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  1. #1

    Trusting my Reality

    Hello, I'm new and have found reading these posts helpful. I've got a couple of questions...

    As I am learning to stay present more and more I am having many disturbing memories from my childhood come up. Although there has been more than one traumatic event in my life, the one that I found most invasive (in terms of repetitive feelings, nightmares and memories) happened a little over a decade ago. When I began seeing a therapist again (a little over 6 months ago) I wasn't thinking of any childhood memories yet they now seem to be the most invasive and dominate my thoughts, dreams and feelings all the time.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

    Also, I find sometimes I can accept my surfacing memories to be true and they seem very real. Other times I question my own credibility and wonder if I am just making things up. Like, maybe I should just be getting a manicure and a haircut and getting my butt back to work.

    I get confused about what is real and what is not. I don't mean I hallucinate or hear voices, I mean I question my instincts, feelings, memories, perceptions and reactions. I feel confused about both my past memories and present situations.

    In the past:
    When I initially have memories surface I believe them. But a few days later, I wonder if I just made them up or I wonder if parts of the memories are true and I am just blowing things out of proportion. Anyone have any experiences like this?

    In the present:

    I feel confusion around my perception of people. I have a difficult time deciphering whether people are genuine or not. For example, my boyfriend says how much he cares about me all the time and how he will do anything to support me, yet my perceptions of his behaviors don't seem to match his words. I don't know if it just me being non-trusting because I'm paranoid about people due to the past traumas or if it's my instincts telling me that there is something not quite right.

    Regardless, I feel like I'm always in "detective mode" trying to put all the pieces together and the puzzle is far from finished. It just seems like so much still doesn't make any sense to me--Past or Present.

    Thanks for reading,
    b.

  2. #2

    Trusting my Reality

    What I usually say to clients about resurfacing memories is don't try to force them and don't let anyone else do that either. If they are genuine repressed memories resurfacing, they will continue to do so at their own pace -- let them evolve or unfold on their own. Otherwise, given that human memory is constructive, you run the risk of distorting them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    At home, most of the time.
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    178

    Trusting my Reality

    Welcome to the boards. I find I can relate to the following statement:

    get confused about what is real and what is not. I don't mean I hallucinate or hear voices, I mean I question my instincts, feelings, memories, perceptions and reactions. I feel confused about both my past memories and present situations.
    This seems to be common to a number of issues related to fear and anxiety. I think it is important to trust your instincts, since we need them to survive. I do believe it is also important to realize that sometimes irrational fears can come in disguise and that is the tricky part. Hopefully you will be able to decipher the two over time.

  4. #4

    Trusting my Reality

    Thanks for responding! Cool.

    I met with my therapist today and we talked about my skepticism about my perceptions and instincts. Based on my conclusion of our session, there seems to be 2 things going on with me right now:

    1) Resurfacing memories
    2) Me looking outside of myself instead of inside myself to determine what my reality is.

    Regarding my resurfacing memories - they seem to be a mixture of concrete memories and not-so-concrete memories. There are ones that I KNOW happened, but I just forgot them for a while or didn't allow myself to access them or something. Those are concrete, but I find I might question my perception of the severity of them on occasion (this relates a bit more to #2). Then there are other memories that are fragmented. I definitely remember the feelings and my recollection of the placement of doors, windows, hallways etc is correct, but I don't know why I am so scared etc. --- I think these are the ones you were referring to David. I find that sometimes I become very focused on trying to figure out what happened. Even to the point where I have asked my mom about them to see if she has any recollection. I begin to feel a bit like a detective solving a crime. But, I have also found that continually focusing on trying to recover memories that aren't readily available becomes a bit of a distraction from dealing with the ones I DO remember. So, I think I'll let those ones work themselves out.

    So, back to "me looking outside of myself instead of inside myself to determine what my reality is".

    I tend to make a conclusion about myself or a situation and then later second guess it. I second guess it because I observe others or ask for opinions and then compare my observations and other's opinions to my original conclusions.

    But the reality (ha...no pun intended!) is that I can only know what I feel, what I remember, what I like, what I don't like, what I am comfortable with, what I want, what I need, what is acceptable etc. No one else. And even if every other human disagreed with my feelings or perceptions...they're still my feelings or perceptions.

    So, how do I make the part of me that "knows myself" stronger than the part of me that thinks I don't know anything and believes I need to look to all things exterior for validation?

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