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A List of Truths About Emotions for Survivors

Coping Through Flashbacks, Repressed Memories and Intense Emotions I put a list together of the truths I found were helpful during my many years of recovery from abuse and trauma. These were the main things that helped me to navigate the times when I would have flashbacks and feelings so intense that I felt like they would last forever and that I would never get through the unending pain.



List of Truths About Emotions: These are some of the things that I reminded myself of to cope with emotions.

  • I survived the original abuse so I can survive the feelings.

  • Telling myself “I will get through this because I got through previous times.”

  • Remembering that my flashback emotions were coming from a child’s perspective without the adult’s logic and reasoning.

  • There is a peak to emotions AND they do come back down again.

  • There is relief after feeling emotions (perhaps not right away) AND there is an end to their intensity and to them.

  • Emotions are like surfing in an ocean. The best thing to do is let them flow and ride the waves (no matter how brutal the storm feels).

  • The fiercest storms ended up being the times I had the most growth and gained the most strength to continue my journey.

  • The times I felt like I was breaking apart ended up being my biggest breakthroughs.

  • (During or after flashbacks) or triggers, feelings can be so intense and feel like they will last forever. Many parts that had been jailed, imprisoned, caged, tortured feel like everything lasts forever.

The truth is as survivors we survived the original abuse that was repressed. We can definitely survive the feelings that are attached to the memories of our abusive past.


What would you add to this list?


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03 abr 2023
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Thanks for making a list of truths about emotions for anyone, but especially survivors who had to repress memories and feelings.

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Sharri Burggraaf
Sharri Burggraaf
14 sept 2023
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You're welcome. I did it for myself first and then for other people, and then specifically for survivors. Our emotions are God-given, are there for a purpose to alert us to pay attention to something that can be our mind's way of alerting us to danger, potential harm, to seek connection, or to stand up for what is right. Having to repress memories and the emotions connected with them makes it harder to express them as an adult but when we do there is so much healing. Thanks for your comment.

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