When a flashback happens, it feels as though the traumatic event that happened in the past is happening in the present moment. The feelings and body sensations can be very strong and frightening. It can be difficult to remember to reassure yourself that the feelings are not from what is happening right now and to stay grounded.
Often people begin to think that they are crazy and are afraid to tell anyone of these experiences. It can feel as though you are not in control and at the mercy of the feelings and sensations.
You may begin to avoid people, places or situations that you think caused the flashback. Sometimes flashbacks occur when you hear a certain sound or song on the radio. It may happen if you hear a voice or see a person with similar physical characteristics to the person that hurt you. It may happen during sexual activity or if you are in a similar situation where you experience trapped feelings such as with an argument or being with aggressive people. Flashbacks can be caused by certain odours or even colors that may have been present during your assault. Sometimes flashbacks can become more frequent around important dates such as the anniversary of the assault or court dates.
Flashbacks are normal. They are the normal reactions of people who have experience a traumatic event outside of the range for a normal human being to an abnormal situation.