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Messages - briasmith12

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Sorry, long post, here! But I wanted to offer what has helped me.

I absolutely have these days, too, more often than not. It is one hundred percent up to you whether the romantic or platonic relationship is something you want to keep. I  know you said you've tried to look at it rationally, but I have to look at it logically and to be completely honest with myself. With friends, I have gone both ways. I lose that connection to them and then realize, logically, that I never really valued our friendship anyway, that I maintained it out of some sense of obligation or just because I was plodding along without considering it. Or, I realize that I really do value them, I just need some space. The long term friends I have are all understanding of the fact that I don't always want to be around them.

With my husband, I realize that I know I loved my husband. It may have been weeks ago, but I know in my mind that I loved him. That intimate feeling returns after a time, which helps me make this connection, but with others it didn't and I knew it was time to move on. It has gotten better (less frequently and infinitely easier to deal with) since I've told him and let him know that on certain days or longer, I just don't feel connected, sometimes I feel irrationally angry at him and irritated by his presence, and it's difficult and physically painful for me to be too near him, so I need both physical and mental space. I have a room that I can go hole up in with my laptop or a book and my dog, or if he's holed up in his office, I can roam the house and retreat when needed. Thankfully, my husband has been (almost mythical-ly) understanding about all of this and gives me space.

If you do want to pursue a relationship of any kind, you don't have to give every detail of what you go through, or if you already have opened up to some extent: perhaps make your need for space known. In this case, it's really important to make it very clear that you do not want to end the relationship. It doesn't have to be a passionate plea. Just a "Hey, I just need you to know that I value our relationship a lot. I absolutely do not want this to end and it's important to me that you stay in my life as you are right now (friend or ____?). I need some time to recharge, though, and that might mean that we keep communication to a minimum for a week/weeks/what-have-you or so. You've done nothing wrong, it's just something I need."

I know it's such a worn out phrase, but the people who matter, the ones who deserve to be in your life, will be understanding. My marriage would not have lasted, or even got to marriage, if my husband had not been understanding of my need for space (I didn't share my full reasons until after marriage).
No matter the case, as you've seen, you are far from alone in this feeling. I imagine there is a rainbow of ways that people cope. I hope you can find yours and continue on to healthy relationships. :cheer:

Your manager sounds supportive. Is the reduction in hours helping ? Or is it too soon to say ? Can you take some holiday time ? Or indeed some sick time ?
Iíve learnt to take what I need slightly ahead of crisis is the most helpful.
Also to think about what strategies I have in place for self care / anxiety management and pin these to the wall so I can do some practice daily

Thank you, bssr. It's comforting to know that I'm not alone in this. And thank you so much for acknowledging my progress. I often forget I'm in the "it will get worse before it can get better" part of my journey, but that I'm still moving forward. The reduction in hours has helped some, but my manager also hasn't been consistent. A week and a half ago, I worked 6 days straight, and 4 of those days were long. Starting tomorrow, I have three long days, 4 days "off" for my younger brother's wedding (two of my abusers will be there), a short work day after that, and then the following three days off for real and a visit with the psychiatrist to get medication changed/adjusted. I could go on medical leave, which I'm seriously considering right now, but it's difficult for me to ask for time off (fog) as we're currently shorthanded  and I'm moving at the end of August. I'll know more once I talk to the psych; I'd be braver having backup from a dr.

customer service, and supervising others in that field can often be tricky, even for those who don't have a history of trauma.  take it easy on yourself and do what you need to do for you, first and foremost, ok?  you are the most important one in your life, always.   sending love and a warm, healing hug to you, brias.

Thank you, san. Self-care is the most difficult thing to do as that feeds the fog. Your kind words help a lot. :hug: I'm finding more and more that the cs field is not for me. SA is big for me, but haven't been able to secure another job in a this town. I do simultaneously better and worse as a supervisor because I have a lot to think about (distractions), but it requires more confrontation. It's definitely a trade off. I'm hoping the psych appt will yield results, as this particular psych is known for being well-read and actually listening. Here's to hoping.

Recently, I've started spiraling. I went from "managing" (at like a 6/10) to a level of depression and anxiety that my anxiety medication and self-care techniques can't touch. It's been incredibly frustrating to me as it's been years since I've felt quite this fragile and un-grounded, the last time being when M died. A week or so ago, I realized what must have been the trigger, an incident about a month ago. The short version is that a woman came into the cafe where I work and physically threatened another customer. She was unhinged and upset about him cutting her off on the freeway, a couple of miles away. I acted without thinking, like I did as a kid, and immediately got between the woman and her target, and escorted her out as I called the police. She was so sure she was justified that she waited for the police to show up so she could share her part of the story.

As if that wasn't enough, a couple of weeks ago, a couple was in our parking lot and a dv situation developed. As I was the supervisor, one of the baristas came and got me and I was calling the police...again. I have been so stressed and paranoid at work, hypervigilant and just exhausted when I get home. Haven't wanted to go anywhere or do anything. My boss is thankfully understanding (she knows about the anxiety) and has reduced my hours and shortened my shifts.

This morning, one person called in sick and then, at 615 (we open at 430 am), one of our coworkers walked through the door for her shift...completely and utterly drunk. Weaving when walking, barely could form sentences, drunk, and it's been an ongoing issue with her. I'm sympathetic about her situation, addiction is horrible and a cyclical battle, but I have not been in a good place and this put me over the top. I just lost it. Our cafe is very, very busy, as we're near a lot of businesses and on a main thoroughfare for vacationers and commuters, and I had to somehow make magic happen with three people. I have already been so on edge at work. A situation like this I can normally handle with very few ruffled feathers. This time, though, I had to go into the back and take a few minutes as I felt myself starting to hyperventilate and panic and I couldn't stop it. It's the first time in months that I've had a panic attack at work and the first one that others have seen, and it was triggered by something that is normally annoying, but not something I (generally) see as catastrophic. I'm not really in a position to not work, but I have been losing faith lately in my ability to handle my job. It's a stressful job without adding my triggers and generally unpredictable, but manageable, emotions, and as my ability to cope continues to fracture, I'm just not sure how much more of this (being the job) I can take.

I do have a new T in the crosshairs, but It's taken a long time to even schedule an appointment, so I'm not sure how long it will be until I can get some real help working through all of this. It's just been the day from * and I know some of you (if not all) will understand where I'm coming from and that's not a thing I have a lot of in my life. Sympathizers and empathizers are very different though equally important when it comes to things like this. I guess I just need validation because it's one of those days that I feel legitimately crazy and unstable.

General Discussion / Re: Any un-related to C-PTSD phobias?
« on: July 08, 2018, 01:40:08 AM »
Phew. I'm glad I'm not in this boat alone.  :wave:

Heights--absolute phobia. Going to the Grand Canyon was miserable and glorious all at the same time. Can't do Ferris wheels.
In tandem with heights, water. Even pools. Any water where I can't touch the bottom. Sends a shiver up my spine. AND I can swim extremely well and have since I was a kid.
And, lastly, ants. There's another oddly specific one for you guys. But, I kind of have a reason. I was attacked by a fire ant colony visiting bio dad one summer, and have been terrified ever since.

Kdke, I feel the same way about gravity/the universe. If I go stargazing and get too engrossed, I think I can actually feel the Earth moving and spinning in the galaxy, in the universe, and I freak out a little.  :aaauuugh:


TW: CSA --in white text so just highlight it to read.

I agree with the above posters. Likely she has residual trauma from abuse but hasn't dealt with it. Lord knows, if she had, she wouldn't be telling you to "just get over it".
While I would never tell anyone to get over their trauma, I have managed to live a "normal" life since leaving home and it has been a shock to some people to discover that I've never really been okay. I've always struggled with depression and anxiety, but I managed to hide it very well (sometimes even from myself). Oddly enough, I never noticed that I dissociated until I got married and spent a lot of time in the company of another person. I mostly manage to shove my feelings down and derealize to make it through the day until get home, which is when everything really falls apart and I'm exhausted and in physical pain. It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally started being able to explore my feelings and not until about a year ago (year and a half?) when I got blackout drunk and had a psychotic break (legit, banging head against wall, etc.) that I began to be aware of those inner demons and the causes of them. My husband, on the drive home, said "How come you never told me you were molested?" and I was absolutely speechless. :fallingbricks: It was something I had pretended for so long had happened to somebody else, a different me, that I was astounded I had brought it up. I still can't remember that night.

If this woman is convinced she suffered "more" than you, but has managed to "get over it", likely she just means she's found unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal, whether she realizes it or not. The things you suffered through are not invalid and people haven't had it worse than you. Trauma is trauma is trauma is trauma. If being part of the OOTS community means anything, it means that we have all suffered, we're in this together, and (I say this, but find this hard to accept myself, so no judgement) none of us need to be embarrassed or feel broken or useless.  :grouphug:

Just going to keep this thread going, apparently.  :thumbup:


DH and I were talking about this the other night. He knows some of my history so he asked, "Would you allow me to spank our kids?" and I responded emphatically "Absolutely not. Never, ever will you lay a hand on our children. It's abuse." He doesn't get it, sees nothing wrong with it. He was part of the "I got spanked and turned out fine." He agrees that what I went through was abuse (belt, wooden spoons being literally broken by impact, etc.), but his dad, apparently, would never spank him in "anger". it was always presented rationally, which is a whole other topic of the psychological impacts of spanking. He'd do something wrong, be sent to his room and then some time later his dad would come up, explain to him what he did wrong to "deserve" the punishment, spank him, then hug him and tell him that "This hurts me more than it hurts you" bull**** and how he never wanted to "have to do that" again. It makes me so angry and panicky, I just can't deal. DH ended the conversation by saying it will be his last resort. I told him it will never come to that, and I will never let it come to that. When we have kids, when he sees just how much I won't let him touch our children, he'll understand. I'd leave him in a heartbeat.

SOT - Sense of Threat (eg Hypervigilance) / Re: Hypervigilance
« on: June 29, 2018, 03:48:34 AM »
I second both Rain and Randal. LC and routine (chores, etc.) helps me immensely. I guess I don't try to stop the dissociation as much as I just try to ride it out. It's your brain's way of telling you it's tired and it can't do it anymore. You've run out of spoons.

Therapy / Re: Mistrust of therapy for cptsd
« on: June 29, 2018, 03:44:52 AM »

I relate very much to what you say, especially re. my physical health. People keep confusing circumstances with interpretation of circumstances, in my experience. It's so prevalent I've stopped trying to share anything. Often people want to believe suffering is a bad mood, abuse is a fight, violence is a disagreement, helplessness is pessimism, unhappiness is weakness, 'etc... :whistling: But you were in danger. The danger that caused your cptsd wasn't in your head. You didn't just feel you were in danger, you were in actual danger. It was real and it went on.

This is inspired, Ah, and great insight. May I quote this on another site?

I know my stuff isn't as severe as many on here, childhood trauma is far worse.

But the effect my lesser trauma has on me is still pretty profound and overwhelming, a video of me when agitated could be used as an advert for what triggered looks like, its almost funny.

Then there's also a video my gf made of me after I've come down through exhaustion, asleep with eyes open, rapid blinking, basically a total zombie, lost time, the whole 9 yards...

Thanks again guys, you rock.

I don't know how much severity has to do with it.  Trauma is trauma, and especially if you were dealing with PTSD (or similar) due to a previous situation, the prolonged situation compounds and builds and then you find yourself where you, unfortunately, are now. Both can be crippling. I find myself unable to work more than p/t (and even that is exhausting) due to prolonged and varied childhood traumas, whereas previously I could work 60+ hours a week to avoid life. I was triggered by a violent situation at my work where I had to escort an incredibly angry person out of the building for the safety of others. I dissociated during the entire thing. I barely remember it. Then a few weeks later I was witness again to a violent situation between customers. But that has led to an accelerated spiral and I've hit the lowest I've been in months/years. I was coping, albeit badly, before the most recent incidents, the first being life-threatening, and even though my meds have been doubled and I've gone through loads of CBT and MBSR, the trauma is far greater than any help could be right now.
I suppose my point is that all of it matters. Trauma is trauma is trauma. CSA is not worse than DV, it's just different. Different triggers, different therapies, different impacts on life. TBH, this time around I'm not looking for grand solutions or healing. I'm looking for a way to just get through the day. Sometimes, that's all we can do. :hug:

Hey Briasmith,
For a millisecond I thought I had written this post.   :doh: I am in the EXACT same boat.  My husband and I are coming up on our 6th anniversary.  The difference is that he only knows I have ďanxietyĒ. He doesnít know I get panic attacks weekly or that I have clinical depression and knows nothing of cptsd.

I always thought I would NEVER tell him.  Recently, Iíve just started to consider it.  I am working on a letter to share with him. I donít know if I will ever give it to him.  Just thinking about telling him is an improvement for me.

Iíll be interested to see how other people went about telling their significant others?  Iím with you that I donít think people can really understand trauma unless they have experienced it.

Empathy is just as important as good advice! It's so helpful to me to know that other people have experienced the things that I have. My previous therapist (??for whatever reason??) didn't directly address the dissociation or depersonalization/derealization even though I definitely drifted away more than a few times during our sessions and he knew to what extent it affected my life. We were working on MBSR, which is not helpful for me. I can't regulate my feelings so the only thing that happened were more panic attacks and more yelling on my part. Therapist had me convinced it was ADHD until I talked more extensively to DH (who actually has ADHD, since childhood) and realized it didn't fit. I basically stumbled my way to C/PTSD through trying to manage the dissociation on my own, which isn't possible.  :Idunno:
Anyway, I talked to DH last night about how I felt, that I was afraid that he thought I was making it up or exaggerating or "insert negative thought here". His response was "Did I ever say that?". Of course, my response to that was "It doesn't matter. What matters is what I feel about what I think you feel." He was supportive and sympathetic, which just makes me feel worse, of course, because now I just feel like I'm ruining his life because he has had to deal with my chronic feelings of disconnect from him.  ???
If I have any advice to you from somebody who's kind of making it up as she goes, it would be to break it slowly. In a fit of depersonalization several years ago, I told him about it, and how it was so difficult for me to feel love, even though logically my brain knew that I loved him when I was present. I started by telling DH a couple of months ago that I was having regular panic attacks. Then we started talking about the overwhelming guilt and how it was impossible for me to ask things of him without becoming incredibly anxious/panicky/guilty/suicidal. I left the suicidal part out. He still doesn't know about that, and I don't feel he needs to at this point. Maybe later. Then last night I tried to explain how I wander from depersonalization to emotional dysregulation and back again. Eventually I'll tell him about how I feel as though I'm the witness for two lives: one where this woman makes decisions without him (which happens more than I care to admit) and one where a woman is paralyzed with fear if she fails to make a decision that aligns with what she knows he wants.  :aaauuugh:

I can't explain it to myself, let alone others. I mean yeah, I can pinpoint all the circumstances fairly well (probably too well  :'( ), but getting to how this still affects me creates a predicament. I did have one relationship where I explained a bit afterwards, as it was less awkward then while the relationship was in place; or maybe it never really was stable, being there was always this missing element that I naively thought would disappear on its own....

I'm still as fragile as ever so I pretty much avoid the whole situation nowadays. Given that I live extremely isolated, that rather tips the scales. Still it hurts knowing that here's yet another aspect of 'normal' life that crashed due to abuse and now it needs such careful nurturing just to keep surviving.

Sorry I didn't have any definitive strategy to share. I guess if there's something to try, it might be to introduce the other person to some of the literature (from this site, forum, blogs or books, videos, etc.) that explains cptsd and how you fit the picture they describe.

I 100% understand. It's impossible to put into words exactly what it feels like to feel so incredibly alone and removed from the world. I don't know how to navigate this part of C/PTSD. The part where I try to reconcile my present with my past. Hopefully the new psychiatrist and therapist will do better than the ones previously. In any case, I plan on being persistent and refusing to continue to be treated for a condition that is not relevant.
I'll definitely send him to some links, that's a great idea. I've resisted giving him any literature because I have done so much work creating this facade of happy perfection (at one point, he literally told me to care more about things because he felt like an a** asking things of me on a daily basis because I asked for so little), that, again, I'm terrified he won't believe me.

Hi all,
I, as I'm sure most of you have, have dealt with misdiagnosis. It doesn't help that I've never been fully honest with my therapists (before now) about the real extent and variety of childhood abuse, which I won't go into here because it's irrelevant. Suffice it to say that I have been managing my life unhealthily, but with most people being unaware, including DH. He knows about the panic attacks, the chronic and severe depression, etc., but I'm having a v difficult time explaining why "all of a sudden" him bear hugging me or being in my face makes me anxious. I realize he won't ever fully understand and I know I did this to myself by not being present and honest, but I do need him to understanding that I've struggled with this my whole life and that it's nothing new. To somebody who's never experienced dissociation or depersonalization, maybe it's an impossibility. I have lived so long in the world of this person whose life I was wearing that I don't know how to explain to him that I'm not exaggerating or making it up. That's a huge trigger for me and also a v large part of why I'd not ever been honest with therapists or psychiatrists about my symptoms/feelings.
Any thoughts?

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