Breath comments causing iCr crisis

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Sasha

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Breath comments causing iCr crisis
« on: September 04, 2019, 09:23:06 AM »
Watching TV two comedians joke about wether you tell someone if they have bad breath. My boyfriend asks me if I would tell someone. I donít wanna make it all about my abusive past so I skip past the details about my mum and brother bullying me when very young about my breath (feel so much shame even thinking about it) and say that I would find it so difficult to hear that I had bad breath. Boyfriend goes on to subtly tell me that recently my breath has been a little stale. I asked if he was saying I had bad breath? He said not normally, just recently and wondered whether it was my chance in diet or something. I felt quite incredulous at first as Iíd just told him how difficult this would be. I canít even remember what order things went in after that, but I told him about my past and felt very upset. He said sorry as he feels heís out his foot in it again, as this came just a very difficult few days of CPTSD symptoms rising up.

I tried to brush it off despite the absolute swelling feelings of shame, humiliation and self-loathing that erupted but when he went out I just put my head in my hands and cried. Felt like I needed a break from any comments, interpersonal dynamics and especially criticism. Felt like Iíd rewatched tipping point. Plucked up the courage to say that I needed to go stay away for the night and explained why. I feel proud that I could do that, as thatís huge progress for me.

Turns out I couldnít stay away that night (maintenance problems at my flat) and he picked me up. In the shower at his I cried and cried and cried and realised I just felt so damn overwhelmed and simply... stressed out to the max. I decided not to put a name on it. Just stress. Inner critic overload. Brain meltdown. Pure stress. I shared this process with him and he comforted me, again - huge progress for me as I desperately try to thwart the inner and outer critics attempts to isolate me and ruin my relationships. Hard work, eh?

Since then, despite things feeling less stressful, I just canít get past this feeling that my breath is awful. I mean, I brush at least twice a day, more if Iíve eaten spicy food, and if Iím going out etc. He suggested it might be since staying at his and using a different much lighter more natural aloe toothpaste (been staying here for 2 weeks so far, due to maintenance problems at my place -  first time living together).

Despite the logic, and despite trying my hardest to up my breath control by brushing extra and chewing gum I feel so scared to put my face near his. I am having trouble kissing, even as sleeping I kept worrying about my breath. Itís affecting me, him and us. Iím being honest about it, and have explained whatís going on for me as much as I have here.

He says it wasnít even that bad, he feels so stupid for even saying anything. This morning I woke up and just couldnít do it, couldnít kiss, couldnít connect, despite Being able to last night. I mentioned it was bothering me again and he tried to reassure me, but I just went a bit spaced out and starting having a couple of flashbacks, to a teacher keeping me behind class and kindly talking to me about my personal hygiene and appearance, and a family friend who did similar, helping me understand menstrual hygiene, both indicators that I wasnít being very well cared for.

My tried to pin me down and kiss me just now and I just burst into tears, pulling my head away from him and feeling that I just canít bear the thought of him disliking my smell.

I donít know what to do. I donít know how to get past it. To become obsessive about my breath feels too much, as it combines with shame. To leave it feels too much, as it leads me to feel like Iím just a dirty filthy thing. I feel so gross. I canít smell anything bad but my mouth just feels alien to me since the comments. Iím hating my own body and feel at war with my self. I have been trying to reflect my critical thoughts back towards my original abusers and this mainly results in a lot of crying. Helpful in some ways, but quite tiring and also not helping me move past this specific thing which has real current presence.

Is there a way I can normalise these comments, this situation, and guide myself through this?

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Kizzie

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Re: Breath comments causing iCr crisis
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 04:34:46 PM »
So sorry to hear this triggered so much from your past Sasha, it's really difficult when our past wells up and overwhelms us with memories and feelings.  FWIW these feelings were always in there, they're just on the surface now (maybe having a supportive, caring boyfriend means you're feeling safe enough to feel all that?). 

As hard and awful as these times are I've started  trying to think of them as "sunshine therapy" meaning the power of the darkness of held trauma fades significantly  once it's  brought out into the light and worked through.  I know how awful it is though :grouphug:

I don't know if this will help you to get through but I hope so  :yes: 

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Jazzy

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Re: Breath comments causing iCr crisis
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 11:13:28 PM »
Sorry to hear this is so upsetting for you. Although, it is good to hear you are making progress at the same time. I agree with Kizzie that it is something you will need to work out with yourself. Being honest and open about it should be a big help with that.

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Is there a way I can normalise these comments, this situation, and guide myself through this?
Well, that's the million dollar question, right? But there's no quick answer that really works as far as I know. Everything has to be processed and worked through, and that usually takes time. All the best with it, I hope things improve for you soon.

Take care! :)

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Kizzie

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Re: Breath comments causing iCr crisis
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 01:43:20 PM »
When you think about it Sasha their behaviour is actually what is shameful, having stale breath is something we all deal with but being cruel and trying to make someone you're supposed to love feel little, that's the real issue. Keep reflecting it back on them  :yes:   

I hope you're feeling a bit better   :hug:

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Sasha

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Re: Breath comments causing iCr crisis
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 02:10:08 PM »
Thank you for both your comments. Itís always so helpful speaking and relating on here in regards to feeling like Iím not alone with the struggles.

Today I feel angry with my partner. After days of cycling through self blame and disgust at myself, As well as chastising myself for having CPTSD at all, this morning my partner said something else that was insensitive.  And Iím starting to think itís just a little bit rude.

Last night going to sleep I felt less anxious than I have for awhile, and the thought came into my head, coinciding with a very peaceful feeling, that maybe some people just arenít right for me. I mean, yeah Ė I have  CPTSD, and yeah, that is a heavy load for me and any partner to carry, but there might be some people who are able to work with me better than others, and insensitivity or careless speaking is something that I just find so difficult to deal with.

The past week I felt incredibly triggered by my partners insensitive behaviour and today Iím thinking hang on a second, I donít deserve this. I donít deserve someone to comment on my breath when itís not even bad (as they are now telling me) especially after I told them that that sort of thing that would upset me, and I donít deserve other types of careless behaviour.

Vacillating between the inner and outer critic means I get tired and think everything I am perceiving  is my fault due to CPTSD, but sometimes when I come through that process I actually feel like Iíve been wronged in a way that is impossible to address when Iím just looping  round and round in my head. So now I need to address the reality, the reality of my triggers and someoneís sensitivity and ability to deal with these.