I’ve call my CPTSD flashbacks old tapes because until recently, all my flashbacks have been feelings and sensations only. No actual memory to go with them. They are hard to identify in real time. Because they are just a flood of emotions, its easy to think they are because of whats happening around you currently and not an emotional memory caused by a trigger. That is why I have been working to identify not only my triggers, but when something is a flashback and really happening.
Old tapes feel like the music that plays in the jack in the box and I’m the monkey inside waiting helplessly for it to stop so I can pop out reflexively for the enjoyment of whoever is turning the (my) crank outside the box.