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emmyy
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02 Jul 2012, 8:13 pm

anyone else with ptsd? Any ways to control your feelings and fears, make it easier maybe? I have nightmares, I think about it all the time actually, and what did I do wrong to let it happen.. I get scared of almost all mens, the smell of a man, voice... Smell of alcohol. I go all off if they try to get near me, i start panicing it gets hard to breath i might even hit someone.. I feel dirty talking about sex with boyfriend. I don't like going out anymore even that much i liked before.. Two nights without sleep again thanks for my mind travelling around being all away.. Am getting tired of it. Can't even watch tv anymore. There's show's like csi, they say the word, there's bad man, doing bad thing. I'm in therapy and my therapist always tries to bring it up But i like to go back to my shell then and say am fine.


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ghostar
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02 Jul 2012, 11:07 pm

I have ptsd from chronic abuse...my abuse was profound but not sexual in nature. Fortunately, when that type of abuse was tried on me, I did become violent toward my aggressor. He moved on to my younger sister. I feel guilty to this day and it happened 28 years ago.

For me, seeing ropes and or water would cause me to vomit and hyperventilate. Also motorcycles triggered panic attacks as my worst abuser was an avid motorcyclist.

I have spent the past 14 years since I turned 18 (and could legally get away from my abusers) systematically identifying and confronting my triggers one by one. Even walking into a grocery store used to trigger panic attacks that were debilitating. The only way I have managed to get control of my life back is to put myself into trigger situations and build new memories that do not end in disaster.

After I had been doing this bit by bit for years on my own, I finally got out of college and got a job with good insurance so I could get a therapist. It turns out that what I was doing was basically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which therapists regularly use to help people suffering from ptsd.

I hope this bit of my history helps or gives you hope. It sounds like things are dark for you right now but if you have a boyfriend after what you have experienced, and he isn't also abusing you, then it sounds like you are a strong one indeed. That gives me hope...and it should give you hope too! :)



emmyy
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02 Jul 2012, 11:48 pm

you seem like a very strong person for doing that all by yourself. I couldn't do that. Like really. Only thing i can do is to get away from situations that brings it into my mind before i get too scared and too aggressive to control myself. I have always had a little problems of controlling my anger and now it only got worse. But before it happen is mostly was being aggressive to other people.. But now i might scratch and claw my thighs, arms and stomach until it bleeds, bite my own hand and stuff.. The frustration grows to big to handle and i just can't do anything i guess.. Right after it happened it wasn't so bad.. But now it gets worse every day i think. But what hurts the most, is sometimes getting scared of my boyfriend touching me like, without warning. I KNOW i can trust him, he'd NEVER hurt me. And he always stops when i ask him to stop. I actually even like his touches, But i need to know it first. Like. He has learnt to ask, if i feel alright for him to touch me now, also he asks where he is allowed to touch. But sometimes he kisses me spontaneously.. It confuses me, it gets hard to say anything. I don't kiss really much on lips.. Don't know why.. It doesn't feel right Somehow, not now. But i like kisses on shoulders or back of my neck, feels safe and comforting. I just. Really want to do IT with him some day in future, But i don't know if i am able to... He's the only one who's allowed to touch me, i don't really let even my mom to hug me. But still i get this nervous, spinning feeling if he touches lower that my belly.. I don't know what to do.. Don't wanna be disappointment.. Wants to be good..


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ghostar
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03 Jul 2012, 12:12 am

Setting boundaries to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable should never ever make people disappointed in you. If someone expresses disappointment in you for protecting yourself, then they are not safe to be around until you feel stronger...or maybe ever. I have had to let lots of people go for that reason. I love my friends but I have come to understand that I must love me more or I am no good to anyone.

You are 19 I see and I am 32...I couldn't start facing my triggers until I became financially independent which, for me, meant finishing a bachelor's degree. Once I finished my bachelor's at age 24, that is when I started to confront my triggers. Up until that point, my roomate had to buy our groceries and sit in the bathroom to talk with me while I showered. It sounds pathetic but I just couldn't be alone in water or in a grocery store. There were tons of other triggers too but those were the worst. And ropes...god forbid I saw or accidentally touched a rope...that would cause world war three to break out for me.

Fortunately she was my best friend since we were kids so she was extremely accommodating. I doubt I would have been able to finish undergraduate school without her constant support. I seriously lucked out with her! I guess what I am saying is that it is important to have allies when you are recovering from the kind of betrayal that you experienced.

It is really good to hear that your bf is kind and not abusive. It sounds like he is pretty good about respecting your boundaries but slips every once in a while in a fit of spontaneity ...he must be NT. :D



emmyy
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03 Jul 2012, 1:55 pm

yeah he is NT, studying psychology, a little older than me. He's perfect. Well people sometime thinks i am a boring person for not going out and doing things like they do. I only like to stay home and do my own things to feel safe, and go riding horses. I started it as a therapy when i was little and it's one of most important things in my life it makes me feel strong and safe and every time i am in stables i can forget my fears for a while and it's good really good. I think it'd be one things to help me get better i think.. But i just can not understand that, does the fear itself ever go away like nightmares and panic when someone touches?? One of worst things is sex in movies and movies todays is full of it.. It makes me go all upset i think i don't like seeing it and hearing it i don't like that sound, like, a man, breathing deep. It makes me feel sick and disgusting am scared of it .. I know i should answer my therapists questions and work on it like i have told what happened, when how and stuff But she still wants to work on it much to make me better But i don't really like talking i prefer writing or drawing.


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ghostar
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03 Jul 2012, 9:35 pm

The answer to your question about whether the triggers go away is yes and no. I had been away from my abusers for years before I went in to therapy and I still found it helpful to write down notes of what happened to me before each appointment so that I could literally read off of my index cards if I couldn't say what I was feeling. When I read off my notes, it felt more like I was talking about someone else.

The only way I could reduce the power of my triggers was to confront them head on. I wish there had been an easier way honestly but there just wasn't. Now I can actually be in water without panicking and can grocery shop on my own, etc but I still can't touch rope. When I go boating with friends, they know that I won't be any help with the tie-down ropes, etc. I don't know if I will ever get past that one. Sigh.

It sounds like your trauma was highly sexual in nature and you have an understanding and patient partner. Maybe repeated exposure to his safe touch will help reduce your sensitivity to some of your triggers. With regard to the trigger that occurs when you hear a male breathing heavy, maybe if you and your boyfriend went jogging together, the sound of his heavy breathing resulting from something non-sexual could help desensitize you to that specific trigger? I don't know for sure but it is just an idea...



slave
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03 Jul 2012, 9:48 pm

emmyy wrote:
anyone else with ptsd? Any ways to control your feelings and fears, make it easier maybe? I have nightmares, I think about it all the time actually, and what did I do wrong to let it happen.. I get scared of almost all mens, the smell of a man, voice... Smell of alcohol. I go all off if they try to get near me, i start panicing it gets hard to breath i might even hit someone.. I feel dirty talking about sex with boyfriend. I don't like going out anymore even that much i liked before.. Two nights without sleep again thanks for my mind travelling around being all away.. Am getting tired of it. Can't even watch tv anymore. There's show's like csi, they say the word, there's bad man, doing bad thing. I'm in therapy and my therapist always tries to bring it up But i like to go back to my shell then and say am fine.


But.......you are not fine..........so tell your therapist that. It will have to start there.



emmyy
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03 Jul 2012, 11:31 pm

the thing g still just so deep in my mind, still somehow fresh, so sometimes it feels like yesterday. I don't know, i guess it still feels so bad because i can't stop blaming myself because i was so drunk for the first time of my life and i have always been bad on telling how i feel, face to face with someone. I think only the closest people, my mom, best fiend and boyfriend are only ones i can just spit out a "NO" if i don't want to do something or hear something. But with my other family, relatives. Like if my grandma hugs me. I don't like it, But also i can't say it. I go all quiet and hold my breath.. It's a react. I don't like most touches am very sensitive on my skin.. Most people don't know how to touch only my boyfriend knows the ways i feel good and relax under touch. But like now, I'm all sunburnt, not bad but it feels like i am on fire and i can't touch my arms or shoulders at all, it hurts and burns so much. Also i am noise sensitive i really easily get scared of different noises if there's something, memories, that are not good ones. Same thing with smells. worst is alcohol, food and a man smell. It causes me to hold my breath a lot i have weak lungs already and asthma it hurts sometimes. But i have became to the point i want to get better. I really do want. But without a talking. Because it's hard for me not only this subject but i suck at talking because am shy and i find it hard to say long difficult words. But your idea to that breathini thing sounds good, because i really do enjoy sports and jogging. It'd be good. Thank you.


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slave
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05 Jul 2012, 4:00 pm

Some people write or type their ideas in the therapy session.

Some use dance or music or art therapy to deal with the trauma and its consequences.

Some read about PTSD to help understand themselves and their response to being violated.

Your pain is deep and easily triggered. I am sad that your life has included such pain.



emmyy
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06 Jul 2012, 9:54 am

well they say. The first step to get better is to know you need help. And i do know that. Am just trying to figure out what kind of help since I'm not very talkative in person.. And yeah , my therapist asks me to draw my feelings sometimes it's easier or i have coloring book and she asks me to color a pic with colors that looks like my feelings at the moment and then Tell what the colors mean like light purple means am sleepy and bright yellow means am excited and light green that am curious about something


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phyrehawke
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06 Jul 2012, 9:20 pm

I have PTSD for a number of reasons, but the main one is probably my own family abuse. I have an uncle who went whacko on drugs and tried to kill me when I moved away from home...and that's just one thing among too many I could list. I had a lot of therapy and I don't understand a lot of other psych things but I've got PTSD down pretty well. I wrote a paper on it in college. 20+ years of this now, although it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. So it can get a lot better. It still comes up and surprises me once in awhile. These are some things that worked for myself and my other friends with it too...

The brain replays the episodes looking for a solution to the problem...a way to do things differently next time, a way out, etc. Sometimes there just aren't any good solutions to that situation, but the brain just keeps looking for them anyway. I think some people are plagued by this because they might be obsessive prone in a problem-solving kind of way. Like the kind of people who like to solve puzzles or seek patterns in things. It's a useful ability it can just go haywire and torture us.

There are ways to short circuit it, by learning things that help fill in the bad gaps in the situation. You have to think "What would've made the situation better?" and then learn that. Like many of my nightmares replayed a situation where I couldn't get out of a particular hold, and when I learned how to get out of it in a women's self defense class the nightmares suddenly stopped. That was awesome.
Making good decisions about your safety seems to help calm the disorder of it down over time.

You can also take something "bad" and make it good. Like taking the fear of ropes and learning to make a monkey's fist knot...which you can use as a weapon. So when you see rope you can think "Oooh...I can make a weapon out of that!" instead of "Oh no, somebody has used that against me". I had to change my thinking like that to really get control of the PTSD in a long term kind of way.

Another major help along the way was the book "The Sociopath Next Door". It helped me learn to ID the "tricky" or "bad" people in my life long before they become problems. It is a remarkably high ratio of people. Something like 1 in 40...but most sociopaths are too lazy to be very dangerous. They just lie a lot. It's the liars that believe "society's rules don't apply to them" that you really have to watch out for. The book proved itself by allowing me to look back at experience with some people and say "Oh, there were the yellow warning signs...and I just didn't see them!". Now I can see them, and avoid them, and my life is much more peaceful and safer for it.

Last but not least is owning and honoring your experience, and having support in that. You are a Warrior. You made it through that. You are made of tough strong stuff. The honoring attitude may have the ability to convince the brain that the situation is resolved and slow down the repetitious end of it, and dull some of the triggers a bit.



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06 Jul 2012, 11:36 pm

emmyy wrote:
well they say. The first step to get better is to know you need help. And i do know that. Am just trying to figure out what kind of help since I'm not very talkative in person.. And yeah , my therapist asks me to draw my feelings sometimes it's easier or i have coloring book and she asks me to color a pic with colors that looks like my feelings at the moment and then Tell what the colors mean like light purple means am sleepy and bright yellow means am excited and light green that am curious about something


Sounds like a good start! :)



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07 Jul 2012, 12:11 am

I have it though for rather different reasons, and I do not enjoy it all, and then hardly anyone understands I cannot help my sudden reactions nor that it's something I hate and cannot control rather than something I do for any sort of attention, I'd prefer not to have the attention it causes, as it typically just sets me off more and than I am at risk of injuring myself or I hate to say it others. Not that I want to but if I get set off and people say things that make it worse...such as indicating I am faking it or exaggerating I tend to then go off on them.

I mean it honestly tends to freak me out because I am not really a violent person...But apparently it can happen. But yeah I really do not know how one would control it.


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phyrehawke
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07 Jul 2012, 2:01 am

Well I suppose I am in good company here. Most of you are much younger than I am and back when I was your age I was going through a lot of the same stuff. And I ended up spending awhile in a hospital because I was non-compliant for some medical procedure because I just flat out wouldn't allow staff to handle me, and instead of getting violent I tend to shut up and shut down, but I've been known to hit people for touching without permission. After therapy I was far more likely to just snap at somebody. If they are shocked at my "rudeness" I tell them it's rude to assume it's okay to touch everybody. It is.

My theory on the touching thing is that touching is like a sensory overwhelm and communication overwhelm at the same time. When people touch you their touch TELLS you things, and sometimes I can get lost in a simple handshake and miss the beginning of a conversation. So I try to avoid handshakes or contact at the beginning of meetings or appointments. I get stuck processing it and miss important details. I save them for the end. When you have PTSD acutely, touch can be so mentally and emotionally overwhelming and distracting it's a risk to your security! So even potential touch sets off warning alarms. And I think maybe the therapists totally don't get this? Touch is not like that for the average person with PTSD. I think it's on extra-high for those of us who were prone to sensory-overwhelm under stress in the first place, and it may still be a problem (although less of one) even if the PTSD is resolved.