Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
how to deal with flashbacks / bad memories abuse warning(11 Posts)
Hi i`'ve not posted before not sure in right place. I'm struggling with anxiety and depression. I've had a couple of sessions for cbt and it feels like the counsellor is frustrated with me for not giving her an issue she can work with it's like she's said I'm all over the place and she can only work ina more structured way. We ended up discussing how I organise my time and shopping as I'd said I was suffering with constant negative thinking to the point I can't do much. I'd mentioned I have lots of bad memories and it sort of started there. I was thinking next session I must man up and start being prepared to share more and dig deeper or this golden chance for professional counselling will be wasted on topics like shopping. Well it's all just such a mess in my head but a serious illness at Xmas and slow recovery seems to have opened the flood gates for anxiety and depression. Part of that at the start were random bad memories of mostly shitty times with my DP, one of which when he raped me when our 2nd daughter was a few weeks old. I don't remember the immediate aftermath or how I carried on but I know it,s only now 3 years later I realise that's what it was, that's what really happened. I don't know why I'm posting I've just had a dreadful morning of it can't move off bed in floods of tears. LO's ok with tv. Was meant to be a big cleaning day for me. Sorry I don't know what I'm doing really it's just I'm a mess and don't know what to do. Don't want to bother family I'm relying on them a lot at more lots of panic attacks etc and don't want to share this. Think it seems a bit better just for writing down.
Sorry you're feeling so bad
I don't think CBT is the best therapy for trauma, and it sounds like the flashbacks and intrusive memories are really what's bothering you. Could you go back to your GP?
I have anxiety and depression from an abusive childhood. I have had similar with the flash backs etc. this is caused by childhood trauma which presents like post traumatic stress disorder, except it isn't one event causing the trauma. I did the counselling, development of inner child and understanding what happened to me before cbt. Cbt is just the now, not how we got here. I recommend, the books, toxic parents and overcoming childhood trauma by Helen kennerley. This last book was like she scooped out my head. It explains so much in a friendly, helpful, non judgemental way. It is also a self help guide, which has helped me prepare for cbt. Could you put the cbt on hold and do some more preparation for it with counselling and reading ?
Hi OP. I'm sorry you're having such a tough time.
I think that butterfly is right - it might be that CBT isn't the right thing for you at this time. I know it can be difficult to access MH services at the best of times. Was this through your GP? What did you go for initially?
Do know that you're not alone, there are more support services for this. If CBT isn't right at the moment, don't feel like you've wasted a chance or made the wrong choice, okay? There are other services specifically for victims of sexual abuse and trauma and they don't have to be accessed through your GP and you won't have to pay if you can't afford it.
You said DP rather than XP, are you still together? How is your relationship now? (I presume even if not together, you have contact because of your children.)
take your time and don't worry if your post feels jumbled.
It would be worth considering EMDR - a very effective treatment for flashbacks etc. I think www.emdr.org.uk can give a list of practioners. X
Thanks all wow I love this site! Have lurked for years on and off here and there but the wheels coming off a bit lately and it's very new but actually really empowering to ask for help and others ideas. I will check this all out. Spanky do u mean I had a traumatic childhood? I'm really close with my folks and in someway I could say as an adult I see they tend to negativity, but I'd feel really uncomfortable to say they're toxic. Frankly this what scares the crap out of me re my own two gorgeous girls; I become increasingly shouty, stressy crying mum and so scared of what damage all this doing to them. I desperately want to be a good parent but what if I'm a classic toxic mum?
Bertie I went to gp initially with big old panicky pants panic attack. Since then done a stress course and through a assessment team service got cbt .I am still with my partner our relationship isn't great tbh. Partly why pursued help as feel unsure what is relationship issue and what is me. Night all
Not you, being toxic. Sorry to confuse you. I guessed at what your flashbacks were from. Sometimes people have abusive partners because of issues in childhood. I had a boyfriend who raped me and tried to suffocate me once. Only through counselling I realised this relationship followed what happened with the physical and mental abuse from my childhood. I'm sorry for looking at your problem and upsetting you with wrong advice.
OK, that's clearer now, thanks.
Do you want to be in the relationship? I think that might be the first thing to work out. I would forget the CBT for now, unless you want to use it to help you to work through that (not sure if it's helpful for that kind of thing?)
I really doubt you are being toxic to your girls. It's one thing to be more on edge or emotional, and another thing entirely to be manipulative and cruel. It's not great to be shouty but it's not the end of the world - and working on yourself and your situation ought to improve this, too. Perhaps you could ask your CBT practitioner to help you redirect when you want to shout/lose it at the children, how to deal with it more productively and calm down so you can deal with the situation in a more effective way. But do look at the relationship stuff as well, though it's painful I imagine.
There are two organisations - Rape Crisis, who have a phone line and various centres around the UK - look at your nearest town/city on that list. And then there is Women's Aid, who specialise in partner abuse. (It doesn't matter if it was a one off or whether there are ongoing issues or even if there are both but you see them as unrelated.) They won't push you to leave if you don't want to, but they can advise you with help and support to try and work out your own feelings, basically. They also might be able to advise about a local specialised counselling service, as it comes under the umbrella of domestic abuse.
Even just a once off incident occurring in adulthood can lead to situations such as PTSD, panic attacks and generalised anxiety - especially if at the time as a coping mechanism you minimised or convinced yourself that nothing wrong happened. This is really normal and you shouldn't be ashamed or feel silly about it - it's a coping mechanism where your brain basically tries to minimise the harm caused to you. Unfortunately while that might have been extremely useful in caveman times to allow the panic not to set in immediately, which could have been life threatening, it doesn't work so well in modern times, we do need to deal with things eventually.
As you are worried your crying is damaging your girls means you are not toxic. I assumed there were issues from your childhood affecting you now. Toxic parents abuse their dcs and don't have any concern for them. I wasn't saying that was you, I was wondering if it was your childhood that wasn't great, that lead to what was happening now. Sorry again for the confusion.
Hi spanky, I'm really sorry to hear you've had such a tough time and please don't feel you need to apologise, I wasn't offended or anything, just really appreciate you taking the time for me.
Hi Bertie thanks again all such great advice and info. I really don't know what I think or want atm. Just thinking seems a challenge! Think my depression is getting more severe and I'm just so horribly tired, generally feel pants. I won't be online so much now, oh is coming back from a few days away and it's his device. Need to clear my tracks. Thanks for all your support hopefully I'll be back soon and a bit better. Take care
Join the discussion
Please login first.