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Shower is my trigger

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purplehaze420

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I've been struggling to consistently take showers lately because the shower is mainly where my abuse took place and it is a really bad trigger for me. Somedays I am terrified to get in the shower because it brings me back to when I was abused. I specifically remember getting hair on my feet during the abuse so now whenever I get hair on my feet in the shower I get badly triggered. Obviously I need to shower but I am just so scared I never know when a flashback will hit.

Any advice on how to overcome this?
 
vanish

vanish

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Is it head hair which mostly falls on your feet? You you tried wearing a shower cap at all? I use one because I don't want to get my head wet all the time (and wash out my bright dye).
 
Zackthemaniac

Zackthemaniac

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You can buy dry shampoo and body wash prolong your time between showers.

Is it baths or just showers ? Maybe you can take more baths if its just showers.
 
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purplehaze420

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Is it head hair which mostly falls on your feet? You you tried wearing a shower cap at all? I use one because I don't want to get my head wet all the time (and wash out my bright dye).
Yes it’s mostly head hair but honestly it could be any hair like pubic hair or leg hair. I have a shower cap but I barely use it... I never thought of that idea. I'm going to try it today. I have been avoiding showering for the past 3 days :low:.

Thank you for the help I really appreciate it!
 
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purplehaze420

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You can buy dry shampoo and body wash prolong your time between showers.

Is it baths or just showers ? Maybe you can take more baths if its just showers.
It's just showers so maybe a bath would be better to avoid being triggered. I don't know how I didn't think of that! I have body wash but not dry shampoo so I'm definitely going to invest in buying some.

Thank you for replying, you have no idea how much it helps. I feel so alone when stuff like this happens, I can't really talk to my family/friends about it and I'm in-between therapists right now.

:panic::respect:
 
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Jules5

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Purplehaze I hope these suggestions help you. I have a water phobia including showers. I can not even use a garden hose. Not sure why this happened to me. I never use to be like this. I think it is from losing my job and I just had no place to show up and dress up. Due to depression I have had to force myself to take on responsibility. I brought a flock of chickens and 4 ducks and it is so messy when I change their water. WEird I know. Big Hugs Jules
 
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sab1978

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When you’re in the shower and having a flashback, are you able to breath through it and wait until it passes? Specifically, have you worked on desensitizing yourself to the shower trigger? When we face our fears over and over and are able to breath through them, realizing that we are safe in the present moment, they eventually lose their power. It takes time and dedication, but it’s worth it.
 
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purplehaze420

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Purplehaze I hope these suggestions help you. I have a water phobia including showers. I can not even use a garden hose. Not sure why this happened to me. I never use to be like this. I think it is from losing my job and I just had no place to show up and dress up. Due to depression I have had to force myself to take on responsibility. I brought a flock of chickens and 4 ducks and it is so messy when I change their water. WEird I know. Big Hugs Jules
Hi Jules! I'm sorry to hear what you've been through. I understand what you mean by being forced to take responsibility. I have no structure/routine because of quarantine and not being able to go to school or go out. It's been hard trying to keep a routine and I have to force myself to do productive things. I don't think that is weird! I think it's a great way to try and heal and maybe help with your water phobia. Maybe the suggestions on this thread could help you take showers too.

Feel free to message me if you ever want to talk. :)
:hug5:
 
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purplehaze420

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When you’re in the shower and having a flashback, are you able to breath through it and wait until it passes? Specifically, have you worked on desensitizing yourself to the shower trigger? When we face our fears over and over and are able to breath through them, realizing that we are safe in the present moment, they eventually lose their power. It takes time and dedication, but it’s worth it.
I have been trying to breathe through it and I tell myself "You are in the present and nothing can hurt you now." I did this for a week and I was so proud of myself because I was able to shower every day. Then it happened again and I wasn't able to control it and I had to run out of the shower in order for me to be able to breathe. Now I haven't showered in a few days. I thought I was getting somewhat better at coping with it but I guess not. And this keeps happening, I will have a few days where I am fine and I can shower normally but then boom! It hits me again and I get terrified all over again. I just wish there was a way to make it stop. I get so unmotivated and feel so drained.
 
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sab1978

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Are you working with a therapist or coach at all?
 
S

SunnyDaze

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Hi @purplehaze420

I'm sorry you're struggling.I do understand though. For me it was taking a bath, I was ok taking a shower but when I would try to take a bath I would have flashbacks and would have to jump out and couldn't do it. (I was put into bleach water after sexual abuse in childhood by my mom,so taking baths never went well in adulthood,obviously.)

I tried forcing myself to stay in the tub and desensitizing myself but it didn't work. So I thought trying something different would help,instead of filling the tub with water and then getting in,I got in the tub and sat in it while it filled up.That really made a big difference for me,before that,as soon as I got in the tub I would freak out but doing it the opposite way helped my reaction.

But I got tired of having to take a bath in a specific way and it being such a big deal.So one day I filled the tub then got in and when I started freaking our I imagined what I would do now in the present if my mom would try to make me do that. I imagined what I would say,how I would react,telling her to f*ck off,etc.

I've been able to take a bath fine since that day.I do sometimes still think about the past if I try to take a bath but I don't react like I used to.

Is there a way you can change up the way you shower?Maybe if you get in then turn the water on you could try turning the water on and then get in,anything different than what you normally do so that your brain won't associate it to the past.

Or try imagining what you would do if you were in the same situation right now,how you would handle it,etc.If your abuse happened in childhood,don't imagine it as a child,imagine it as right now,in the present. It's a pretty powerful thing to do actually.And healing.
 
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purplehaze420

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Are you working with a therapist or coach at all?
I was working with a therapist but I haven’t reached out to her lately. She wasn’t the right fit for me and I have been looking for a new one. I told my mom and she said she would help me find a new therapist but then corona virus and quarantine happened and that put a halt on things. ://
I was thinking of maybe reaching out to my old therapist anyways just so I could work with someone on this.
 
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purplehaze420

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Hi @SunnyDaze

I'm sorry that happened to you. But I'm glad you were able to overcome your struggles with taking a bath. That makes me really hopeful that I can do the same with showers.

I have never tried switching it up or imagining myself as an adult. Those things sound like they can be really helpful. Especially the imagining one because when I get those flashbacks it's like I'm that helpless child all over again.

Reading your response has made me want to muster up the courage and try your suggestions. So I'm going to try and shower today but instead get in first and then turn on the water.
 
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SunnyDaze

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Good luck. I hope it helps you.

I really struggle with my PTSD,in so many different ways. I am grateful though for the things that I don't struggle with anymore, like taking a bath.

Hugs
 
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purplehaze420

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Thank you so much for your kind words and suggestions.

I really have been struggling too... I just got diagnosed last year and never even recalled the abuse until then because my brain had suppressed the memories. I stopped all contact with my abuser, my father in my case, but that has taken a really big toll on my family. Mostly everyone has been supportive except for his side. This is all really new to me and I feel really lost at times. But I just got news that one of the psychologists whose waiting list Ive been on has an open spot. That gives me a lot of hope.

Sorry I went off on a little rant there lol. But I will let you know how my shower goes. Fingers-crossed. :)
 
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