Legacy of child abuse – Flashbacks


This is a short blog but one I felt was important to share. One of the things I find hardest currently is trying to cope with flashbacks. 

I woke yesterday morning to a flashback,  it’s hard to explain the fear that gripped me, my heart pounded and I couldn’t move I was so afraid,  I was only aware of a few brief moments of a memory that I haven’t relived before and yet it felt so real, and so terrifying.
The reality is that for a part of me this once was real and their fear, the fear that I was feeling was as genuine today as it had been years ago.

When I realised I was actually lying in my bed, in my bedroom surrounded by my familiar objects and my bear, I still couldn’t shake off those feelings of fear, I felt violated and I was truth be known so scared that I didn’t want to dare step out of my room.

I spent what felt like forever trying to pluck up the courage to move I just couldn’t shake it off, eventually I told myself that if someone was outside my room waiting to defile me I would scream louder than ever and my daughter who was staying would rescue us.

I ventured downstairs in a state of hypervigilence, of course we were safe and no one was there waiting to hurt us. But the whole flashback was recalled over and over again in my mind well the small fragments of a memory,  I was trying to understand it, make sense of it. I was trying to self talk internally to the alters that we were safe, it was ok now but in reality I was not only trying to reassure them but myself too.

Thoughts of that flashback never left my mind for most of the day. It was my first thought this morning especially when I had to venture from my bed again.

This isn’t the first flashback I have had nor I doubt will it be the last, it is just a part of my mind slowly opening memories locked away decades ago.

Sadly it is just a part of who we are currently, flashbacks are a part of my life with dissociative identity disorder.

People often tell me tell yourself they were in the past and not now,  that you’re safe now.  I understand that but it doesn’t stop the feelings of fear, or the symptoms that causes.  It doesn’t matter how much I tell myself it’s a memory I feel like I have just relived a nightmare, I have just been abused.

I try not to dwell on the memory, but I believe that memory it’s not something anyone could make up. I really feel it’s real and thus I have face upto the reality that this happened to me when I was younger. I have to live with that,  live with the realisation that this happened to me and some days I really am not sure how.

I can look in a mirror and wonder if this defines me was I just an object.

I read sometimes of comments asking social media about why should historical abuse cases be put before the courts, I can answer that quite simply.
Abuse especially child abuse destroys lives, it not only robbed me of my childhood it robs me today of my security and it still plagues my days more than thirty years later.

Having dissociative identity disorder is never easy its just some days are tougher than others. This was one of those days.

Written January 29th 2014
Copyright DID Dispatches


3 thoughts on “Legacy of child abuse – Flashbacks

  1. “Liking” to show our support, but obviously I don’t `like` to see how badly you’ve been affected by flashbacks.

    For us, we go to the other extreme and rather than hypervigilance, the freeze response is where we go.

    Flashbacks in their varying forms and all that go with them are so hard to deal with, but you write very well about it. What I’ve been doing at those rare times when I feel strong and safe enough is trying to `be` with the memory and feel the feelings since they’re so linked up with other parts of me (particularly child parts). It comes from something I was told a few years back, that were safe enough now to experience what we had to escape in the past. It wasn’t suggested by my T, but something more instinctive and on those couple of occasions I’ve managed to do so, it has been helpful.

    Am thinking of you and hoping that the flashbacks reduce; whether in intensity or frequency.

  2. I really hope today has been a better day for you. Yes it absolutely is not as easy as just reorienting everyone to present day. That terror and fear still permeates everything! Sending some warm thoughts xx

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