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When A Flashback Turns Violent….

bipolar momMy husband and I joke around a lot. We will playfully wrestle, chase each other around the house, giggling and having fun. It’s just what we do.

For the past 9+ years we have done this. It’s never been an issue before and it has always been playful. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I had a flashback and began to violently attack my husband. It scared the crap out of him.

Anyway it started with playful wrestling and lead to me pretty much losing my mind. Once the playful wrestling started, he grabbed my arms and I was almost instantly taken back to a very dark time in my life.

I was violently raped and beaten 11 years ago and that is exactly where my mind went. At that moment I wasn’t playfully wrestling with my husband anymore. I snapped.

My husband saw something change in me and he freaked out and tried harder to control me. The harder he tried to restrain me the more I fought, and the angrier I got.

Finally he let go of me and started (obviously) guarding his head and I just flipped and started hitting him. By the time the whole ordeal was over I felt as though I was suffocating and the panic was terrible. I didn’t know where I was, who I was, who my husband was, or what the hell had just happened.

I stormed out of the house to try to calm down and then my husband went upstairs. It took me a little while to remember exactly what had happened and when I realized what I had done all I could do was cry. At first I didn’t understand what happened and I was so upset. I am not a violent person and to have such an aggressive and violent outburst was so far out of character I was terribly confused.

I sat on the couch for a while and that was when I realized that after 9 years of being able to playfully wrestle with my husband, I could no longer ever do that again.

I have never had such a violent and terrifying flashback before. I have had nightmares and I have had flashbacks but I have never had such a panicked, violent response before. I don’t know what happened but I certainly need to figure it out to be certain it never happens again.

Later that night I talked to my husband while he was on his way to work. I was in tears explaining to him what had happened and how the flashback affected me. He repeatedly told me “don’t worry about it, you can’t really hurt me so don’t stress.” I could not let it go. No matter how much he reassured me, I just couldn’t.

We have agreed there will not be any more playful wrestling going on around here. I think it’s the safest thing. Now I am still feeling so guilty over what happened. I am not a violent person and it still breaks my heart to know I reacted in such a terrible way.

Arm wrestling photo available from Shutterstock

When A Flashback Turns Violent….


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APA Reference
, B. (2012). When A Flashback Turns Violent….. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Nov 2012
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