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Old 08-10-2014, 06:45 PM   #1
LumpySpacePrincess's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: UK
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Contains sexual abuse - Coping strategies for flashback related distress

Hi everyone,

I was repeatedly sexually assaulted by my ex-boyfriend a year or 2 ago- I am in therapy for it but my therapist has put my PTSD work on hold for a bit whilst I get back on track as I was having a bit of a wobble, and the stuff with my ex is the last area we are covering anyway as it's the hardest and she wants to get my other non-related PTSD stuff out the way first.

I am nearly a year free of self harm and other associated self-defeating behaviours, but I do struggle quite a lot at night at the moment. When I have flashbacks etc I find it really uncomfortable to be in my skin knowing he touched it etc, and it brings on a lot of self harm thoughts because of that. It feels like my skin is crawling, like I can feel him there etc and it's horrid.

I was just wondering if anyone has any good coping strategies for this kind of thing? Like I don't want to end up back where I was on self-destruct, but it's so hard in the evenings, especially as distraction gets difficult at night (I get through the days using distraction techniques) because I am meant to be trying to sleep so I don't mess up my sleeping pattern again (it's hard to make 9am lectures with a messed up sleeping pattern!)

Thank you x

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Old 09-10-2014, 06:02 PM   #2
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It may sound really strange, but keeping a rock in my pocket really helped me. At night, I would put it within easy reach. The feeling of holding something completely unrelated brought me back to the moment. I especially liked rocks that I found on the ground as opposed to ones from shops, they had more edges and were always a little weathered, so I felt something different every time, depending on how I picked it up, how hard I was trying to focus on it, even the direction I stroked it.
Try to find something that engages all of your senses, or the most important one. I also found that when I'm having a difficult night wearing a different perfume or deodorant that I didn't wear before really helped.

Hold your head high, heavy heart

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