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Old 11-25-2005, 09:10 PM
ReconSGT_OIF
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Memory Problems?

Anyone else out here having trouble with PTSD and memory issues? at a recent psychologist appointment it was noticed that my short-term memory is somewhat shot. But Im also having other issues with long term memories and some things that didnt exactly happen but I remember them clearly... I had thought that my high school principal had been killed by a drive by shooting, but recently I learned that was a false memory... People from church that I thought were dead are still there and suprisingly still alive. But the really disturbing memory distortion is when I remember doing something that I was supposed to do, but i didnt really do it. I remember things happening so vividly that i can remember painstaking details... but many times it never happened and I am caught short. I dont know which things in my mind I can trust and which things I should forget anymore. Im just looking to see if anyone else here has had similar issues. Am I alone?
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2005, 10:24 AM
Don Dodson Don Dodson is offline
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Re: Memory Problems?

Marcus:

YES, YES, YESSS!!! Part of PTSD and any other anxiety situation clogs up so much memory we end up "forgetting" or mis-remembering. For me, it happens when I am overloaded and have forgotten to "dump" the toxic bucket of worry, or I have been triggered and now old memories are crowding out here and now. I find that it helps me to write down what's on my mind in my secret journal (actually it is a crypto-locked computer disk with password protected word file ... I type much faster than I can write.) Is it possible that with the holidays, family needs, work hastles, etc. you are just overloaded?

About a month ago (as I posted elsewhere here) I overturned my pick-up truck and trailer. I am again having nightmares, something I haven't had very often since 1999. I was trapped upside down in my truck fearing fire, feeling very helpless. Two really neat things happened: 1) I began giving orders to the bystander I could see out of the corner of my eye to get fire extringuishers in case the rig caught fire [good to know I still have a "command presence" under fire after all these years] and 2) almost immediately gave my situation totally to God. I did feel the Peace that passes understanding! He was merciful (again) and got me through with almost no residual effects, other than the fear my wife still exihibits and the nightmares. I think what has happened is I am overloaded. My response has been to cut back on some of my elective activities and make sure I am resting enough. Maybe it is time for me to do another round of EMDR therapy, too.

Most important for you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I think we all have had this situation reoccur from time to time. Look for what is loading you up, maybe try some journalling, try not to over-commit for the holidays with family tugging in all directions, don't stuff your emotions and keep praying. You and your family are in our prayers, too. I know for sure that God is standing by just off stage (or just over the horizon line), wanting you to find His strength and His Grace to rely upon. "Keep on keeping on" and He will see you through this challenge.

I have been "off line" too much so I may have missed your updates; are you still in prosthetics training?

WELCOME HOME!

Don "Oboeman" Dodson
Vietnam 1969-1970
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2005, 05:38 PM
ReconSGT_OIF
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Re: Memory Problems?

actually, no I am not still in prosthetics training. Thanks for asking though. I switched my major to Cyber-Information Security. Something about the prosthetics program with its 8 hour a day 5 day a week standing up all day in a shop environment kinda made me think about my legs. I just got out of the army last year and was forced to hurt my legs on a daily basis whether I wanted to or not... so I elected to give my body a rest. :)
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Old 12-03-2005, 10:04 PM
Stickthrower
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Re: Memory Problems?

ReconSGT OIF,
I'm there with you brother! Sometimes my short term memory seems like it is getting better, then other times I have trouble even remembering what I was doing; I get up and walk to another room and by the time I get there I have no idea why I'm there, or sometimes I am driving into town and forget why I was going into town. Sometimes it has been so bad that I can't seem to function, especially when I am around a lot of people. I just freeze up, can't even carry on a conversation as I can't remember what they are talking about.

Sure doesn't impress the wife when I have forgotten what she sent me to town for!

When talking to my brother on the phone (he is 4 years older and I have not seen him face to face for 12 years), I can't remember things about our family or friends. He will mention an incident and the fact that I was there and I have no idea what he is talking about. It has got so bad that some of the extended family I have no real memory of them, or being told of their deaths, etc. I just can't seem to remember alot of my life. And some that I do remember "like yesterday" may not have happened like I remember them.

I have had major incidents mentioned by my brother that I have no memory of at all! It is truly frightening to me.

Then I start to feel guilty because I am afraid I have done something horrible, not remember the incident, and get caught and punished. Yes, I have real guilt issues! Most of them are unfounded, but I still have them. Sometimes I am afraid to leave the house, be near others, etc., because I no longer trust myself to make decisions. I guess my guilt issues of Nam have really escalated my guilt trips.

Most importantly, you are not alone! The more I find out about PTSD, the more I find out I need to gain more knowledge about it.

I finally got some work after one year off doing construction. The problem is that I am terrified of being out in public and screwing up! I really like the work, but am afraid my PTSD will surface at the wrong time and get me fired!

I am currently working on a Commercial building running the plumbing under the sub floor. Spending 8 hrs a day crawling around in the dark like a tunnel rat sure plays hob with my mind sometimes. Sure has brought back a lot of bad memories. I was never a tunnel rat, Thank The Lord! But the confinement, darkness, damp ground, hearing framer's nail guns going off all day sure trips some triggers for me!

All I can do is continue to pray, beg the Lord for forgiveness, and pray some more. I read the Bible alot and that has been a real comfort to me. Sometimes I just open the book and start reading where it falls open. You would be surprised how many times the Lord has guided my hand when opening the book to a passage that brings me comfort.

The best answer I have brother is (1) keep believeing in the Lord's word, (2) keep learning about PTSD and how it affects you, (3) when you get really stressed Stop and take a Jesus break as I call it and read the bible! (4) Know that you are not alone, not crazy, and NEVER believe you can't go on. We are here for you brother! If you can't catch me on the website due to time differences send me a PM and I will send you my phone number if you just need to talk. I will allways answer your messages/phone calls 24/7.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2006, 07:08 PM
Wild Trapper
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Re: Memory Problems?

Yes! This same problem with memory happens to me. Wish I could say something to help, but I find I have to write things down. Short term is worse but long term is also affected. Always made it double hard for me on the job before I became too disabled to work.
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:57 AM
cherry cherry is offline
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Sometimes I feel like I don't have a brain. I can't remember some of the names of places I was at in the Nam. I also can't remember the format or anything about coordinates in the Nam. It is so strange because that was my job, to follow NVA regiments around I Corps and "spy" on them. I also did radio direction finding shots on their transmitters, then passed the coordinates along for fire missions or arc lights. The mind is a terrible thing to lose. BUT I can watch movies over and over and enjoy them everytime!
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