Something happened the other day that scared me, and it finally occurred to me that I should talk to you guys about it!
I’m keeping this short and to the point.
For several years now, from time to time something will trigger me to very strongly remember a medical experience. The memories are strong, but they’re just memories.
Then the other day, it wasn’t just a memory. It’s what I’m guessing is called a flashback. I wasn’t confused. I knew I wasn’t in the doctor’s office. I felt like I was there. I could see the nurse standing over me. I could feel my arm outstretched as she looked for a vein (while in real life it wasn’t stretched out at all.) And I got all of the same symptoms I’d had at that time – the dizziness and jumpy vision among others, all while I knew it wasn’t real, it was a memory or something. Each flash was short, but then it would come back (the trigger remained for a while.) As soon as the trigger was gone, I felt fine. Shaky and confused, of course, but fine.
Afterwards, I figured out what triggered this. But WHY was it a flashback?
For years I have assured people I don’t have PTSD. I’ve read the descriptions many times and I don’t have it. But maybe I have something else?
I don’t have a therapist and I won’t have one any time soon. After all, this only happened once. And therapists are expensive. And my past therapy experiences weren’t good, so it’s not like I’m feeling like one will help me.
But the thing is, I want to know what’s going on. A label might help, because then I can look into ways to prevent it, or at least ways to handle it if it happens again. Coping mechanisms.
Has this happened to you? If so, what caused it? What do you do about it? Please let me know, so maybe we can learn from each other!
That must be so frightening. I know you can have flashbacks without having PTSD but don’t know what it is called. I am so sorry you are suffering this now. I had issues stemming from child abuse so understand a bit how you feel. I would suggest writing it down, then you have got rid of it.
Thanks Lorna – Happy Passover to you, too. And I like your idea about writing it down – which is sort of what I just did in this blog, and I’ve been feeling lighter ever since 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you deal with a version of it, too, though.