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Flashbacks? (TW: assault)

AidanAidan Clever idiotPosts: 3,029 Boards Guru

Hey everyone! I hope you're all doing well! :grin:


TL;DR:

  • I think I'm having flashbacks? It's never happened for me before
  • I think the thing I'm having flashbacks about has made me fear being outside alone, and fear strangers especially young men
  • I don't usually reach out for help about anything anymore, so forgive me if this isn't the best written post you read today :lol:


I’m not sure what to write, I tried drafting this in my head in the shower lol but I thought it’s best to get something a bit rubbish out now than get a literary masterpiece out never. 


I’m not sure if I’ve been having flashbacks recently? 


TW: assault 

When I was about 7 or 8, I was playing on a field by myself when I was attacked by a teenage boy. He dragged me into the bit with the bushes and the trees where nobody could see us, and put his hands around my neck and lifted me off the ground and strangled me. He wrung my neck like it was a wet flannel or something. He was shouting, someone had pulled a knife on his little brother and he thought it was me, but I couldn’t speak I was terrified and words physically couldn't come out. There was nothing I could do, I thought I was going to die. Maybe I was going to, but my dad had been watching from my nan’s kitchen window and hadn’t seen me on the field for a few minutes and he was rustling through the bushes looking for me, and this guy dropped me to the floor and ran off. 

 

I walk my dog on this field now- I used to use another field but since we moved this one is just a lot closer and more convenient now. I walk Maisy quite early in the morning, about 6 or 7 ish, and I get glimpses in my head of what happened when I was a lad. It sort of feels like I’m there, it’s not for long only seconds but when I start my morning like this it just leaves me feeling rubbish for the rest of the day. All the feelings of helplessness and like I’m about to die just come flooding back and it’s really pissing me off because something from so long ago shouldn’t be changing how I feel now. It really annoys me because I beat a depression that lasted for like 9 years, but this little thing is still gnawing away at me. 


I’m not worried about coming across the same guy again or anything, I don’t remember what he looks like and I doubt he’d know me either- and who knows if he even lives nearby anymore. But I think this still really dented my trust in strangers. I don’t go anywhere by myself (except when I used to go for my 2am walks, they were so quiet and you’d never see anyone else) just with my dog and GF or (before COVID) mates but then that’s just a crutch. I might walk to the shop alone if it’s really early or really late, but that’s just because it’s literally a minute away and there’s nobody else on the street usually. I’d like to be able to go places by myself, I feel like this little thing that happened over a decade ago and lasted a few minutes has set back my independence today. 


The fear of being out alone and distrust of strangers especially teen boys has bothered me for a bit and I’ve just sort of got on with life in spite of it, but the memories and feelings coming back is a recent thing, like the last month or so. It’s really alien to me. 


I feel a bit pathetic that this is bothering me, I haven’t even told my GF (she’s gonna know when she reads this though lol, cos I’m not sure what to say to her) or my family. I know loads of people have been through things like this but worse or more recently. I don’t want to get any kind of mental health help again because of COVID and I know there’ll be long waiting lists- the wait for counselling wasn’t so long when I had depression because I was high priority, I was suicidal and having episodes of disassociation. I’m not anymore though which is good!! I’m just unhappy now and a bit stuck in life, which is okay cos I’ll pull myself out of this rut eventually and I’m quite good at pretending I’m quite happy. Sometimes I even think I AM happy, and that's great.


I’ve been having glimpses and memories of this in my dreams too, I bought a kindle book about sleeping and dreams yesterday thinking it’d have some tips but I’m not sure if it’s gonna help- it's still an interesting read though! Apparently the Guiness book of records doesn't record records for sleep deprivation anymore because it's too dangerous to attempt, when things like 'world's fastest person' or whatever are way more safe lol. Anyway I'm going off on a tangent! 


I recently spoke to a friend and even my GF (I don’t usually like bothering her, but we’d talked recently about being more honest with each other about our MH and feelings and I didn’t want to be a hypocrite) about my feelings about something else and it felt good to get it off my chest (cos I never talk about my feelings lol), and those guys have inspired me to talk about this instead of bottling it up and letting it get worse. So thanks, you two. 


I don’t know if I want help or if I just want to vent (and I didn’t think when I started this it’d be so long LOL), but if you took the time to read this, thank you. You guys are all awesome, and the way you persevere through adversity is an inspiration for me every day <3

but idk tho
ZenLaineAnch0r33independent_Past UserDandelion

Comments

  • ZenZen Living the Zen life 🧘🏼‍♀️ Posts: 1,993 Extreme Poster
    @Aidan I'm so sorry that happened, no one deserves to be treated in that way. 

    It sounds like going to this particular place causes anxieties and so does going out alone which is understandable, something like this is bound to knock your confidence levels so don't be hard on yourself about it. The brain reacts to trauma in a certain (an often annoying) way, it will make the memory replay for us so that we remember it and we don't get into that situation again. But this process is the same for all trauma memories. Say you once fell off of your bike and broke your leg, it's likely that every time you get back on a bike you're going to think about that but your brain does it to keep you safe. It seems like at the moment your mind is still trying to keep your body safe because of the association between the assault and the field.

    When I was working on trauma memories in therapy, my therapist always tried to drill in the fact that I am no longer that young girl who was on the receiving end, I'm an adult which changes things a lot. You were only young when this happened to you but you're also and adult now, you have more strength and power than you did back then.

    Oftentimes, things get better before they get worse. It sounds like you are really trying to help yourself by reading this book etc. which is amazing! Learning to apply what you learn will take times and it's a bit of a trial and error process so don't be disheartened if it doesn't work out straight away! 

    Talking to your girlfriend was a huge step to take and you've done it which is wonderful! It's useful to have someone you can turn to if you want to or maybe to talk about what's going on for you. Perhaps they could help you build up confidence gradually in going out alone? 

    We're always here! <3
    Alis propriis volat 
    LaineAidanAnch0r33independent_
  • LaineLaine Fruit loop Gone for gooPosts: 2,767 Account Deactivated
    That's awful to go through!  Don't beat yourself up about how you feel it's valid feelings and nobody should struggle alone.

    Thing like this can really take its toll on us.

    I thought I'd share something no pressure to read! 

    Well it's not significant I was once walking my friend to the bus stop as I normally do. And this vicious dog got off it's lead. It was really scary and I managed to get home unharmed but someone else got bitten. After then I never told him. Didn't want him to feel bad lol 
    I couldn't take that route anymore. I took the longer way there and home because every noise I heard would take me back. Once the dog was there again sat on the doorstep and I had to sneak past. It was awful.

    Through all this I want you to know it's not silly. Every year we celebrate rememberence day and we remind those who served that they're thoughts aren't in their head. While we won't think it, it's similar any trauma is bound to leave an affect. X

     Well done for reaching out about it! Focusing on our feelings is a good step, and from there you can maybe think about what you would like to do or achieve from this(going out alone etc) take your time and take care of yourself we're all here ❤️

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈

    "This is my family. I found it, all on my own.
    It's little, and Broken, but still good. Yeah. Still good." ~ Stitch

    "Lately, I've been struggling with all the simple things in my life" ~ Cian Ducrot

    "I don't know if it's because my heart hurts or I'm insecure" ~ Juice Wrld
    ZenAnch0r33independent_Aidan
  • Anch0r33Anch0r33 Obnoxiously Large Anchor Somewhere in the sea 🌊Posts: 981 Part of The Mix Family
    Heya Aidan, I'm really proud that you've been able to come on here and reach out. It's understandable that this has been happening - especially after what happened in the first place. 

    Mentally covid has been rough on a lot of people which may be why this has started happening for you, as well as returning to the area it happened. 

    Mine only last seconds really - for me it's when I'm concentrating and let my mind get distracted. There's no particular trigger for me. Have you been able to identify a trigger to when this happens? 

    Acknowledging and talking about the situation is a fantastic first step. It might be worth eventually looking into some things for PTSD? Even if it's not counselling but online self help guides. 

    I'm not really sure what else to suggest but I'm really glad you reached out, whether that was for help or for a vent! 

    Much love 
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    Laineindependent_Aidan
  • Past UserPast User Posts: 91 The Mix Convert
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    Anch0r33LaineAidan
  • AidanAidan Clever idiot Posts: 3,029 Boards Guru
    Thanks everyone for all your replies, I was really nervous before I posted this but I wasn't sure what I was expecting lol, cos I was never gonna get anything but kindness and understanding from you guys :heart: I guess I was ashamed that I thought I'd gotten better and this makes it sound like I'm getting worse again, but as long as I have ups more than downs I'm making progress I suppose. You only fail when you stop trying!

    Thanks Zenners pal @Eleanor and I'm sorry you went through trauma, nobody deserves :heart: I am trying plenty to help myself, self-help stuff was handy when I was depressed and if anything I'm in an even better position to do it now than before! This particular place does cause me anxiety, but the way you beat any anxiety or fear is by facing it again and again til it's got no power over you, so I'm never gonna let it stop me walking the dog there. I think something I'll want to do in future is go back there, in the middle of the day by myself, and just ride out those visions and feelings and remember where I really am- an adult who's beaten depression, not a 8ish year old kid who just got unlucky one day.

    It makes sense that the brain is just trying to warn me not to get into that situation again, I'll start treating it like one. I'll head it, and just let it go. I know most times I've gone to that field I've been okay, but my brain isn't going to warn me about things being fine is it? So it's down to me to remember I'll be fine.

    Perhaps they could help you build up confidence gradually in going out alone? 
    If anything breaks me down a little she always helps builds me up again :star: If I ever wanted to go somewhere alone, just to prove to myself that it's not that bad (cos part of me knows logically I'm gonna be okay) I know she'd understand and help me.

    Thanks @Laine <3 I feel it's a lot less silly or pathetic now than I did when I was first writing my post trying to figure out what was even going through my head. I'm gonna have a think about where I go fro mthis like you say, I know I want to start going out by myself in the daytime and find it bearable, eventually enjoy it, and I want to confront the field and my flashbacks or whatever they are directly as well. Am sorry to hear about your run in with the dog, I'm glad you came out of that okay!

    Hey @Anch0r33 thanks for your reply pal :heart: maybe covid has got me stressed and that's what's started this, I really can't put my finger on it though! It is a good point about covid though, cos I haven't been around my mates (or just people in general) as much this year which might be why my fears of going outside, of being around people is coming back a little worse than it usually is. Am sorry you go through flashbacks as well, and know that you're very strong :heart:

    I'd never considered I could have PTSD before, but it's worth at shot having a look at those kind of resources so thanks for that shout! I do like help stuff, it gives me something to do but it's nice to feel in control and like I'm responsible myself for getting better.

    Thank you @errrin and don't worry you weren't rude or patronising at all, you're always such a positive presence in chat and on the boards pal :star: Thanks for bringing up comparing MH problems like you would a broken arm vs a grazed knee, you're right you can't compare them and the graze still needs help regardless, and I didn't want to fall into the trap of comparing myself to others cos that can never do any good for anybody. Happy Wednesday Erin!

    Cheers everyone, I really needed to read this today to know I wasn't blowing something out of proportion, and that I'm not alone :heart: I also apologise for the overuse of heart emojis I did replace a few of them with stars :joy: I'm gonna draw up a battle plan to fight this, it's better to be going somewhere than sitting still and pretending everything is fine when it's not.

    Thank you all, take care and stay awesome! 
    but idk tho
    Anch0r33Past UserLaineZen
  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 6,810 Master Poster
    Hey Aidan, you did a great thing writing this, especially when the thoughts are all jumbled up in your head writing a post like this can be really great as it can help you to  make sense of everything you're thinking. If it's bothering you, then it's absolutely not silly (it's never silly) and it's great you're speaking about it to us, we're always here<3

    You've had some excellent advice above from all the others, I don't have much to add but I think making a plan of how to tackle this is a really good idea. It will take time but you will get there, you will be able to face your anxieties and do the things you want to.

    And definitely keep talking about it along the way you don't have to pretend it's all fine to everyone. You've recovered from depression, that is a really wonderful thing to have done but it's ok to admit when something isn't right again and get the support you need for it, whether that's talking to the people in your life or getting more MH help if you feel you need to go that route at any point. 

    You are strong, you will get through this too <3
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
    LaineAidanAnch0r33
  • _Tech_Addict_Girl_Tech_Addict_Girl Posts: 1,073 Wise Owl
    Hey @Aidan
    I am so sorry about what happened 
    I hope you are ok now 
    Again I will say sorry because I have no advice I just wanted to check in to see if you are ok now 
    Sending big hugs <3<3

    LaineAidan
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