Holding on to past trauma, because it’s part of who you are

AnxietyChildhood Sexual AbuseDissociationPTSD

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One of the things I’ve been struggling with in recent months is why I feel this need to hang on to the past trauma. Why do I want to keep reliving the pain, trying to connect with the events that hurt me so long ago? Why does this part of my life haunt me yet keep me coming back for more?

Unless you’ve been through some type of child sexual abuse, or for all I know perhaps other types of trauma also can make a person feel this way too, it’s hard to comprehend that first paragraph as anything other than ridiculous, I would imagine.  I can only relate to what I know about, so that’s why I’m using my abuse as a reference point.

Since I’ve started on a low dosage of medication to help control my anxiety, my flashbacks have been diminished in number, ever so slightly. Granted it’s only been just over a week since the meds have entered my system, but still.  I normally had been averaging around 5 per week over the last few months, and now it’s down to 4.   While this is good she says, it’s not what my mind is telling me should be happening. There’s a struggle in my head to heal and a struggle stay with the pain.

I’m so used to having morning flashbacks, that it’s part of my routine. Trust me, I’m a creature of habit so routine is a big part of my life. Not only though is it part of my routine, it’s part of who and what I am. Those flashbacks help keep me attached to my past so I don’t forget it. I don’t want to forget it. It bothers me now that they are fewer in number, no matter how small a change, it’s still a change and I don’t like it.

It’s amazing, in a bad way I guess, to realize how something that was so life changing, so traumatic, and horrific, has such a hold on me. So much so that I don’t feel like my day starts off properly without a morning dose reality that my past includes sexual abuse at the hands of a teenager I looked up too as a kid.  As I mentioned in this post about the type of flashbacks that I have and how they affect me, it’s nothing something that sticks with me all day. I get one, it lasts for a few minutes, and it’s gone.  After that I can go about my day.  Now though, that’s not the case as much.

I’ve resorted to trying to force a flashback, or encourage one to last longer than normal. That’s an exercise in futility so far these last few days, but dammit I’m hell bent on not letting this go yet!

So of course the anxiety level has been elevated because of telling a friend about my pastcoupled with this medication reducing my opportunities to keep my trauma fresh in my head. It has been very hard to handle it.  I said as much in my therapy appointment tonight, and she could see it in my eyes and mannerisms. This whole situation is really working on whatever nerves I have left.

She assured me that this is normal for someone who’s experienced sexual abuse as a child; she’s seen it countless times in the past. The thing that she said that really stuck with me is that it’s my way of reaching out for nurturing, for support, for someone to understand and listen to me. I need that right now, which is a big reason I’ve increased my sessions to twice a week whenever possible.  I absolutely look forward to talking with her every chance I get to feel that reassurance that she’s with me in this and that I’m not alone. That I’m not someone who should feel ashamed of what happened. Even though I still do at times, perhaps one day that will subside completely as well.

A big shoutout to the #ImNotAshamed Twitter campaign for so much encouragement.



PTSD-Wounds-300x188 Holding on to past trauma, because it's part of who you are

Image credit – williamtollefsonvalues.blogspot.com


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Blogger-Podcaster-Author-Advocate for Mental Health.

Matt is survivor of childhood sexual abuse & narcissistic abuse, living with Dissociation, Anxiety, & PTSD.

This blog exists to inspire all who have survived the trauma of abuse. All posts, podcasts, and videos are my life as a survivor shared openly and honestly to help inspire as many as possible to speak up, speak out, and not be ashamed.

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