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flashbacks during quarantine


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I joined this site a couple of days ago and each time I've tried to post, just couldn't.  My sexual assault happened a very long time ago. I never told anyone about it, not my late husband, not my best girlfriends, not my boss (it happened at work, in a back hallway behind basement storerooms) -- I didn't even write about it in my journal.  I pushed the memory very far away.  A few months ago, after a very difficult experience, lots of hard memories including this one, came back.  I went into therapy, and it helped, but now, during quarantine (I live alone) I've been experiencing flashbacks to that day.  I've tried many different things to get rid of them, but they keep happening, and I don't know what else to do. 

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Dear judym

I am sorry for all that you have been through.   You have been so brave in reaching out to us, please know that this is never easy!   We are all here for you and we want to support you.  You're not alone in your healing journey and are always welcome to lean on us for extra support.  You can post as much or as little as you like.  We are here to support you in the way you need.  I have found this community to be very helpful.  Everyone is so understanding and non-judgmental and I am hoping you feel the same way once you've gotten to know us a little.   

All my best,
missfrierr

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Hi and welcome @JudyM to AS. I am glad you were able to share your first post and very sorry about what was done to you. Flashbacks can be very scary and unsettling so it is important to give yourself really good self care and find some good ways to ground yourself in the present time in a safe space. I think flashbacks can be the way the mind tries to "help" you process trauma for ways to deal and heal from it, but overall they are terrifying. You have spent a long while crushing these memories into invisibility and I'm so sorry it was never safe for you to share with the people closest to you. I understand how much bravery it took for you to share it here with us now and I hope to really let you know how honoring that is. As painful as it is I have found that talking about it, with supportive, caring people is a huge step towards healing from the trauma of sexual abuse. I have also found that if you are able to journal down some of the feelings you are having during your flashback, while also scary, can help over time. You are stronger than you can imagine right now and you can make it through this. Please keep breathing and bringing yourself to a safe place of your design that is calming, gentle and kind.

I would also encourage you to read the books Beginning to Heal or the Courage to Heal for tools to understand why flashbacks happen and how to cope through them, Those first books were like a bible to me in the beginning of my healing journey. It helped me to understand I was not crazy, or weak for not just "getting over it" and moving on. I hope you also can find a bit of solace in them too. 

AS is a very supportive place for SA survivors and I hope you can let yourself share again. I would like to stress again the importance of good self care for yourself during this time. You are not alone and you can do this!

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Hi Judy,

Welcome to AfterSilence. I am very sorry for the experience you endured long ago and sorry you have recently been triggered. I found myself here a few years ago, under similar circumstances. You will find tons of support here among our many understanding and kind members. You are not alone. Take your time to look around and feel free to take your time to interact. There is no pressure and we want you to feel comfortable, when you do.

I am glad you decided to reach out here, it was a big step. Wishing you many more steps as you continue on this journey of healing. You deserve it.

Mary

:youcanheal:

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Hi, @JudyM - 

Welcome to After Silence! I'm so sorry for what has happened to you. You did not deserve any of that. Sexual trauma is such a hard thing to go through. I would never wish this kind of pain on anyone. I hope you know that you are not alone here. We are all supporting you and we are here to listen when you're ready to talk. WE will be waiting with open arms! You deserve to feel heard and loved and supported. I hope you can get that by joining this community. 

If you need anything at all, please feel free to reach out to me! I'm sending you lots of hugs if you'd like them. 

Best wishes,
Poppy

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Welcome @JudyM to After Silence.  I’m sorry for what brought you here but I’m happy you are here reaching out for support.   Good job taking this step in your healing process.  You are not alone and what happened to you wasn’t your fault.  Take your time exploring and post when you are ready.  If you have any questions feel free to message me. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, wow. This quarantine has got me in a relapse as well. I am in the exact same boat as you. My traumatic experience occurred so long ago, I dealt with it and repressed it. I watched some meditation videos for trauma on YouTube. Something I learned is that forgetting about the experience isn’t healing, it’s amputation. I think during this quarantine, our minds are telling us to address the trauma and heal. Not amputate. Writing down your feelings and sharing them is a great start. We are in this together. We will get through this. 

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