Your everyday life is full of clues about your childhood. Any of the following may trigger flashbacks or memories:
- looking at childhood photos and videos
- visiting sites of childhood experiences
- celebrating holidays, special occasions and anniversaries
- dreaming recurring dreams and nightmares
- constructing a family tree
- having sex, massage, bodywork (Reiki, Acupressure, Touch Therapy)
As each memory arises and you explore it—hopefully with a counselor—you will begin to recover more memories, with even more coming over time as you feel safer. For a time, it may feel like flashbacks and memories are ruling your life. You are not going mad. You are healing. If you're flooded with memories, use the PACE 'EM exercise to cope.
Since the word 'memory' comes from a root word meaning 'to grieve' it is not surprising that memories are accompanied by strong feelings of anger, denial, sadness, and/or depression. Then, all of a sudden you'll feel lighter. You're getting free.
A word of caution: It is not advisable to force memories to come. Some therapists think 'memory blitzes' a great idea. Uncovering any traumatic memory too fast is potentially dangerous and can cause a psychotic break (break with reality). It is important to have resources available to help you cope with with whatever comes to light. Otherwise, you may become re-traumatized.
Reminder: Do something nice for yourself today: Pick a flower. Treat yourself to something special.