Headaches, triggers and flashbacks

I’ve had a headache for the last few days. It feels like someone has my head squeezed inside giant pliers or something. I thought I was getting another sinus infection, but I also got triggered quiet badly last week and have been triggery, freaky, flashbacky ever since. The Back Up Therapist says this could be the cause of the headache. Oh, great.

She said that triggers can get worse if you just continue to fight them, ignore them, squash them and don’t deal with them. She said it’s like someone who can’t go near the scene of a car accident where a loved one died. At first it’s just that part of the road, or the light pole with the flowers on them… then it’s all light poles with flowers… then it’s all light poles… You get the picture.

I had to go out for a work lunch last week. The big boss decided we’d go Japanese. This isn’t great for me because of my food intolerances, but that isn’t what got me. We ordered Bento boxes with lots of stuff in them. The chicken teriyaki and the vegetables tempura were nice, but they also came with fish – LOTS of fish: sushi fish, sashimi fish, fish in dumplings, fried up fish, fish just about every way you can think of doing it. As I’ve said before, fish is quite a trigger for me.

As soon as I saw the fish on the plate, and dangled in front of me in a colleague’s chopsticks, I started freaking out. Flashbacking all over the place. I started sweating and shaking all over. I had to keep shaking my head to stop myself from vortexing out completely.

Ever since then I’ve been all flashbacky. Just when I least expect it memories of the fish jump into my head. It’s possible that I have more memories surfacing as my father’s hands have featured strongly too, though they haven’t ever before. I’ve even been smelling fish when it’s nowhere to be seen. Even sitting in the Back Up Therapist’s office I was getting flashbacks just talking about this.

I’ve never freaked out like that about fish in a restaurant before. The Back Up Therapist says I need to do something about this. I need to talk about what happened, may be do something creative to lay the fish to rest. I’m not sure if I can, but if I don’t, she said this will just get worse.

The Back Up Therapist said that if I was a little kid we would do something creative to symbolise dealing with the fish – like drawing them, painting them, making them. Locking them up in a box. Burning them. Whatever. But, she also said, that the first step for me needs to be talking.

Ugh. I thought I was done with talking about all that sh*t. And why would new memories start to surface now?

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5 thoughts on “Headaches, triggers and flashbacks

  1. Oh Kerro I’m sorry that you’re going through this. It sounds horrible. Really horrible. That feeling of not being in control of your senses or memories is so scary. I’m sticking with the analogy that memories trigger each other, and eventually it’ll stop. Maybe you are approaching the end of the chain reaction. Sending hugs.

    Lola x

  2. Flashbacks are horrible things. I’m so sorry that you’re having them, especially when T is away. Perhaps that’s why they’re more vivid at the moment? Because your base is gone? Just a thought, perhaps back-up T isn’t as containing at the moment. (((Kerro)))

  3. Hey Kerro,
    In my experience, the memories never stop coming, they just stop being so disruptive, and become easier to handle over time. There will always be memories, sometimes not very frequent and sometimes more frequent. Your therapist is right, talking about it is part of making it better. If you do, eventually you won’t have that same body reaction to seeing fish and you’ll be that much freer. It’s a good thing, in the end, that your inner child/self trusts you enough to give you this information about what you had to deal with and how you felt about it. Integrating it is all just part of making yourself whole and happy. That doesn’t make it fun, of course, but honestly it gets quicker the more practice you have.

    Support to you,
    SDW

  4. @ Lola – thanks. It is horrible, as I know you know. In many ways I feel ripped off because I thought I was done with all this trauma processing garbage. Clearly not. I also hope I’m near the end of this chain reaction. ((Hugs)) back to you.

    @ Castorgirl – thank you. ((Warm safe hugs)) back to you, too.

    @ Cat – I wonder if you’re right and that this feels harder to deal with because I feel all alone. The Wonder Therapist is gone and, you’re right, Back Up Therapist hasn’t been containing lately. ((Hugs)) back.

    @ Sword Dancer – I thought memories got easier, too… but not this time. I hope one day I can be free of all these memories, or at least free of the nastiness of them. I like what you said about my inner child trusting me with these memories now. That puzzles me, but I like it. Thank you.

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