, but enough is enough, I say.

I'm curious about anxiety that's all in the body, not in the head at all. Folks on the PTSD and anxiety boards have more 'normal' anxiety--they have flashbacks, they have intrusive thoughts, they worry, etc. Me, I feel perfectly calm. Well, except for jumping out of my skin when somebody brushes past me. Or makes a loud noise. Or walks up quietly behind me. But it's all physical. Makes me wonder where I fit in.

Marya Slodovska

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Physical hyperarousal is *very* common with PTSD...it's something I experience, too. This is a bit out of the mainstream as far as treatment modalities, but I find martial arts practice helps a lot with that--both because of the level of physical control over one's body it teaches and also because being able to defend myself makes me feel emotionally safer.

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Welcome, and yes, this is both biological and psychological. Check out the PTSD boards and the pinned topics, I think you will find a lot of resources and ideas there.

EMDR can be helpful, and just good, supportive therapy generally. I know I was sexually abused as a young child and somatisized it some for awhile, and don't know who but I have my suspicions. Also date raped later in life. I worked through it in therapy, largely unconsciously for a long time, and in poetry.

I then put together a book of all my poetry and it clearly tells the story of my trauma, then standing still, then recovery. It's in 3 parts. I love my poetry (I am actually a good poet and have had this confirmed in poetry classes, was voted by one class as "most likely to become a working poet", heh) and I love my book. It's titled, "Love Songs for a daughter without a father who needed someone to Love."

It's about early life trauma, my first unsuccessful marriage, and then my later, extremely healing and loving marriage and spirituality. I adore it actually, but there is no market for poetry so it will likely remain unpublished unless I self publish it sometime on that site that does that. It's a good book though...

And then, when I did that, then READ it, I was like, "Oh my gosh, I have been ABUSED!" heh. It was kind of funny, really. Then worked on it more openly with my therapist and it was cool. We sort of did it more openly at that point and it really helped me.

To give you reassurance, it took me years, but I am fully over my trauma/PTSD. I am in a normal rel., don't dissociate, and can do trauma work with clients whilst remaining present. My job is full of trauma. I'm about to get trained in DBT which I am excited about (EXTREMELY) and want to get trained in EMDR next, because I think it would help me be a better therapist as now I have to refer out, and EMDR is best done in the context of the supportive therapist you actually have. Am saving for that and hoping for partial refund from my job.

In any case, sorry to completely DERAIL this thread with my own blather.

But, just wanted you to know that full recovery is not only possible, but can be achieved. Not only do I NOT want to know my family "secrets" I have forgiven all possible perpetrators and have only good relationships with them today.

You not only can, but will get better, and you never have to know if you don't want to. If it was in fact my dad, not a family friend, I do not need to know. I don't leave kids around him, have had weird suggestive conversations, but I don't pursue them, sort of say, "Oh, dad, yeah, I have no idea about that" which reassures him, and then we move on to a healthy adult f/d rel.

Y

Anna

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Thank you, Anna. I am happy to know that you've recovered from your trauma, for your sake, and that it's *possible* to recover, for my sake. And that I don't have to dredge up every horrific memory.

I did forgive my abusers years ago, when I saw clearly that they had no choice, given what they themselves had experienced. So the anger goes away, but the fear stays.

Marya Slodovska

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