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HELP with flashbacks!! SMELL Triggers all through I think

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HELP with flashbacks!! SMELL Triggers all through I think

Postby complicated87 » Mon May 04, 2020 4:02 am

I can't tell my whole story yet. I'm too afraid still. That upsets me. I'm sorry this is all over the place I just really need help and I'm too afraid therapists will hurt me.

I have DID.

I have two basic views of my parents if you want to call them that.

1: They were just a hot mess of two people who tried to screw me up but if I could have just been a better kid maybe things would be different and they'd have loved me.

2. They are in a cult so deep and have had to launder money my entire life (happened through blackmail long before I came along but I was part of the package. But they have to keep a certain appearance above ground.

I have been sexually used since birth. I was abused in utero.

My parents both groomed me sexually.

When I began acting out they convinced me at 6 years old I was a pedophile and I'd go to prison. I was terrified.

I have tried to block out the torture and the sexual stuff because my brain for some reason wanted to see my father as the good parent....as my mother did more of the sadistic sex abuse and my father did the more 'love' kind.

I look so normal on the outside.

I escaped my parents once marrying my husband. I am "arian" hahaha but he was out of the race so therefore I disgraced my family and 'desecrated' my womb by marrying this man who is the most patient person I have ever met. A godsend.

Anyway. It has been 8 years since we married and I began cutting everyone in my family out. They send people into my life from the past (from my hometown) andI've been stupid enough to take the bait and had 'friends' come into my life to befriend me then trigger me.

The whole plot is to get me to return home.

My honeymoon was what set me free because my husband and I literally had to run for our lives as there was a murder plot we survived by not taking the bait. I had spyware on everything parents had pushed on me (I say because I don't want material possessions from them I only ever wanted love) and I had tech people tell me to destroy it all because "whomever gave you this has seen everything you do."

Since this isn't the DID board I'll try to keep that part out but as I'm integrating and trusting myself and loving myself more and letting THEM be the crazy people not me and giving up the illusion I created that I was just a freak....

These body flashbacks are so intense I need help!

I have always had olfactory flashbacks. I would get certain smells and it's all I can smell. I always knew it had to do with childhood sexual abuse but I didn't want to know.

One flashback I was literally shoving cooked bacon in my nose because all I could smell was my grandparents lotion and I was not ready for the memories.

Now I keep smelling my dad and my body is terrified of my husband and I seriously love my husband and want to be intimate with him but when I try I smell my dad and I feel icky and gross and I just want to crawl into a hole.

I'm learning to pay attention to when my body starts shaking with fear and I've learned hearing the garage door open sets me off so I try to prepare for it.

I'll try like chewing gum and having husband chew gum when we want to kiss that way I don't smell dads breath and cologne.

Ugh. I know the flood is on its way. I'm ready to take my life back and stop being the living sacrifice for the cult........... but I know with that my brain is going to punish me it thinks with alll of the memories at once to get me to suicide but I am ready and I am not suicidal.

Their programming has been deleted because I have the Holy Spirit.

But what can I do to stop the smells??

And is it okay to just let the memories come and cry and then move on?

Husband said he is so proud of me for telling him I was having a flashback and not going thru the motions and retraumatizing.

I have an ability to speed read so I have read so many books and I am tenaciously trying to get my life and my ground back.

I thought I had every tool in my toolbox but these flashbacks are extremely terrifying and I don't SEE anything I FEEL and SMELL and I'm having a hard time being flooded with the emotional memories of "oh this was me on the couch feeling special watching TV with my dad and then we did the things good girls are supposed to do." I can't even delve into how layered it all was.

And I was drugged and taken to cult functions so some of my body memories and flashbacks are so weird and drugged feeling that I am in need of some grounding techniques....but how can I ground myself from the smells?

I'm free really I moved far away but I have to bar up my door or I am afraid they'll come thru my bedroom door and kill me or have sex with me.

I am trying not to hate them........ but every time I think I've forgiven them a new layer presents itself and it's like a jury in my mind that sometimes gets deadlocked. Some on the committee want them to suffer....but that is what they feed on so it's a catch 22.

I struggle with survivor guilt as I escaped. Even if they come eventually kill me at least I got away and was saved and had years to think for myself and not be abused.

I'm sorry if I've said wrong things here.

I am trauma dumping so I apologize and so appreciate anyone who can read this and offer any advice.
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Re: HELP with flashbacks!! SMELL Triggers all through I think

Postby avatar123 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:09 am

I'm sorry you've had to go through all of this. I was wondering if maybe one solution might be to harness your sense of smell? It's definitely true that smell is a powerful recall agent for most people. So are there aromas you associate with good things, good times? If so those might work, or alternatively can you start using an aroma that you can use to build an association with your loving relationship with your husband? Maybe something that you use during intimacy?

You can't turn off your sense of smell, so you could either mask it as you've mentioned, or use it to your advantage by invoking good associations and memories instead of bad. I know that's not a cure but maybe it would help to lessen the flashbacks. Just a thought, anyway.
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Re: HELP with flashbacks!! SMELL Triggers all through I think

Postby vortexvoid » Mon May 04, 2020 12:50 pm

I relate about the smells. I have similar experiences with smells and flashbacks, especially when I'm being intimate with my wife (who is completely safe and understanding). Sometimes it helps me to keep a light on and look directly at her so I can stay present and remember who she is. Even more helpful is if she sprays herself with her perfume. Then it smells like "her" and not the other stuff. It doesn't guarantee that I won't have the flashbacks (because usually I still will) but it makes it easier to stay present and sort of work through it. It helps me not dissociate as much.
I have DID as well. I relate to a lot of what you said. Hang in there. I'm really glad your husband is good and safe.
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Re: HELP with flashbacks!! SMELL Triggers all through I think

Postby complicated87 » Mon May 04, 2020 11:09 pm

Thank you both so much. Having somewhere to discuss.

I'm not sure if I am supposed to tag your usernames somehow but I appreciate you reading and offering suggestions. You've both been so kind to read and I think avatar your suggestion is great and vortex I'm glad you also have a supportive spouse!

I like the idea of a certain scent for intimacy and the perfume. I'm sensitive to a lot of them but he has some beard stuff that I really like so maybe I tell him to keep slathering that on his face when he is home.

Idk if this makes sense (or scents lol) but it's when he doesn't smell like anything in particular but he just smells like a grown man that I start thinking I smell my dad.....and I know he doesn't really smell like my dad because I smell that smell during flashbacks out of the house all alone.

Before I was really aware of why I was doing it I begged him to stop using certain mouthwash that dad used. Bless this man he never asks questions he just tries to help. In all our 11 years I kept trying to blame all the issues on him but then discovered DID and suddenly my entire life made some kind of sense.

I think I've realized husband wasn't a big threat when he was still super young but now that he is a dad himself and older he is now the age my dad was when we were 'in a relationship' if you will and there are parts who still love my dad and I want his attention and I feel like a kid again wanting my dads attention and that grosses me out. It's hard not to be reminded of the abuse. In public I tell good ol dad stories like a bad reflex and it irritates both me and husband! (As I tell him as much as I can)

I have dreams where husband is kind of the same person as my dad like they morph back and forth which has opened my eyes that I take a lot of my pent up anger out on poor husband and often treat him like he's a grown man trying to sleep with a 10 year old or as I say I am a person
on a sliding scale from 0 to 82....haha poor guy never knows who he is going to get. I'm trying to come up with ways to keep visual reminders of where I am in my life so I can be more stable for his sake.


Purchased some strong mint gum. Will try chewing that when I'm feeling a flashback happening and ask husband to lather on the smelly goods before we are hanging out in close proximity as this smell is new so has no ties to dad.

From reading others posts it seems like it's helpful to stop these before they start.....

But I've always pushed myself pretty hard in life to try to figure myself out and get answers......so a part of me wants to experience the flashbacks so I can get more peices to the puzzle. But then it happens and in the moment it's terrifying. Sometimes tho I'm young I think I'm having a stroke or a seizure and I panic.

Cult days and holidays bring out all sorts of dissociation and flashbacks but they calm down for two summer months and that's when I used to 'come out' and live my life for a few months uninterrupted.....but now with my awareness and some maturity and good inside communication it is now (fortunately?) Safe enough to process the 'easier' issue of me and dad....that is upsetting that something so HORRIBLE is my easiest thing.....so this summer I'm calm enough to experience the heavier flashbacks of just dad and me and I plan to utilize this downtime..... because out of all of the abuse his didn't register as bad or hurtful until I was older and didn't want his affection I wanted my first loves affection and that's a whole other story because my first love was also the wrong 'race' and it was a four year Romeo and Juliet saga and we both got hurt. They put a hit out on the boy so I cut off all contact and made deals to save his life. I'm so thankful I've found this forum because this all reads so bizarre but it is my life. Dad used to follow me around and watch me with boys. Mom relished his jealousy and as she enjoys humiliating any living thing she loved parading me around other men from infancy.

My DID diagnosis helped explain to me why with such an amazing husband I would wake up some days missing my first love and resenting that my husband was around. It was my teen parts coming out who didn't know I'd married and had to move on. Or even more confusing the little girl who missed her dad and felt guilty for marrying the wrong 'race.'

I'm not attracted to men in the 'right race' because those men were all the ones hurting me!!

Sorry again I'm all over the place I'm just letting it out to think!
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Re: HELP with flashbacks!! SMELL Triggers all through I think

Postby avatar123 » Wed May 06, 2020 1:41 pm

I hope the alternative scent thing works out and is helpful. As far as the sometimes-confusion between dad and husband, that's a common consequence of inappropriate parental relationships. The parental bond and romantic bond are both very powerful, but also very different, and should never be combined.

Keeping them distinctly separate (as is normal) enables the child to have distinctly separate kinds of loving relationships as he/she matures. Combining them causes confusion when true romantic relationships (outside parental) develop later in life. That confusion just shouldn't be, but unfortunately the child has no control over being exposed to it, and can't erase it from his/her experience.

For what it's worth, I think you're right to try to understand this and find successful ways to deal with it. That task is not easy, but in the long run, the clearer you see things, the better your life and relationships will be.
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Re: HELP with flashbacks!! SMELL Triggers all through I think

Postby complicated87 » Wed May 06, 2020 8:22 pm

It is already helping, Avatar!

I was going to pull quotes from your last response but I found the entire response to be wise and helpful...so thank you so much for the encouragement. I see now why I've always wondered how women can adore their fathers and their husbands equally. It always grossed me out to see people in healthier families stay the night at their parents house for like holidays or go on vacations together and stay in the same house. Now that's starting to make sense.

I have been taking an essential oil I like and smelling that when I need to ground. Purchased some strong gum to chew. But I need the single scent for intimate times because the oil I prefer is use for all of us to get to sleep so it also makes me think of others which pulls me out......

Beer has always helped because I enjoy the way it tastes - but it used to freak me out when we were younger that I thought I had to drink to enjoy intimacy(which is a whole other trigger) but now I see that isn't true and if the taste and smell of beer helps me to relax maybe there is nothing wrong with using that as a grounding method....sharing a beer always relaxed the both of us and was something of a cue that my younger parts should not be out... but I got all freaked out and thought it was a bad sign so I stopped drinking all together..... But we are adults! I'll relay this to husband and I'm sure he'll like the solution as well as it helped him with his anxiety as well.

I know there is a time and place for Ts.....but I'm starting to think that some of the best advice and help comes from those who understand things personally. I appreciate your words!
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