The face of me in a CPTSD flare up. Bulging eyes, tense face, exhausted, look of hopelessness, dirty and untamed appearance. I’m stuck in terror.
This is me when I feel betrayed because someone or something has stopped being reliable, even if they mostly are but a few times aren’t. I get triggered right back to my childhood where no one had my back, ever. I would seek and seek but no one would help.
This time, it was my Fitbit acting wonky. Instead of accepting that it would usually be reliable and sometimes not, I went off the deep end thinking every data recorded was a lie and that I wasn’t performing as well as I thought I was. The idea of failing sends me into a spiral, especially with something I crave so deeply to regulate myself. I was using my Fitbit to record my sleep and when it glitched, I believed I was never sleeping when I was and therefore never would again. Intense insomnia and anxiety settled in until my husband rubbed my back one night and told me I was sleeping when I felt I wasn’t. I was snoring away. It took his validation for me to let go and believe i could sleep again.
Insane, right? This is what severe trauma does to your nervous system and mindset. Delusion sinks in so easily and you freeze there. Lack of self confidence drops into the abyss of nothing. You don’t trust your own reality. You gaslight yourself over and over again because pain must be the only truth.
I’m SLOWLY learning how to ride these flashbacks.
Letting go used to be impossible but with more practice of regulation when I’m in a good place, the more my nervous system wants to return there. It’s starting to feel more off trying to control the paranoia instead of staying with it. That’s huge progress for me.
The ride from freeze (locking down and suppressing the emotion) to fight/flight (feeling the overwhelming emotion and riding it out) to eventually flow (being in rest and contentment) is happening. I am feeling moments and sometimes hours of flow, then a whisk between fight/flight and freeze. Freeze is happening less and less, even when triggered.
Riding the flashback
I wrote another blog on this is detail. Read it here:
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