I said 3 days ago I was going to follow up that post with one about PTSD. I might need a couple of days to regain my headspace after writing this so I will either post ‘just a thought’ posts for the next couple of days or I’ll take a break. I will just have to play it by ear.
I should explain I don’t get flashbacks, I think because I can’t visualise. To me it comes in the form of night terrors. It also feels completely real until the moment I wake up.
The last time it happened it was a memory of a male teenager holding a hot cigarette close to my arm. When I woke up I bolted out of bed (really hurt my back in the process) in an absolute panic. I couldn’t catch my breath and I had a psychosomatic reaction so I woke to feeling like my arm was actually burning. I sat on the bed physically shaking. Thankfully my wife knows to stay at the door because I woke up so scared, soaked in sweat. That level of fear can lead to an instant meltdown, so space is very important. It took me about an hour to calm down enough to put some clothes on. After another 40-50 minutes I was able to go through to the living room. I just sat on the bed covered in the duvet, visibly shaking and trying desperately to slow my breathing. I was not only on edge constantly for about a week after that but I was so afraid to fall asleep in case it repeated. It did, every time I slept for 3 days.
Believe it or not that’s one of the more mild ones I have experienced. I just chose this one as it’s freshest in my mind as it only happened a month or so ago.
Now that’s said, imagine someone that can visualise and gets flashbacks. Something like that could happen anywhere at any time. Terrifying for them and for the person close by.
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All the best
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva