While many people with BPD and PTSD have found a wealth of benefits from treatment involving hypnosis, I’m not really a fan. Anything having to do with subconscious memory is a dangerous game. I did try a few “meditation” and deep breathing sessions when I first started my therapy last summer in an attempt to unlock a few lingering fragments of memories. It was successful in that I was able to fully recall the memories themselves, and while it was at least partially beneficial for bringing closure instead of remembering bits and peaces of the violent events of my past I’m now stuck with the memories in their entirety.
Instead of simply remembering the innocent beginnings and emotional end of a violent rape I can now recant the entire event and aftermath in graphic detail, right down to the placement of the finger prints bruised into my flesh.
Instead of simply remembering a scary moment on a quiet country back road riding around with my best friend, I can now remember that he was out of control and suicidal. Trying to take his own life, and putting me in harms way in the process. Not once, several times on several different occasions. Each detail now vividly pressed at the front of my mind.
Instead of remembering an accident at work causing my major hip problems, I now have the “pleasure” of remembering being grabbed by my ankle and thrown across the room into the dresser, my hip wrenched from it’s socket in the process. Why did I wake up on the floor? Oh, you know. Because I couldn’t move with a dislocated hip.
Instead of remembering a different occasion waking up on the floor as trying to relieve my hip pain, I’m able to remember waking up from a deep sleep with hands around my throat, the most vicious purely evil look adorning my attacker’s face as I clawed at his arms and eventually kneed him in the chest, rolling out of bed to escape.
Those are just a few examples, the details of the rape being the most poignant. True, now that they are complete conscious memories instead of fragments I no longer have nightmares or flashbacks associated with them, but they are complete conscious memories. Filed away in the banks for recall at any time voluntary or not. The shroud of denial or dissociation has been quite literally ripped away. Recalling the memories was like reliving the trauma all over again. I’d almost venture to describe it as a controlled flashback. It was almost WORSE doing so many years after the events had taken place because not only did I have to wrap my head around these “new” versions of old memories, but all of the emotions surrounding them, plus accepting the fact that these things were so detrimental to my psyche I had repressed them. It also threw me into a BPD identity crisis.
Needless to say, I was pretty damn rattled. It didn’t really set back my therapy since I’m currently using the ACT method, but I definitely won’t be doing it again or pursuing any kind of hypnosis in the future as at least in my personal situation it does more harm than good. I’m just going to leave the memories where they lay and allow them to come to the surface on their own, or slowly disappear from my conscious. Who knows how long it will take, but I’ll get there eventually. Writing helps, even if I write about the same things a million times over, and my stories grow in detail and length. It’s all part of the process. I am acutely aware of the difference between memory and fiction. In fact if we’re being 100% honest I wish I could disassociate. It would make my life a whole lot easier. lol. Less stable and healthy, but oh so much easier.