Holy flashback, Ello! It's been ages since I've been triggered by something. Something my ex-husband texted to me that threw me right back into those feelings of being unloved, unlovable, and unworthy of kindness (those feelings were subconscious until unearthed a few years ago. Getting through them was some feat. An extremely arduous process.) But this time, though I felt the emotions, they felt like something outside myself. Like remembered emotions from something far away. A really sad story that happened to someone else.
The treatment for PTSD (which I was diagnosed with and treated for) is to go back and have the feeling that would have been appropriate to the event. Or in my case, a lifetime of events that so stifled my true nature, that I didn't even know it was okay to want something for myself, "just because." It took a year and a half of therapists asking me, "what do you want?" before I understood that it wasn't a bad thing to not consider someone else's feelings in wanting something. (It's complicated.)
I didn't fight the feeling, but I was aware that the feeling had nothing to do with my present state. I could feel the feeling without having to own it. Then I let it go.
It all passed fairly quickly. Within an hour or so. But within that hour, it took great focus to continually ground myself to the present, and not relive the past or try to step into that story that at this point seems like it belonged to someone else, and make it my reality again.
I've already done that. For hours every day, for over a year, that's what I did. I found my way through, over and around many limiting beliefs about myself and others.
This experience was different this time. I didn't get lost in it. I think my constant refusal to dwell on things I find undesirable has been really healing. (Notice I didn't tell you what the text was all about. No need to relive that, or the accompanying old memories.)
Bizarre experience. I'm ready to move on from these particular ones! Only happy flashbacks from now on.