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Admin Area => Stage One - Remembering => Group One March 2015 => CPTSD Course Group #1 => Step 4 (Mar 30 - Apr 5) => Topic started by: C. on March 29, 2015, 07:49:44 PM

Title: I shall re-experience sets of memories of the abuse as they surface in my mind
Post by: C. on March 29, 2015, 07:49:44 PM
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Hello group, 

I look forward to our discussion this week.  I see it's a difficult one and potentially triggering.  Know that everyone here supports you doing as little or as much as what works for you.  I know this is a step that I will return to over time and stop when I feel I've "felt" enough.   Here's to another meaningful & healing week for our group.

In gratitude :thumbup:



I shall re-experience each set of memories of the abuse as they surface in my mind.

This step represents the major task of the first stage of recovery and may require the most time to accomplish.  Often, survivors of extreme and prolonged abuse will need to return to this step again and again as new recollections of the same or additional episodes of abuse surface. This step essentially involves going through the memories of your abuse and expressing them at ASCA meetings, to trusted friends, supporters or your therapist in as much detail as you can remember and to the extent appropriate for your listener(s).  If at all possible, we encourage you to find a therapist before beginning work on this step.  If this is not possible, this is the time to strengthen your support network and continue your participation in ASCA meetings.

"Re-experiencing the abuse" comprises many things.  First, you will need to allow yourself to re-experience the various feelings, express them as they arise and eventually be able to label them so they do not confuse and overwhelm you. Second, you need to try to describe any sensory impressions connected to the abuse: visual images, sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations.  Third, you will need to recall your thoughts about the abuse, both during and after each episode.
Try to notice if you have any body memories of the abuse while you are re-experiencing it.  Body memories include aches, pains, numbing or other physical sensations that appear suddenly in key locations of your body such as your arms (suggesting you were hurt while trying to ward off blows), genital areas (which may have been physically injured during episodes of sexual abuse) and face and mouth (which may have been injured when you were slapped, gagged or forced to orally copulate your abuser).  These body sensations mean something.  By allowing yourself to re-experience them, you will help to discharge them and thus allow them to gradually fade away.

Finally, try to remember what behaviors you engaged in during and after the abuse.  Did you try to run away and hide, roll up into a ball to protect yourself or fight back and scream?  Or were you immobilized and unable to move while the abuse occurred?  What about later?  Did you run out of the house, crawl under the bed, hide in a closet or wash off in the bathroom?

This step likely will be very difficult to achieve because it means returning in your mind to the scene of the crime.  But this time you can have all of the control you need.  The experience will not be as painful or scary as when you were a child. Remember that you are dealing with memories, not present reality. Move slowly, step by step, memory by memory so that you can manage the feelings and share your reactions with your therapist and trusted members of your support system.
Title: Re: I shall re-experience sets of memories of the abuse as they surface in my mind
Post by: Kizzie on March 30, 2015, 10:06:31 PM
Yikes, I know this is what I need to do but honestly I feel like I need to take a year off work to do this course.  I am afraid of triggering and not being able to get through my busy days of doing, doing, doing.   :stars:

That said, I do feel some comfort in the instructions which remind me I am in the present, I am not a child now and I will get throught this remembering by going slowly and getting support. 

I think starting with a lesser traumatic memory (if there is such a thing) would be prudent so I reduce  the chances of triggering a big EF.   :yes:
Title: Re: I shall re-experience sets of memories of the abuse as they surface in my mind
Post by: C. on March 31, 2015, 04:55:49 AM
Sometimes I think about what you've mentioned about taking time off from work.  When my youngest son was about 1 1/2 years old I began to heal and I remember wishing I could take one or two years off to do so.  One therapist even suggested so.  But I didn't.  I didn't feel I could afford to do so.  Eventually that caught up with me.

So now I work about 30 hrs/wk and that feels like plenty.  I am "off" when my son is at school.  My son spends more time with his father.  I finally have the time I need to heal. 

Finding a pace for recovery that matches our life circumstances is a must...
Title: Re: I shall re-experience sets of memories of the abuse as they surface in my mind
Post by: Kizzie on April 05, 2015, 03:53:20 PM
So as much as I tried to remember the incident where my NPDM spanked us so hard, yelling the whole time about how bad we were to have embarrassed her, and then putting us in a hot bath, I know I was really scared but I could not FEEL it which suggests to me that I went away, dissociated during or after.  It was as though I were watching younger me going through it, knowing how scared I was, how unfair it felt,  but not the type of physical sensations I must have had.

I suspect I need to try and get in touch with those "body memories" and perhaps this is where I need some visual (drawing, pictures) and/or audio (recording myself talking about the incident) stimulation to get closer/deeper into the physical and emotional sensations of the memory.  I'm glad that I am letting the memories surface, but there do appear to be layers of protection to be peeled away.

I have also been looking at T's in the city where my H will be working and where I will be quite a bit of the time and there are a number who have training in somatization or embodied psychotherapy and I beginning to see that I need some ways of being "in my body" more. 

On a brighter note, I had a dream the other night in which my aunt (my NPDM's Queen Bee sister) was telling me that I was a bad daughter, selfish, blah, blah, blah while my M sat beside her with this s*** eating little smile at the corner of her lips, and I was yelling back her so loud my H had to wake me up.  And then I went back to sleep and into the dream.  I remember clearly feeling her sneering invalidation (I was always so scarred of my aunt not liking me),  and feeling the anger and frustration.

I don't know if this counts as we are supposed to be talking about memories but as I do remember feeling the anger and unjustness of what she was saying and how frustrated I was that I could NOT get through to her I thought it might fit here.  I then had this realization that no matter what I said it wouldn't make a difference, that this was a reality in my life I had to accept and in the end I kind of did a "Menh, not a big deal anymore." 

So I am glad I went back and finished the dream lol.  For me that was really a full on recovery (feeling my feelings) dream.  I have never allowed myself to feel the fear and anger I used to have when I thought my extended FOO and this aunt in particular were thinking awful things about me.  In this dream I did and with the Big Kahuna who is even better at my NPDM at all the PD stuff so I am allowing my fear to surface and confronting it. Maybe feeling those childhood memories full on come after this, after letting my IC see that adult me really is able to handle things. 
Title: Re: I shall re-experience sets of memories of the abuse as they surface in my mind
Post by: anosognosia on April 05, 2015, 07:37:47 PM
I've been doing a lot of "clearing" lately as my T calls it. Meaning that a few memories come up (maybe two a day or so) and I record them.