Newest Members
JohnWC, KKumar, J44, Anura, reynel5
12420 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
biggbill70 (44), CP4 (24), EddieMi (46), EddieT (46), hemi1024 (54), Kage (70), kdj_74 (40), Knightswhitehart (49), otlhouston (47), TX_Space (47), VirtualBman (50)
Who's Online
2 registered (traveler, 1 invisible), 29 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12420 Members
74 Forums
63793 Topics
445486 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#326122 - 03/24/10 11:22 PM Trauma Work
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I'm in therapy right now for sa and while its going well overall I am having real difficulty getting to the heart of the trauma i.e. feeling/sensing/remembering what exactly happened. Its not that that I've forgotten it completely. Rather, when it comes to recalling specific details such as sights, sounds and smells I'm either completely disconnected from it like its simply a matter fact with no feelings whatsoever, or worse I become immobilized and just sit staring off into space. My therapist and I have gone into a lot of stuff to do with the after affects of sa and while this is good for developing coping strategies he feels its important to get into the trauma itself in order to integrate the experiences and diminish the "mental block", as he calls it. I don't disagree yet I simply don't know how to do it, which is becoming frustrating to say the least. Anyways any thoughts, ideas or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, JS

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


Top
#326172 - 03/25/10 01:03 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: jls]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
JS,
I too don't have those details either and it can be frustrating, I know. However, most therapists would say that you don't remember for a reason and when you are ready it will come. I know people on here that remember it in vivid detail and wish that they didn't.

Jason

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


Top
#326174 - 03/25/10 01:15 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: onlyakid]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Hey jls,

I don't remember many of the details, just the feelings of terror and shame and helplessness.....

I do know, and continue to get feedback in meditation, that taking care of myself and being safe and supported and healthy will pave the road for me to recall WHAT I NEED TO REMEMBER, and no more.

There are certainly many times in my past that I couldn't emotionally handle some of this stuff, and it only came up later when I felt safe.

I get performance anxiety when I am asked to come up with an authentic feeling on the spot.

I can trace most of my false coping skills back to the SA, that is a route for me to follow in self-reflection, but I've also been challenged about WHY I need to understand/know all that happened to me.

I guess knowing how my sa affects my life today is more important, and that shows me what I need to work on.

That said, I also need to grieve and feel the loss too.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

Top
#326178 - 03/25/10 01:50 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: Mountainous Buck]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
I desperately want to remember too.

As for integration I don't know. I think the T should be able to give you a guidline for it and what it looks or feels like. I've had revelations none of which I can tell you about as I no longer recall them. They got processed through or the ECT damage has made me forget and they will come back again.
After saying that I just remembered I remembered something new this morning. IDK what I'll do with it I have no T and am still waiting for help from victim assistance in NJ to pay for a Psychiatrist.

It made me feel triumphant to remember and confirm it was someone I know who is still alive and can be had for it. I had a short burst of several situations in that one place where she loved to do it to me, where she did the same thing over and over.
I still feel a little triumphant but I also feel bad since I have no allies and no means to get them. I want justice.

So maybe your integrations will be like that during that twilight just before sleep and just after waking short bursts of memory will run by as if in a dream.

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Top
#326188 - 03/25/10 04:29 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: kidneythis]
Regs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 149
Loc: Oklahoma
The human mind has a way of blocking emotion as a way of protecting you. You may have spent years not feeling in relation to your abuse. You mind is still protecting you and will allow the emotion when you feel safe and ready. Keep working at it brother. Believe me, it will come.

_________________________
WoR Sequoia Alumni, April 2010

Top
#326192 - 03/25/10 05:15 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: Regs]
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Part of trauma and dealing with these things is that fact that it does shut us down emotionally, mentally and in many other ways. When the trauma has been so intense and horrible, the mind can only deal with so much. In reality, while we may just feel one small part of it or sense that part, there is an entire host of things that go with it. It is like seeing a one minute freeze frame in an hour movie. The entire movie plays but we only see that one freeze frame.

I've been through some serious body work in releasing this trauma and if I don't watch it or Dr. Canali doesn't watch me closely, I dissociate and space out (or I even go to the point of paralysis on the table). That's how powerful it can be.

It's a process. Our brains only allow us to work on that which we feel safe enough to do and that which we can handle. Anymore and the brain says, nope - I'm going to protect you. The more we can let our resistance drop and allow it to happen, the more we do move through it. However, as I know from first hand experience that's like me trying to jump over a snake pit - probably isn't going to happen very easily at all.

Give yourself time... and give yourself plenty of rest. Sometimes we try to work so hard on this that we put undue pressure on ourselves. Sometimes I found I needed to give myself a vacation from it so I could muster up the strength and courage to go back and give it a big kick in the ol keister!

And know you're not alone... I've been in your shoes as well and sometimes I find I still am wearing the shoes!

Keep going forward... you're getting there (probably more than you realize).

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

Top
#326199 - 03/25/10 06:03 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: MrDon]
Gus Bierer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 160
hi jls

i just wanted to tell you how much i appreciate you posting this, i know your looking for answers, i don't have any , but your helping me out a lot because i really don't have a T

I'm not sure what your T means by integrating your experiences, i mean, integrate them with what, maybe with all your other experiences in your memory bank.

I know for me what was really traumatizing was the verbal abuse i got on a monthly basis. I could feel my soul withdrawing inside my skin, i kind of had this numb feeling on the surface. Like everyone has said this is how the brain copes with trauma.

It sounds like your getting to a point where you'll start to flash to the terror that is csa. I'm glad you got a T close and all of us here at MS.


Gus

_________________________
My Story

Top
#326214 - 03/25/10 09:01 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: jls]
Mike58 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 5
Loc: New York
This is great topic. Thanks for posting. My memories were so elusive two years ago that I felt haunted. I knew "who" and "where" and I was pretty sure "when," but trying to pull out a six year old's traumatic memories after 40 years of running from them seemed impossible. Then after my first six months in therapy and getting sober, the flashbacks started coming. Like in the subway, or the street. Yikes! The flashbacks still come but now I feel less thrown. My therapist says remembering will put the abuse in the past where it belongs. That's basically been my experience so far and I hope it helps you. Take care of yourself and, like they say in my 12 step group, don't give up before the miracle happens. - Mike


Top
#326220 - 03/25/10 09:56 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: Mike58]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
jls,

I took what at first seems like a perhaps counter-intuitive approach. I tried to picture it, and I do mean the actual abuse itself since that seems to be about what you're talking, from the outside. I mean, I worked to picture it in the third person, standing outside it. i.e. not my vantage point that I remembered as I experienced it. I was able to recall pretty easily a certain view in a mirror in the room in which it mostly happened. I then just sort of stayed with that image and then lots of the senses you're talking about missing came to me. I then wrote as much as i could about it both the experience of remembering and the abuse itself...everything. This really helped, but it ain't fun though.

sono

_________________________
the family
the perp

Top
#326242 - 03/26/10 05:06 AM Re: Trauma Work [Re: sono]
Jaifian Offline


Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 220
Loc: washington state, USA
I can relate to the becoming immobilized and sitting staring off into space. This happens to me in therapy when I try to talk about what happened to me.

My mind just goes blank and I just become a total zombie. The t will then ask me some question and it takes me a while to even be able to understand the question.

It's like my brain just activates some emergency shutdown protocol when I start to feel those feelings so that I can't feel.. or think anything at all for a while.

I have to admit I think I'm actually kind of glad because I just don't know if I could handle therapy at all if there wasn't something like that to protect me.


Top
#326248 - 03/26/10 07:35 AM Re: Trauma Work [Re: Jaifian]
DMCarrollG Offline


Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 22
Loc: Brooklyn, NY United States
I can relate, and agree with, so much of what has already been said. For me I knew the facts of my sa, but until I began having uncontrollable seizures in December, I had no experience of the affect associated with those memories. The seizures put me in touch, literally, with the state of helplessness, terror, and over-powering that I was so disconnected from - that I still have difficulty connecting to. I space out and "go out the window" as my therapist says. Dissociation is an important component of any survivors set of tools to cope. That can be gently looked at, but really is not something to push.

I agree, the mind and the body will only give us the information and sensations we are ready for. I'm in a clinical trial right now to help gain some control over the seizure symptoms, and one big thing that is being looked at through the course is my tendency 1. to do things on my own, and 2. to operate in "big, many layered goals" rather than small goals. Seriously, it's blowing my mind to recognize that inner (desperate) drive in me, that is so a result of wanting to escape pain.

I wonder if rather than focusing on what you don't remember or don't feel, if what you can begin to look at and experience is what "is," which to me seems to be a real desire to know more... a sense that to have more details or awareness and experience of the emotional states you experienced would be better than not... that there is something to gain from that. And ask yourself, "what is that gain, do I think?"

Trauma effects us all somewhat differently, and yet there are so many similarities. One that I know I experience, and have seen mirrored in mens' groups I have been in, is the underlying idea that "if _______, then I would somehow be further along, know more, feel better, and be well." Our attempts to know are often coming form our wounded desperate desire to gain some sense of control with a monster that is our trauma. At some point, I cried and cried after all these seizures started because I knew - I felt - that this pain, these symptoms, the feelings stored in my body for years, were the result of something that I needed to be able to call wrong and unfathomable.

This is big stuff. Try to recognize when you are maybe putting the pressure on, and as so many have said, understand that what you aren't aware of may be being left out of your sight until a better moment when you will be better able to deal with more information. The workbook for the seizures says, in regards to goals:

"small is beautiful."

Hard for me to grasp... also, because living in NYC it seems I have to finish a goal a minute. But, I guess that's my contribution to this great topic. That and "gentleness."

Thanks for sharing everyone.

_________________________
http://davidfmartinez.posterous.com/

Top
#326315 - 03/26/10 11:18 PM Re: Trauma Work [Re: Mike58]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
That's what's been happening with me, to do with flashbacks I mean. I never experienced them before making an honest attempt to delve into the abuse and then like you said they have been happening at the most unexpected times in the most unexpected places. By flashbacks I'm not talking about simply remembering. I could always remember what happened but it is like seeing it from the perspective of a 3rd party, rather than recalling the feelings associated with the memories. I guess up until recently I've been very good at separating feelings from memories. With regards to getting sober this part scares me. Truth is I drink daily and I am scared to death of going to sleep without alcohol in my system. The thought of withdrawal alone is scary enough for anyone but for survivors I think its worse for us since its easier to simply pass out rather than live with nightmares. Please don't assume I am making excuses for my addiction. It is just an observation. On the other hand I would appreciate any tips you might have on how to reduce/stop my drinking while dealing an increase in flashbacks and bad dreams at the same time. Thanks. JS

_________________________
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.