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roadracer
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26 Feb 2009, 2:21 pm

How do you deal with traumatic stress, flashbacks, from past abuse and violent crimes? So many bad things have happend to me, being abused by my parents to people that have tried to kill me, it is like I am a magnet for this kind of stuff. I cant even believe I am writing this because it is so very embarrassing, but when I was 12 I had trouble from a teacher who was a sexually violent predator, the school tried to cover it up, so I had to deal with it, and it wasn't till a few years ago that he finally got caught. He only got a year in jail, so pretty much they just gave him a slap on the wrist. So last night I was throwing up thinking about this all. I try to stay away from anything that will trigger it, but sometimes a trigger will pop up at the oddest places. I don't want to bring the topic back up, but something at this site was a big trigger for me, and I have felt sick since. How do you get these thoughts out of your head



Xanderbeanz
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26 Feb 2009, 7:08 pm

you have to learn to not trust your brain....fight the negative emotions with logic (it's damned hard)...its mainly time..and councilling that sort it out...although they just discovered a drug which may help in removing negative memories.x



CelticGoddess
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26 Feb 2009, 9:55 pm

Yeah, I can really relate to that. I've been through some horrific stuff starting at the age of 4 and the most absurd things will bring it back up. It took years of counselling and then reminding myself that my past is not my future. What happened then, has no power over me NOW. Hugs to you. It's a long, hard road.



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26 Feb 2009, 10:56 pm

Make a list of things that make you feel good. If you start to feel bad, try to concentrate on one of the good things instead. It gets easier to do with practice.


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just-me
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27 Feb 2009, 2:34 am

I have similar problems . My abuse therapist told me that you can learn to shut off a flash back.

I want you to know that having the flash back is healthy . Your mind is trying to work through what happened to you.

One of the things you can do during a flash back is have a friend sit with you who understands what your going through. Have them there with you during the flash back to remind you your in a safe place (if you are safe).

Also when having a flash back it is good to have something like and ice cube or a lemon handy.

When the flash back's get so real that you feel like your actually there (where the trauma happened) you can hold the ice cube in your hand to bring you back to the present moment where your safe.

Put the lemon slice in your mouth so you can be brought back to the present moment and you know that your not really there where your trauma happened.

Use tools like these to prevent yourself from getting to overwhelmed by the flashbacks.

You should let yourself have the flash backs because they are helping you recover. But sometimes you need to take a brake from them, so this is what you can do.

When you've decided you need a brake from your flash back say to yourself , "I am done with this flash back" . Then try to calm yourself down. Once your a bit calmer visualize a box and put your trauma into the box. then close the lid and put it away for the day.

This may not work at first , you may need to try different ways to suppress your flash back. different things work for different people. experiment to see what works best for you.

But the idea is the train your brain to shut-off the flash back on-command. This can be done but you'll need to practice.

hope this helps.

Oh and there is a sticky thread for people who went though abuse.
Feel free to check it out.

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt80990.html



roadracer
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27 Feb 2009, 2:37 am

I have never had any counsellings, being a guy I just try to act tough. Society seems to make it hard for guys to admit these kind of things or get help, like it takes away what makes you a man or something like that.
Usually if something reminds me and makes me feel bad, I just keep telling myself it was no big deal and do what ever I can to try to not think about it. The reality is it was a big deal and it isn't possible to ever forget about it no matter how much I keep trying to fool my brain. It has been many years since those things happened, and I just wish I could not let it bother me anymore and move on.



roadracer
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27 Feb 2009, 2:53 am

Thanks just-me , I will try those things, I didn't even know there are abuse therapist!
I will have to work on it, one flashback that affects me a lot is one time I was thrown off a bridge, it really wasn't to traumatic, but now sometimes when I am trying to go to sleep, I will have the flashback and feel like I am falling and everything all over again. I will jump out of it, and then not be able to close my eyes for the rest of the night. Then the lack of sleep makes me feel horable. It is funny because it doesnt bother me to talk about it or think about it, but when that happens when I am sleeping it affects me so much.

I am going now to look at the thread!



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27 Feb 2009, 3:39 am

This is actually something i've been thinking about during the last two weeks due to the fact that i've just completed a university course on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. There has been a lot of evidence that actually going through the process of constructing a narrative is beneficial. This can be done verbally or in writing. The completed narrative gives you a greater understanding of the trauma.

In contrast to what a lot of people have written here, there is also some evidence for 'exposure therapy' being of benefit. This is the idea that if you exposure yourself to the images and trauma that you are reliving, then you will become sort of accustomed to them and they won't produce the anxiety when they come to your mind. Exposure therapy however, is done with a therapist who guides you through the exposure.

Avoiding the triggers may not work for some people, as the invasive memories come regardless. This is when traumatic stress becomes a disorder... when the memories are invasive, intrusive and disturbing. If this is the case for you, i would definitely suggest seeking therapy with someone who is experienced with PTSD-- they can then guide you through some of these steps which will hopefully include creating a narrative and cognitive behavioral therapy.



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27 Feb 2009, 4:04 am

I know it's not manly but I would think crying is very appropriate for people who've had a lot of abuse and cruelty, it's a 'soothing' thing. I enjoy it from time to time, it seems to afford some kind of release.

I mean, isn't it a 'mourning' process, to grieve is maybe appropriate?



Last edited by Postperson on 27 Feb 2009, 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Xelebes
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27 Feb 2009, 9:23 am

roadracer wrote:
I have never had any counsellings, being a guy I just try to act tough. Society seems to make it hard for guys to admit these kind of things or get help, like it takes away what makes you a man or something like that.
Usually if something reminds me and makes me feel bad, I just keep telling myself it was no big deal and do what ever I can to try to not think about it. The reality is it was a big deal and it isn't possible to ever forget about it no matter how much I keep trying to fool my brain. It has been many years since those things happened, and I just wish I could not let it bother me anymore and move on.


Man, the first step is admitting it's a problem - instead of just hiding it. I'm now in therapy but it is most certainly not for the weak. It's for those who desire to be strong.


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glider18
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27 Feb 2009, 11:03 am

Hello roadracer. I am no therapist by any means. I do see a therapist though about issues with my AS. But I am going to go on some personal experience here. I have not been abused, but I do obsess on things from time to time. I know that abuse has to be more painful than obsessing over things that I do. But---there is a key here---to get those thoughts away from your main thinking area. When I am feeling yucky I try to engage into an interest. For me, I am writing a book. I can escape into that story and feel better about myself after pushing out a dozen more pages or so. A lot of times, I am able to no longer stress over the obsession(s) after having written some on my book. With abuse, I would think you might be able to find some relief in working on a project---something that you are truly fascinated/interested in. It doesn't have to be a book---it could be any project. Or it could be by reading in some area that interests you.

I have not been abused as you have been, so I cannot say I know how you feel. And trying to perceive the world from someone else's vantage point isn't something I do well anyway (something my therapist is trying to work with me on). But, I have tried to look at things that bother me in my past and realize, "They are done...they are over with...please try to live from this day onward...look at good things in life...if you cannot find anything good at this moment try to make something good to look at..."

I have recently adopted a motto for myself, "My journey has just begun." That is how I have felt after being diagnosed with AS. My puzzle pieces of life seem to fit now. Things could have been a lot different had I/parents/teachers/friends known I was autistic when I was a child. But instead, my diagnosis came as an adult. But...I now have a fresh start on life at the age of 44. I love this fresh feeling of newness. There are things I want to do now...new challenges...new philosophies on my life...etc. I want to live from today onward.

But I enjoy looking at old home movies of myself as a child and seeing all those clues that no one understood. The stim I thought I started when a teenager I was actually doing when I was less than 6 years old. I see myself flapping my arms/hands at my birthday when I was 2 years old. I see myself head bobbing. I see myself walking strangely and clumsily bumping into Mom. I see myself hunting Easter eggs with a really weird walk and staring briefly into the sky like I'm lost. Wow!---today I think I would have quickly been diagnosed with autism at that early age. And I talked funny too. But I made it. And you have made it too. After analyzing my past through home movies/audio recordings/teacher comments/personal reflections/etc. I have decided to accept my past (there's nothing you can do about your past---it happened) and move on...and on...and on...and have fun. The past is gone. Please leave it behind you. Find fun things to do in your interests and live.

As for having AS (which I know is not the issue you are addressing here) I love having it. AS has made me what I am today...It is a large part of me. I know we have all had times in our past that were not pleasant, but if there was a magical cure for autism, I would refuse to take it.


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CelticGoddess
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27 Feb 2009, 11:09 am

Xelebes wrote:
roadracer wrote:
I have never had any counsellings, being a guy I just try to act tough. Society seems to make it hard for guys to admit these kind of things or get help, like it takes away what makes you a man or something like that.
Usually if something reminds me and makes me feel bad, I just keep telling myself it was no big deal and do what ever I can to try to not think about it. The reality is it was a big deal and it isn't possible to ever forget about it no matter how much I keep trying to fool my brain. It has been many years since those things happened, and I just wish I could not let it bother me anymore and move on.


Man, the first step is admitting it's a problem - instead of just hiding it. I'm now in therapy but it is most certainly not for the weak. It's for those who desire to be strong.


Absolutely. I think those that seek the help they need are stronger than those that don't.



just-me
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27 Feb 2009, 7:55 pm

roadracer wrote:
Thanks just-me , I will try those things, I didn't even know there are abuse therapist!


If you decide to look for a therapist, look for one that treats PTSD. That stands for (post traumatic stress disorder.)



roadracer
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27 Feb 2009, 11:13 pm

CelticGoddess wrote:
Xelebes wrote:
roadracer wrote:
I have never had any counsellings, being a guy I just try to act tough. Society seems to make it hard for guys to admit these kind of things or get help, like it takes away what makes you a man or something like that.
Usually if something reminds me and makes me feel bad, I just keep telling myself it was no big deal and do what ever I can to try to not think about it. The reality is it was a big deal and it isn't possible to ever forget about it no matter how much I keep trying to fool my brain. It has been many years since those things happened, and I just wish I could not let it bother me anymore and move on.


Man, the first step is admitting it's a problem - instead of just hiding it. I'm now in therapy but it is most certainly not for the weak. It's for those who desire to be strong.


Absolutely. I think those that seek the help they need are stronger than those that don't.


I know it is a problem, I don't hid that. I used to be really depressed and suicidal, then when I started bike racing, I came out of that dark area. I recovered from that, and am generally a happy person between these episodes. Sometimes I am okay pretty quick, other times I feel bad for some days after. The thing stopping me from getting help, is the whole autism thing, not being able to use the phone, let alone asking for help or talking about these things. Hopefully soon I will be going for a speech evaluation, then figure out some things to help me communicate better. I have so many steps I need to complete first before I get to that point. I just don't see myself being able to get help for this any time soon.



roadracer
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27 Feb 2009, 11:14 pm

Thanks everyone, your responses have been a big help



CelticGoddess
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27 Feb 2009, 11:18 pm

I think you've already made huge steps in the right direction. My wish for you is that you get some sense of peace about your past at some point. It takes a lot of energy trying to work through all of those emotions, especially when they seem to blindside you. :(

Since you communicate so well online, maybe there is a therapist who would be willing to email back and forth? Just a thought. :)