*Trigger warning* How do I know?

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Annarae12

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*Trigger warning* How do I know?
« on: December 13, 2017, 12:34:51 AM »
Ive recently found one of the only photos of me from being a child. I am about 4 or 5 in the photo which is a huge age i dont remember. I dont remember most of my child hood but especially that time period. In the photo i have cuts and bruises on my neck and face. Something about that photo triggered me to be upset to the point where i can barely look at it. I have reason to believe something may have happened to me as a child and based off of the reasons i think this i believe it was some sort of sexual abuse but i cant remember. I have told my T all my reasons for believing so and she agrees it may be a sign that sexual abuse occured in my childhood.Does anyone else have this issue where they feel a deep gut feeling that something happened but have no proof really or memory? If so is there anything i can do to help me figure it out? I just have been obsessing about this and dont know what to do.

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Eyessoblue

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Re: *Trigger warning* How do I know?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 02:33:32 AM »
Hi there, really sorry to hear this, Iím 47 and it was only last year I realised I had been sexually abused by my dad. I was watching something on tv about sexual abuse and something just triggered in my head and I realised it had happened to me, consequently I had a complete breakdown and am still attending therapy now, Iíve been having emdr as well as psychotherapy and the EMDR has basically saved me, it does take you back to the situation but doesnít re traumatise you, basically places it logically in your brain and re processes it, it brings out your emotions, I was always someone who never cried but as soon as I started the EMDR I would cry a lot which was all my suppressed emotions coming up and after a few days would feel a lot better. Is this something that you would be able to do? Not sure where you live, but Iím in the uk and get it free on the nhs.

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Dee

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Re: *Trigger warning* How do I know?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 06:19:00 AM »

I understand that feeling in your gut.  Trust your feelings.  When you described how you felt, I thought, exactly.  I have been told I don't need to remember to recover.  I feel that when you are ready you will know.  I always remembered, yet I didn't remember everything.  I have had things flood back to me and there are others that I am sure I don't remember, but I know.  But that feeling in my gut knows.

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Fen Starshimmer

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Re: *Trigger warning* How do I know?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 12:56:33 PM »
Hi Annarae,
I know how important it is to know the truth, I relate to that. And like Dee, I have been told that I don't need to remember to recover. I've been told that it's worse to remember, and forgetting is some kind of protection. But I disagree... because amnesia can create repetitive painful re-enactments ie sexual abuse scenarios, and not having any acknowledgement feels like an injustice, further invalidation. For me, the nightmares are the biggest give away. They show the person involved, and this is the same person that FOUR (separate) therapists have identified as sexually abusing me as a child. I also have fragmented memories of being in excruciating pain (age 4 - 5) and being treated for it on several occasions, while my younger sisters never had that kind of pain.

I think your reaction to the photo is you tuning into your younger self at that age. I would trust your gut feelings and work with a good therapist who can help you, guide you safely to discovering (if appropriate) and healing this aspect of your past.



Healing is the outcome of reversing longstanding patterns of self-alienation and building the capacity to love and accept our 'selves'.

Janina Fisher, Chapter 1
Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors

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Andyman73

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Re: *Trigger warning* How do I know?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 03:58:53 AM »
Annarae,

I'd say this to you....do not dig for it. Digging makes it so much worse when you find it. Let it have it's time and space and it will come to you.  If it's really really haunting you, then with the help of a trained professional, going through EMDR and those kinds of things can really do wonders. My own experience has been that all my abuse memories were suppressed as they occurred.  This past January I was triggered, several days later, after doing some required online sexual assault reporting and prevention training for my work. The end result is that my mind had hidden 42 years worth of abuse, going back to age 2. I am only 44 years old.  And yes, I do have the sense of something happening earlier than the earliest memory. Ever since my daughter was born 17 years ago, I would be triggered and dissociate while changing her diaper. Strangely though, it was only with dirty diaper changes, not removing and replace diapers for bath time. Only soiled diapers. Same happened with my son, born 4.5 years later, and the foster babies I've had as well. It was only after my memories started coming back that I finally learned and understood what was happening. But not why, not yet, any way.

Eyessoblue,

I really emphasize with you, as my memories came back in similar fashion. The first revealed memory literally exploded in my head, with all the assosiated sensations and such, all at once. Thankfully, every memory since then has been revealed as gentle as drift wood being left on a beach by a calm ocean wave.

 :bighug: for all who would like them.

Andy :phoot:
Been 41 years and not free yet. Most recent 21 years in abusive relationship/marriage...trying to escape

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Blueberry

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Re: *Trigger warning* How do I know?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2017, 06:26:19 AM »
I'd say this to you....do not dig for it. Digging makes it so much worse when you find it. Let it have it's time and space and it will come to you.  If it's really really haunting you, then with the help of a trained professional, going through EMDR ...

 :yeahthat: It has absolutely been my experience too. Digging, or being pushed into digging by therapists who think you should be processing faster, is counterproductive! I've been set back massively several times by this. With 'massively' I mean: months. In one case more than a year even.

This past January I was triggered, several days later, after doing some required online sexual assault reporting and prevention training for my work. ...

I'm sorry, Andy, :bighug: I didn't realise that it was some 'harmless-looking' work related thing that set everything in motion for you. Something that for outsiders looks like nothing but can trigger us into oblivion for months.


And yes, I do have the sense of something happening earlier than the earliest memory. Ever since my daughter was born 17 years ago, I would be triggered and dissociate while changing her diaper. .. It was only after my memories started coming back that I finally learned and understood what was happening. But not why, not yet, any way.

Andy, when I read this about diaper triggers, my body went cold because it reminded me of when I was triggered when somebody else was changing her grandson's diaper. Long time ago now. I discussed it in T at the time. I was triggered because this child was - fortunately - not being abused the way I was at that age. It was obvious based on how the GrM was interacting with the baby, where she was looking... All very loving and non-sexual(ised).

So for you too, Annarae, this thing with the diapers - it wouldn't stand up in court. I can't prove it to anybody who doesn't want to believe me, like FOO or even docs / Ts, but I know what happened to me, that didn't happen to this baby. I know the messages my body is giving me (with the cold shivers e.g.) is not something I can 'make' happen - they just come. Trust your feelings. What eventually comes up might be slightly different from what you fear. But you're not reacting the way you're reacting to that photo on a whim or for the fun of it.
I believe you.  :hug:

I've been in healing for years, it's been a long slog. I wouldn't wish this length of time on anybody, but I know I'm not alone with it on here. I learned long ago: stabilisation, stabilisation, stabilisation, take a peek at and/ or process something, stabilisation, stabilisation, stabilisation, over and over again. So finding ways to stabilise and discovering what resilience methods you possess and building them up is something we can all do, always. I didn't always want to hear this, in fact I still don't. But IME it has a lot of truth in it. 



Should is
never good,
for me.

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Andyman73

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Re: *Trigger warning* How do I know?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 08:09:30 PM »
Blueberry,
While it was quite a shock, it was very very necessary. Because what I was experiencing was coming from something that I had no knowledge of. Took 6-8 weeks before next memory came. They havenít stopped coming yet.
 :bighug:
I believe you with the diaper trigger.  I try not to dwell on it. Just go with the flow, as it were. They seem to have lessened in intensity and frequency since I accepted that there is something there. Had to do something, was triggering some very intense dissociative episodes.
 :hug: :hug: :hug:
Been 41 years and not free yet. Most recent 21 years in abusive relationship/marriage...trying to escape

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Snuwer1

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Re: *Trigger warning* How do I know?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2017, 12:56:49 AM »
Hey Annarea
     TW.  S

Oh no I'm so sorry. Please proceed with caution with T. If it starts coming back to fast talk with T if you're able to seek out a good inpatient program. We're all here for you also.