Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?

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Dinah-sore

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Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« on: December 30, 2017, 11:03:38 PM »
CPTSD is NO JOKE.

I have noticed this year that often my BPDm will throw a fit, or raise her voice, or make a look, and I will shrivel down and zone out, and wait for it to end or to find escape. I have tried to force escapes. Progress. I have left restaurants early, gotten off the phone quick etc.

And I notice that EVERY TIME this happens, in the moment I am so upset, and panicked, but after it is over, and I am safely "away" from danger I can't remember what exactly happened. One time I had to ask my DD, we had just "escaped," and I said to her, "Hey, I know that grandma was upset just now, but can you remind me what happened? I forgot." So my DD filled me in, and I remembered. I feel it happening. I feel like there is something I am upset about, and it is right there, but I can't grasp it.

I listened to a youtube video about the amygdala and the brain. When our amygdala gets fired up emotionally, our brain can't store short term memories. Isn't that insane.

Just now my DH was being very rude and horrible to my DD. He would say he was joking, but he was poking, and poking, and poking her.  Teasing her in a way that would make her mad so he could laugh at her. She was getting pissed. He was laughing. I was bracing myself. I knew she would hit a limit, snap at him, and he would blow up that she is "disrespecting him" (it happens here, I hate it). So I texted him a Bible verse about father's not provoking kids to wrath. He then started harassing me about why I sent it. He then began to torment me. Real aggressive verbally, gaslighting, told me I didn't hear what was going on ("I wasn't doing that"), that my DD was enjoying it ("She was laughing"), very passive aggressive, and condescending, disgusted, contempt. In an disgusted voice.  He was talking to me in a voice that implied I was crazy, and stupid. I felt so helpless, and I was just trying to prevent a blow up. I was sooooooo mad at him. Like it got me mad like I wanted to yell at him or throw something at him, or cuss him out. I DIDN'T, but it would have felt good.

So I just sat here, checked facebook, zoned out. Then I noticed that I couldn't remember what happened. I tried to fight it, but every few minutes I could feel the memory slipping from me. I felt like Dory from Finding Nemo. What is weird is that not only did I not remember what happened, I couldn't feel the anger. I felt okay, like I would just be nice to him and enjoy the night. After how he treated me, I could feel myself slipping into this fake happiness. It is like the Twilight Zone. Sorry for all the media references.

So I sat here trying to hold onto it. I thought I would come here and write about it. Almost so I could have a record that it actually happened. But I can't give you details of the words he said. I remember the helpless rage I felt. Like I hate him and I can't do anything about it. I don't hate him when he is normal. But I do FEEL like I hate my DH when he acts like this. It is not a good feeling.

I get like this because of my BPDm. This is how I survived my childhood. This is how I was able to look back at my life growing up and think I had a happy childhood. I would have told people a little over a year ago how lucky I was to grow up with such a loving mom. BECAUSE I had FORGOTTEN things. I had forgotten her drunken rage, kicking me out one night and I had to sleep outside (I had FORGOT that!!! My dad reminded me). I had FORGOTTEN her raging on my best friend on vacation for not having a pad in her purse and told my friend, "Well, maybe if you bleed all over yourself you will learn to prepare next time, but you are not going back to the room for a pad. Just bleed on yourself." I forgot. I slipped into happiness. I do it easily and quickly.

Even things I didn't "forget" like the time she threw a skillet across the kitchen at my head, or the time she punched me twice before dropping me off at school, because I made a "face" that she didn't like. I remember those things, but I have stuffed the "feeling" of anger. I was never "mad" at her for that stuff. Maybe because she reframed it in a way where I deserved it, she was exasperated, etc. So weird.

I don't like this about me. It is a fight. And yet a part of me doesn't want to "fight" to be mad at people. But if I don't, they will just keep thinking I am okay with it. Right?

It still happens ALL THE TIME with my BPDm. Except with her I NOW KNOW that I can get away. With my DH I have to sit here all night with him. So maybe there is more incentive to forget things when I can't just leave. I can't bear to be around him when he gets in his "moods" I feel physically ill.

Any thoughts on this? Does anyone struggle with short term memory loss after getting upset or being abused?
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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all4peace

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 11:19:59 PM »
This is disassociation or escapism. It happens all the time. It's one reason I insist on written conversations with our parents, as I can forget what they have said 3 seconds after they say it. I do this in T, with my Dh and kids, with everyone. It distresses me a lot and is on my list of things to work on in T, as it can be an indication of brain damage from trauma, the synapses dying off, and i really want to find out if there is healing for this.

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Dinah-sore

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 11:30:01 PM »
Wow, written conversations are such a good idea. I am so sorry that you also deal with this. I am also comforted that I am not alone. I feel like I have grown a lot of skills this last year, but this one is tricky, because it feels like my brain is working against me. Even though I think my brain is trying to help me.

Even now, I am cooking, and my DH is acting syrupy sweet. "Can I help you?" As if nothing happened. I think he is used to me just forgetting and acting kind to him when he is mean to me.

I am really struggling. I would be interested too to know if there is healing for this.

<3
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Dukkha

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 11:31:44 PM »
Sorry this happens to you too.
I have had it my whole life.  I have gotten some improvement with mindfulness practice, but if my distress gets high enough I still lose time.

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VividImagination

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 12:04:46 AM »
"Can I help you?"

"Sure can. Don't ever speak to me or DD like that again. It is disrespectful, and newsflash...you are not the only one in the house who deserves respect."

Then again, I'm very assertive about that sort of thing.  I have no problem opening my big mouth along with the can of worms. It's quite easy to verbally abuse someone when they accept it in silence and it never seems to affect them. I'm not saying you are wrong to react in that way...you are a trauma victim and cannot help it. It's wrong for your DH to take advantage of your trauma.

Maybe it's time to set boundaries with him, which will in turn serve as an example to your daughter in how to handle his abuse.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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echo_

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 12:39:07 AM »
I'm sorry that you are going through this with your DH. I am all too familiar with the Twilight Zone, I've started keeping a journal and writing things down for this reason. I just can't remember.

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Dinah-sore

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 02:28:04 AM »
Vivid, I like your response to my DH's question. I sometimes get very tongue tied when I am upset or I come off too emotional (which feels weak). So I usually only confront him when it is a serious thing. Like when he truly blows up. Or when he used to try to force me to be around his family where I was being touched by a family member in my chest, and where my children were in danger of being abused. I confront him about that stuff. But I sometimes don't recognize when it is appropriate (or not) to speak up.

But maybe I should call him on it each time? Even if he he reacts poorly, or blows me off? I can't control how he reacts, but I can control if I stand up for myself.

One thing He usually does, is behave badly, and then instead of apologize or take responsibility, he just acts really nice later. It bothers me though, because it feels like he is just trying to sweep it under the rug. He will blow up or throw a fit, and we won't talk about it. then the next day he will bring me starbucks and act like he is so nice to me. But it is "over nice." It has worked over the years to make me feel like he is trying. Like he is a dog with his tail between his legs, but it feels fake. Because he certainly behaves aggressive, arrogant, proud, loud, etc. When he is throwing the fit. He also does this thing where when we are not fighting, he makes comments that seem like jokes, but they poke at me like I am "over emotional," "gullible," and not clear headed and logical. Now that I think about it, I feel like it is "pre-abuse"----like he is setting me up to think poorly of myself (in a joking way) so that when he behaves badly, he can attribute some of my feelings to my "failings."

And while I always knew he did this to me, I would laugh. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt it was because my mom always put me down, but acted like she loved me. So it felt very NORMAL. And like, it would be arrogant for me to not be humble enough to allow people to laugh at certain "flaws." Except now I see that it is a form of brainwashing. Or whatever the word. 
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Dinah-sore

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 02:29:49 AM »
Sorry this happens to you too.
I have had it my whole life.  I have gotten some improvement with mindfulness practice, but if my distress gets high enough I still lose time.

I'm sorry that you are going through this with your DH. I am all too familiar with the Twilight Zone, I've started keeping a journal and writing things down for this reason. I just can't remember.

 :bighug:

Thank you both for sharing your experiences too. Echo, keeping a journal is a great idea!!! I think I might just do that.
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Dinah-sore

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 02:31:55 AM »
It is so weird how growing up with my BPDm made me not just vulnerable to her poor treatment, but to the poor treatment of other people.
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2017, 03:12:45 AM »
Hi Dinah,
Thank you for posting this. I also forget things. Once my DH said something that really upset me. We were in a small apartment at the time so I just took a nap as a way of taking a break from him. When I woke up, DH acted like nothing happened so I told him that what he said had upset me. He wanted to know what he had said...and I had no idea! Talk about looking like the crazy one. I hate it because I don't feel I can call out people on things that happened in the past because I can't remember details or exact wording. It is very frustrating. Also, coming Out of the FOG has certainly had an effect on my marriage. I notice things I didn't before and I wonder if there are things I blocked out. Sometimes I feel like I barely know DH and we've been together almost 20 years! I know I need to work at setting  boundaries in marriage but I find it is really difficult to apply what I've learned to my marriage as opposed to my BPDm, whom I can just walk away from. It's tough. I want to write more later but right now I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. Also, I deliberately try really hard to remember things now and write them down also, shortly after they happen when things are still fresh in my brain. It seems to help.
 :bighug:
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azurite

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2017, 04:13:37 AM »
Dinah,
All. The. Time.
This is why I started keeping a journal many years ago. I have to write the conversations with my BPDm down almost immediately after they occur. Otherwise I'll forget, but I know I can go back and read. Not to retraumatize myself, but to have a memory, even if it's just a written one. A reminder.  I don't know how to remember better, I wish i could help you with that. Maybe someone has a suggestion. Or maybe our brains are doing us a huge favor, in that we don't have to slosh around the angst and agony in conscious front and center.

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broken

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2017, 05:49:23 AM »
I don't know if it's a survival mechanism in our brains, or the stress just shuts us down.  I admit that it is comforting to know it isn't just me.  I've always been 'whifty', kind of spaced out, which I have come to realize is related to the PTSD. 

Do the forgotten/erased conversations come popping back into focus at random times?  Often, after a conflict, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night, with some infuriating detail that I completely blanked out earlier.  Often, it's too late to bring it back up to PDm, or I will look argumentative.  Then I feel like a pushover and it makes me angry.

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Fiasco

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2017, 05:50:32 AM »
I’m constantly asking my husband for “gossip” about crazy things BPDm did or said. Even though I was there too. It’s fun, in its own crazy way. I’m like, tell me something else she said!

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all4peace

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 10:14:39 AM »
Dinah-sore, it seems to me like you are fully coming OOTF in all your relationships and starting to see your DH's unhealthy behavior. It is unhealthy. Your gut is correct. And "being really nice without saying a word of apology" imo is a form of gaslighting, almost pretending it never happened.

I think that sometimes the first step is to clearly define and speak our boundaries. Even if it's "It's not ok to speak to me like that." Over time you can develop that further, like what you'll do if he chooses to speak that way anyway.

If there a chance of you getting counseling about your marriage? I have found marriage to be a really tough place to create change, as some of the ways we would hold our boundaries with other people aren't quite as obvious in a marriage. Plus, we often have children observing and directly affected, and it's complicated.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2017, 10:33:30 AM »
Quote
One thing He usually does, is behave badly, and then instead of apologize or take responsibility, he just acts really nice later. It bothers me though, because it feels like he is just trying to sweep it under the rug. He will blow up or throw a fit, and we won't talk about it. then the next day he will bring me starbucks and act like he is so nice to me. But it is "over nice." It has worked over the years to make me feel like he is trying. Like he is a dog with his tail between his legs, but it feels fake. Because he certainly behaves aggressive, arrogant, proud, loud, etc. When he is throwing the fit. He also does this thing where when we are not fighting, he makes comments that seem like jokes, but they poke at me like I am "over emotional," "gullible," and not clear headed and logical. Now that I think about it, I feel like it is "pre-abuse"----like he is setting me up to think poorly of myself (in a joking way) so that when he behaves badly, he can attribute some of my feelings to my "failings."
it feels like he is sweeping it under the rug because that's exactly what he's doing. The rest of what you describe also sort of mirrors the abuse cycle. Now please understand I'm not saying your husband is PD or that he's abusive just that what is happening sort of mirrors the cycle. DH and I were loaded with fleas and ran a similar very mild form of the cycle but once Out of the FOG we both understand how to engage in healthy discussion and how to honestly apologize but it took some heart-to-heart talks when we were both calm to address how to have more healthy behaviors. It took us a long time of gentle reminders to each other to break the bad habits we had both developed, how to have and communicate healthy boundaries. I'm not sure what the relationship with your husband is like or what the level of trust is there but it may be worth discussing together how you can both improve.
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zephyrblue

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2017, 10:49:15 AM »
Dinah,  :bighug:  Coming OOTF and dealing with trauma is incredibly difficult.  all4peace and SpringButterfly have given you excellent advice. 

I think that sometimes the first step is to clearly define and speak our boundaries. Even if it's "It's not ok to speak to me like that." Over time you can develop that further, like what you'll do if he chooses to speak that way anyway.

THIS.  I urge you to do this for yourself and your DD.  You and your husband are modeling what committed relationships look like.  She's learning that it's okay to be verbally and emotionally abused.  I'm sure that's not your intention, but that's what she's seeing.  I say this as the scapegoat daughter of an alcoholic uPDfather and en/PD?mother.  Even though I was aware at a young age that my FOO was messed up, I was still caught up in dysfunctional patterns.

Marriage counseling and/or seeing a therapist yourself will help you learn new patterns and behaviors.  They'll help you learn to love yourself.   :hug:

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blues_cruise

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2017, 11:01:50 AM »
:hug: to you Dinah. Unfortunately when a PD parent primes you for abuse other people often latch on and take advantage of an easier target. None of it's your fault and I believe the memory loss is a defensive reaction to all the hurtful things that have happened and continue to happen to you. As all4peace has suggested, it does sound like you are recognising your husband's unhealthy and disrespectful behaviour. Well done for sticking up for your daughter, regardless of all that's happened you have a clear sense of right and wrong and you've chosen to defend your daughter rather than enable your husband's poor treatment of her.

CPTSD is NO JOKE.

I have noticed this year that often my BPDm will throw a fit, or raise her voice, or make a look, and I will shrivel down and zone out, and wait for it to end or to find escape. I have tried to force escapes. Progress. I have left restaurants early, gotten off the phone quick etc.

Emotional flashbacks. I relate to this, it feels horrible to feel like a small, scared child again. :hug: I understand the memory loss too, a couple of years ago I had realisation upon realisation of how unhealthy my child/teenage-hood had actually been when so many memories kept popping into my head that I had buried. I have a diary in my loft which I kept as a 15-16 year old and in one entry I mention NF motioning to strangle me, which I just have no recollection of at all (though my neck feels tight and I feel panicky thinking of it). The whole diary is distressing and sad to read but I'm so thankful that younger me kept it as it validates that all these disturbing things did happen.

Anyway, I think you need to give yourself extra self care as much as you can. It sounds like you're making progress in getting to the anger that will ultimately help you to defend yourself but it takes a lot of time. It can't be easy dealing with your husband's passive-aggressive behaviour while also having the trauma of your mother to deal with.
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

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VividImagination

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2017, 12:06:22 PM »
I replied  very quickly last night, and SB said exactly what I thoughtater. It does sound exactly the abuse cycle. I'd point it out every time, especially as you have trouble remembering specifics later. He has a fit or blows up? Well, maybe he needs discomfort to see and work in his flaws. Lack of communication is the problem...if he doesn't have to hear about it, he doesn't have to face it. My reaction to the niceness afterward would be, " I don't need Starbucks. I need a husband who doesn't (insert specific bad behavior here). This might ease your guilt,  but the behavior has to stop.  You're teaching our daughter that it's acceptable to accept a,b, and c from a man."

And watching you standing up for yourself is one of the most important lessons your daughter will ever witness.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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VividImagination

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2017, 01:51:59 PM »
I just wanted to pop back in and mention that I too have major memory issues from childhood trauma, and it has spilled over into everyday things as well. What you posted about the brain shorting out and being unable to store short term memory is absolutely correct. 

I've journaled and use apps to remember literally everything. I've seen that the trauma memory loss lessens as you no  longer deal with abuse, but the other memory problems remain. I literally feel like my brain never learned to store memory properly.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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Terichan

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Re: Memory Loss---Do you guys get it too?
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2017, 03:06:25 PM »
It is so weird how growing up with my BPDm made me not just vulnerable to her poor treatment, but to the poor treatment of other people.

It's not weird, it's actually a big part of why being raised by a PD is so damaging and horrible. Because when we are children, we don't know anything about the world; we rely on our parents to teach us how the world works, what our place is in it, how we belong, how people are supposed to treat us and how we are supposed to treat other people. We don't know any of that when we're born and we have to learn it, and our parents are the ones that teach us.

With PD parents, what they teach us is so often skewed and just plain wrong. They teach us that we don't matter. They teach us that people treating us horribly is normal, and that we deserve it. They teach us that our place in the world is at the very bottom of the ladder and that our job is to suck it up. They teach us that other people are not safe, that we will never be safe and protected and loved. I could go on but you get my point. What they teach us stays with us for our whole lives, and we have to work incredibly hard to overcome it.

I also have memory issues from my childhood abuse. I can't remember huge swaths of my childhood at all. These issues are not so bad for me now, as an adult, I don't know why. But you are totally right that you developed this as a defense mechanism, because it served you when you were a child -- it helped you survive the trauma. Now, you can see it, and understand that it's unhealthy. And that it's going to take a lot of hard work to overcome it. You're starting to do that. It's super-hard and upsetting, but you've started along that hard path. Keep going. We are here to help and support you.

 And a big  :yeahthat: to everyone who said that by standing up to your husband and protecting your daughter, you're teaching her -- and yourself -- and maybe even your husband -- that sitting back and accepting abuse isn't ok and it's not going to be happening in your family any more. Not from your mother and not from your husband. Not from anyone!

You can do this, Dinah. Make 2018 a year of healing and strength for yourself and your family.

 :bighug:
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