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Hog On Ice
2015-01-28, 10:55
Managing flashbacks / bad memories

This is what I did to handle flashbacks - memories that I just could never forget but I wished I could. I am putting this up here in the hope that the approach I finally found would help others with similar issues.

The approach that I evolved was to recognize that I could never forget these memories but that I could possibly address the emotional component which was the part of the memory that was what would cause the most pain. When one of these flashbacks would hit there was always an upsurge of basically negative emotion that would persist for long enough to cause me to lose sleep or to derail my thoughts. It was my idea that I could use this upsurge as a trigger for a conditioned response that would bring up a relaxing image and its associated calm emotions.

The first step I took was to construct this relaxing image. The image I constructed was to imagine a forest green colored box sitting on some smooth stones / river rock at the edge of an unseen stream. Just behind the box was the bank for the stream with ferns and further back are some good sized tree trunks. The lighting was such that the box had some dappled sunlight on its upper surface. I also imagined the sound of a small stream with the water running over some stones. For me I found that if I pictured this image I would feel relaxed and comfortable - the key indicator of this was that I noticed that the muscles of my forehead and around my eyes would relax. Note that nothing in the image was moving.

The next step I took was to "name" this relaxing image - a short phrase that would bring this image up. In my case I used the phrase "The Green Box".

Once I had this in place I began conditioning myself to bring up the relaxing image and associated peaceful emotions anytime one of the flashbacks would start. This took a fairly long time since for me I had to handle each flashback separately. What I would do is everytime one of the flashbacks would hit I would immediately start silently repeating to myself "The Green Box" over and over again and imagining my relaxing image. Typically I would do this for a couple minutes until the flashback would go away.

After a couple weeks of doing this I noticed a definite improvement in my sleep patterns and my daily life. Apparently the conditioning worked when I was sleeping suppressing the physical response to the emotions that would have caused me to wake up. During the day I would still sometimes have one of these memories pop up but the emotional impact would be reduced. When one of these bad memories came up I would just repeat the conditioning phrase to myself bringing up the relaxing image.

Note this approached worked for me - I have no idea if it will work for anyone else. YMMV

Lugnut
2015-01-28, 11:22
I've always compartmentalized my bad memories. I mentally put them in a box and put the box on an imaginary shelf. Every once in a while the boxes fall off but overall bad memories never bother me. Glad you found something that works for you.

Superman
2015-01-28, 11:32
There's a VC in the green box. Actually....the green box is an entrance to a tunnel with BOOKOO VC coming out.

Hog On Ice
2015-01-28, 12:04
I've always compartmentalized my bad memories. I mentally put them in a box and put the box on an imaginary shelf. Every once in a while the boxes fall off but overall bad memories never bother me. Glad you found something that works for you.

that is sort of where the green box came from - it was left over from trying to put the memories in a box - an approach that just didn't work for me

Hog On Ice
2015-01-28, 12:07
There's a VC in the green box. Actually....the green box is an entrance to a tunnel with BOOKOO VC coming out.

anyone who tries an approach similar to mine needs to generate their own relaxing image - obviously a box is not a good starting point for you so you would need to pick a different image - possibly a calm lake surrounded by mountains might be a better starting point

Wonder
2015-01-28, 12:30
I think that this is really good advice.

Sargevining
2015-01-28, 18:04
I just kept doing the psychedelics until I could no longer discern which memories were real and which weren't. The only regret I had was when that purple puppie ran away, but I do have real nice memories of frolicking with him in the gum drop forest.

Superman
2015-01-28, 18:46
that is sort of where the green box came from - it was left over from trying to put the memories in a box - an approach that just didn't work for me

Life is all about perspective. One person would be bothered by flashbacks and work to get rid of them. Another person would smile because they are their own home entertainment unit.

hikerboy
2015-01-28, 20:22
Very well said superman

Roche
2015-01-29, 12:52
Life is all about perspective. One person would be bothered by flashbacks and work to get rid of them. Another person would smile because they are their own home entertainment unit.5764

Superman
2015-01-29, 13:15
5764

I wanted to bitch slap my sons when they came home talking like those two idiots. I was a proud dad that went to an honor society event only to hear those smart kids talking like betress and bumass.

john pickett
2015-01-29, 19:02
Every dad has felt the same way.

Ray
2015-01-29, 19:16
My happy place would be a small town swimming pool in Texas in the 70's with another lifeguard named Monica Langner.

I wish I knew then ... what I was trying to learn back then.

Now I need some flashbacks.

sheepdog
2015-01-29, 19:36
My happy place would be a small town swimming pool in Texas in the 70's with another lifeguard named Monica Langner.

I wish I knew then ... what I was trying to learn back then.

Now I need some flashbacks.

http://youtu.be/io4RWV681wQ
io4RWV681wQ

SGT Rock
2015-01-29, 19:41
Interesting. I will have to try this. For me it isn't the images or memories of things that happened. More often it is arguments that come back that I feel were never resolved or regrets for things I've done or not done.

I've sort of come to grips for the most part with war memories. It still hits at times when you least expect it, but I look at those things as what has made me who I am now. I can get strength from those things and remembering that I don't want to ever become complacent as I feel many people are. It's hard for me to explain.

Superman
2015-01-29, 23:20
My happy place would be a small town swimming pool in Texas in the 70's with another lifeguard named Monica Langner.

I wish I knew then ... what I was trying to learn back then.

Now I need some flashbacks.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pLpzNPiB48

john pickett
2015-02-03, 15:58
Which small town in Texas? There's at least a million. I grew up in Amarillo.

Ray
2015-02-03, 17:42
Which small town in Texas? There's at least a million. I grew up in Amarillo.West Columbia, on the Gulf plains next to the Brazos River. Whooping cranes, alligators, mosquitoes and oil refineries. First Capital of Texas. South of Houston, west of Galveston, near Freeport.

Sargevining
2015-02-04, 09:06
Just a short drive from Damon and around the corner from Mims.

Ray
2015-02-04, 19:58
Just a short drive from Damon and around the corner from Mims.Yeah, my house was closer to Damon, locally known as Damon Mound. Over 3/4 mile or so Damon rises up almost 100 feet so it is visible for miles around there.

Damon's built on a massive salt dome and around the edge where the salt poked through the ground is where oil accumulated. One of the Governors of Texas, named Hogg and better known for his daughter Ima, drilled for oil on his property and hit one of the most productive oil fields in the world. He called his operation the Texas Oil Company which was later abbreviated to Texaco. My grandfather worked in that field and it's still producing today.

My parents didn't buy property close enough to that. But we got water from a well that was so hard you had to chew on it a while before you could swallow. A bar of soap would last all year. Had to dig a hole in the swimming pool just to get wet. Didn't have to add chlorine to the pool, nothing could live in it anyways. Ain't kidding.

john pickett
2015-02-07, 16:34
Haha! Been there! The water in Amarillo used to come from the Ogallala reservoir deep underground. In the 60's, some idiot decided to build a dam on the Canadian River and now Amarillo gets water too salty to drink. The sale of reverse osmosis water filters went through the roof.

Sargevining
2015-02-10, 08:44
Ray's origins suddenly becoming clearer.


http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2015/02/10/ufo-encounter-in-brazoria-county-lives-on/23155753/

Ray
2015-02-12, 20:38
Ray's origins suddenly becoming clearer.


http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2015/02/10/ufo-encounter-in-brazoria-county-lives-on/23155753/Heard the story many times. Locals mostly thought it probably was ol' Britt Bailey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bailey%27s_Prairie,_Texas) ranging a little wide. It's in the direction he was buried facing.

Not many believed in UFO's but ghosts were quite common. It's an extremely well haunted area. I've parked near his old cemetery, in the middle of nowhere late at night while, uhm... watching for his ghost. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Closer than watching the nocturnal submarine races from the beach at Freeport and cheaper than the drive-in movie.

Ignited swamp gas, that's methane leaking from the ground or from hundreds of oil wells in that area, may also be likely.