Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Unable to wear face mask due to PTSD and Panic reaction

Topic: Unable to wear face mask due to PTSD and Panic reaction

20 posts, 0 answered
  1. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    15 September 2021
    In late March 2020, I tried & could not wear a face mask. I panicked. I’m unable to wear one since.
    Traumatic memories and feelings came up, & now, just thinking of putting on a mask brings up those memories & feelings.
    Not being sociable, I thought I‘m OK with being home more. Physical limitations + psychological reactions & I want to be by myself, but I had been trying to get out, joined groups, even thought I had made a few friends.
    So much has changed. Now COVID-19 and restrictions, even the ‘eased’ restrictions in SE Qld still mean that masks are required indoors, in other people’s cars, public transport and crowded outdoor places.
    I can’t drive. I can’t be sure how far apart I am from others. I am living pretty much as if in strict lockdown.
    It is one thing to choose how to live, another to have this isolation forced upon me.
    I want to be careful; not put myself at avoidable risk. Finally got 2nd vax dose. But, that does not fully protect me from being infected & infecting others. It’s better (not 100%) at preventing severe illness, and I would be glad to never have to be in ICU, on ventilation. I wonder if I would need to be tranquilised to tolerate that?
    I am so angry at that abuser, (I want to swear here), because, after all these years since, I now have this! It puzzles me. I was able to go to a dentist (eventually), & I learned to deal with the panic and wanting to flee. & I had some surgery, a colonoscopy too, and I managed those, including having a mask give anaesthetic to me. But was I given something to help me relax beforehand? I can’t remember.
    As much as I have done to deal with past abuses and now this; unexpected. When I panicked it was perhaps even more of an impact than the original abuse, because I could withdraw into my head & feel cut off from what was happening.
    Impossible to do now.
    If I could, I would do it again to wear a mask & get on & do what I need. Yeah, I would save up my distress; feel & deal later.
    I have been dealing with this for year+½, yet, just thinking of putting on a face mask brings up those memories and feelings.
    The way things are going, I think I will live a ‘COVID-19 restricted’ life from here on until there is barely any COVID-19 around & masks no longer have to be worn. When?
    My community worker is away, Dr will have a break after that, & I’m feeling abandoned, not part of life, ignored & forgotten.
    I’m sure that’s untrue, & wonder, how many others are not able to wear masks, & feeling side-lined too?
  2. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    9067 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hello mmMekitty...

    When we first has to start wearing masks, I found it difficult due to my trauma...I felt that hand over my mouth and nose and not being able to breathe...I resigned myself to living my life at home and doing online shopping etc...so I didn’t have to wear a mask....

    Speaking to my Dr and psychiatrist about this..they wouldn’t write me out an exemption...They said to try some exposure therapy while at home...ie: wearing my mask a minute at a time each day..then after a few days to extend that minute to 2 minutes then after a few more days 3 minutes ect..It was hard nearly impossible for the first 3 days...having an anxiety attack ere and there didn’t really help either...

    I even started to wear one while I mowed my lawn...only for a few minutes..Eventually all these little bits of exposing myself to wearing a mask..started working and I felt a little more at ease....

    I now write out a shopping list, before I go shopping, so I can be quickly in the shop and back out...wearing some ear phones with a nice song on helps to take my mind of the mask as well....

    I’m not saying exposure therapy will work for you..but maybe it’s something that you might consider trying in the safety of your own home first...before venturing out wearing one....

    I have now made my own mask..different from the normal ones..but it’s one that is light weight and not to tight around my mouth and nose...its made from cotton and it’s easy to breathe through...I can feel that I’m breathing fresh air and not the hot recycled air that those paper mask produce..

    We can only do what we can do..and I think that sometimes these professionals and government rules are not thought over enough for mental health and PTSD strugglers..

    My kindest thoughts Dear mmmMekitty..

    Grandy..

  3. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Grandy, thank you.

    I have been trying, I get no better than 30 secs and my mind is racing, I am feeling i can't breathe, must get away, you know, make it stop. The whole trip.

    It was suggested to begin with a mask which is not the right type, i.e. insufficient, until I got more comfortable. It is evident to me that the physical sensation of the edges of the mask are also a problem. I am not sure I can be more explicit than that here.

    I get worried that with each failed attempt I am only making the problem worse. I would have liked some improvement to hang a little hope and confidence onto. I simply began to despair & now, I guess I will wait for whichever comes first. Getting that ** mask on me or we don't have to use them anymore, or at least so infrequently I could work around those days.

    While for weeks and months masks are required, I am thoroughly grounded. Even with my helper, it takes minimum half an hour to shop for food. I make a list for her, too. But I am not comfortable going out without a mask to supermarkets, in shopping centres. As difficult as online shopping for food is, I think it is the better option for everyone that I do not go.

    Even while I do not see how people are looking at me, I am feeling very self-conscious when I have had to go out. I imagine judgemental looks, disapproving looks, things like that, which are hard to quell.

    There was also emotional/psychological abuse from my (ex-)stepmother. (& then some)

    Shopping is easier when I have someone with me, & we chat, laugh, and get the it done quickly. They find where to go, what I am wanting etc.

    Earphones sound like a great idea for you, & others, too, I suspect.

    Being deaf in one ear, I need the other to hear my helper, and what's going on around me, so unfortunately, I don't think so for me.

    My Dr was not the one who gave me the exemption. I went to my (?) GP who wrote up a Mental Health Care Plan and the GP Practice has a Psychologist who works there part-time. I saw her, intermittently, once via the phone. She is too chatty, and does not help me focus on the precise issue I came to her for. I try, but I get so distracted. She could not give me reliable appointments either.

    I like my PsychDr, but he takes a long-term approach. Please, not for this, I thought.

    Ggrand, Grandy - which you prefer? Thanks again, 😸mmMekitty

  4. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    15 September 2021

    Oh, &, Ggrand

    While I might be comforted by knowing I am not alone with this problem, I am thrilled that you are getting on top of it.

    I am aware exposure therapy is often very effective. That was why I thought she would help. That and her other credentials. I investigated her a bit before choosing to see her.

    I was also happy she would bulk bill. I'm paying excess of what Medicare will cover even when I have reached the 100% threshold, so it would be very hard to pay someone else to help me with this separately.

    mmMekitty mm mmm mm mmmm mmm (unsteady purring)

  5. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10362 posts
    15 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Dear mmMekitty (wiht a respectful wave to Grandy)

    Why respectful Grandy? because of the way you told of your experiences leading to intense feelings over masks.

    I sympathies over the loss of a singing voice. I was properly trained and in a choir. I remember us being bussed down to London on one occasion to be conducted by Sir Adrian Bolt during a festival.

    Then my voice broke - squeaks followed by groans. I ended up sounding rather like Lee Marvin singing "I was born under a wandrin' star", not good. I still miss it.

    As for trying to do things that generate a very adverse reaction I use an app called 'Smiling Mind'

    https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app

    Which takes my mind away from the current hassle and leaves me feeling calmer. There is an exercise for everyone, even me, who has a concentration span of a flea. Takes practice but I've found it well worth it to break up unwanted thoughts.

    Have you come across it yourself?

    Croix

  6. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    9067 posts
    16 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hello mmMekitty,

    I think even 30 seconds is a good start...you are doing well in doing that...It takes times and energy to do something that our mind thinks is going to hurt us...even though we know it won’t....All the trauma is still bottled up inside our brain and it doesn’t take much at all to trigger those memories of abuse....

    The thing is and it’s hard to do, is to tell ourselves when panic starts is that you are safe..,that person is no longer walking beside you..they can’t hurt me now...

    I know its easy to say those words...but very hard to believe them....I often get triggered into a PTSD downer...My counsellor and psychiatrist has both told me that PTSD is here to stay, and that I need to try and believe that my abuser can no longer hurt me....Memories cannot be washed out of our brain...so we have to learn techniques to help us, when we have been triggered..,.and that is to distract our thoughts as soon as we realise we are hurting..

    Kitty..(if that okay)...I felt and still do feel the eyes looking at me when I’m outside...I say to myself that these people are just going about their own business and are probably feeling as anxious as I am....I doubt anyone likes to wear a mask...What I don’t like is how loud people need to talk to be heard...raised voices is a trigger for me, that’s why I listen to music while I’m shopping etc..

    You’re doing a good job Kitty, Praise yourself for even having your mask on 30 sec..Tomorrow it might be 40 seconds...and that’s 30/40 seconds that you have progressed from zero seconds....

    I’m pleased you like your PsychDr. and he seems to care about you...

    Please try hard to believe in yourself, and know your doing the best you can...be very gentle on your beautiful self..and know that many other people, including me are having a hard time of wearing that mask....One day this will end..until then we can only do our best...

    Talk here when you feel up to it...We are here for you dear Kitty....

    Croix thank you for your respectful wave..it really means a lot to me,,

    My kindest thoughts Dear Kitty...

    Grandy...

    ps..I really do prefer Grandy...but it’s up to you, what you feel comfortable calling me..

    1 person found this helpful
  7. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    16 September 2021

    Hello Grandy and Croix,

    I prefer calling people by the name they choose. Personally, I would rather not be anonymous and use my own chosen name. hat might be another Thread. To respect the guidelines, I have compromised and have chosen to use the name I gave my cat.

    I will check out the 'Smiling Minds' app.

    Your support and gentle words give me courage. I know it is going to take a lot of determination, and I need to make one of my 'set in concrete' decisions to move forward.

    I struggle with knowing it will be difficult and painful, especially while I feel I have to force myself to try and try and try. In my head, I remind myself, I am doing this for me, This is for me - not against him, to spite him, and the pain is not the pain he caused. I want to get him right out of the way of my wearing a mask.

    I am so disheartened to now, after 47 years since I stopped his abuse, that I have this brand new effect of that abuse to deal with.

    I don't know what I had intended when I got into this reply...it's the writing; it brings out the emotion so easily. Do I permit this much pain? It is like I am hurting myself, just as badly as he hurt me.

    This might be necessary to sort out first. I don't want to be substituting myself for him and continuing on with the abuse as if I had never stopped him. But that is what it feels like whenever I cause myself significant pain. Yes, putting on the mask is like putting his hand over my mouth, blocking my nose in order to keep me quiet.

    Of all the episodes, that evening was the worse for the impact it has had on me. I include the way, where, and how he manipulated me both physically and emotionally, and how my distress went unacknowledged by him and my family afterwards. Just to underscore that, taking my turn to wash the dishes was more important than seeing my tears.

    I have been working through all the various abuse, from several people, since 1992, and that was because my personal defences had broken down. Singing, writing, painting, learning to talk, learning to accept my emotions, allowing them to be, over and over. I have even allowed others to read things I have written, our writers' group made two recordings, with a little of my writing included. Someone read for me. I still can't do that, but my words have been shared and heard by people I have not even met.

    I had hoped I could get this under control. I wanted it to go away. That child in me still wishing.

    But thanks; glad you're here - out there, you know?.

  8. n2k12
    n2k12 avatar
    14 posts
    16 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty
    I totally get this! the longest i have worn a face mask is 20 mins. after that, my vision went..weird. the world felt / look distorted, and like it was "flipping". I have wondered if i have PTSD. or CPTSD. Thanks for sharing. i hope you can manage to look after yourself during this crisis
  9. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    17 September 2021 in reply to n2k12

    Hi n2k12 (play ches?)

    Along with the thoughts and feelings, the replay of the memories, I also noticed my breathing (as well as other physical reactions). I mention the breathing in particular because I, (when I was a silly teenager), used to deliberately hyperventilate. My breathing when I try to wear a mask goes awry like that too. Hyperventilating does effect one's perceptions.

    Chats I had with my P.Dr and the Psychologist I saw (oh, yes - many are doing consults via telehealth in these days of COVID), we talked about breathing, how important it is to maintain a natural breath, not to be tempted to breathe shallowly. For me, however, it is too hot, humid and close & suffocating; feeling I can't endure.

    I try to distract myself, trying to focus on a song in my head and use the rhythm or reading my email, Talking makes the feelings worse, and maybe that was my initial mistake.

    Oddly, I forgot, the first time I tried wearing was while I was talking to my P.Dr. I was nervous about it, so not relaxed, even giggly, as I am when nervous. I wanted to demonstrate I could wear it, so I could go to his rooms again.

    I have had a rough day today, having written all I have so far on this Thread.

    I spoke to my P.Dr (yesterday, [Thursday arvo] telling him these things I have been writing, how much emotion the writing brings up and about how isolated I feel lately. & he's going on a break at the end of this week. I won't be able to talk to him for the next two Thursdays.

    He does expect me to hang tough, or would he be leaving me to my own resources if he thought I could not get through his break? I have to say, "yes he does think I will be OK".

    & I guess I will, after all, I have been through some very tough times with no support whatsoever. I have been feeling so really shaky, I have doubts and fears.

    It is getting late, so ... nighty-night, all. Happy, warm dreams to you.

    mmMekitty

  10. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15297 posts
    17 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hello mmMekitty, where I live many people at the supermarket don't wear masks because supposedly their doctor has given them a reason why they don't need to wear one, that's how ridiculous the rules set up by the government are, but these people either work for the supermarket or are customers and nobody stops them, it's just accepted.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10362 posts
    18 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Dear mmMekitty~

    First off the link in my post to you about Sumo's start is now live so you can click on it and go there.

    I guess the way I look at the PTSD, depression bouts and permanent GAD is that the exercises I've done do hurt, yes, but they are my working on the injury done to me, in exactly the same way one might learn to walk again after an extended stay in hospital wiht lots of scar tissue. It is me doing it as part of necessary therapy, stretching and pushing, not the original culprit punishing me again.

    I'm a fan of SF and Pratchett. Have you tried any L.E.Modesitt Jr books? They span everything from Fantasy to Hard SF. Also Charles Stross who has a similar range including a series on the British public service using spells.

    With both of htese authors if you are unfamilar with the and to not like their work in one genre, try another. I mention them as they are amazingly flexible.

    Excuse me if this is something you already use, that's the free PD audio book site

    https://librivox.org/

    Which has an amazing range of books, al free, all usable on any device. Many collections of short SF stories plus 15,000 more works. One has to watch out for the readers of some works, who are hard to understand due to accents, often another copy of the work will have been read by another. All books are read by amateurs.

    I would think your psych has this dilemma whenever going on leave for all the people he works with. I guess in your case he has the confidence in you that you will make it though, either by 'hanging tough' (do not like that phrase - maybe just 'coping' would be better). You are a resourceful person so even if you had troubles in the interim he may well expect you to be able to use existing resources, from this Forum, our 24/7 phone line (1300 22 4636), Lifeline (131114), etc.

    This time try for giggly, better than tears:)

    Sumo sends his very dignified regards

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  12. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    18 September 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hello Geoff,
    I can see enough to spot the tiger, but I'm choosing to imagine a happy ggrrrin!
    I love Bigkitty/s too.

    How I think people might be looking at others not wearing masks is all about me still feeling under scrutiny, my appearance and manner, clothing, behaviour, all of me negatively judged and still be subjected to even the imagined negative judgements coming my way.

    You might imagine one could get used to it, & ignore it - not so far,

    I tell myself, I KNOW their opinions are THEIR opinions - not mine. It is ONLY what I think and decide for myself that ultimately matters. If I am comfortable with my appearance, my decision to go out looking however I chose (so long as I am not harming anyone), I am permitted that.

    So far as I can determine, the only people who might have the authority to challenge me are Police, official Security at venues, hospital staff? I have discovered States make their own rules. Some are v unclear in the initial searches I have done.

    & just because some restrictions are eased, doesn't mean I can't use my own judgement. If I was living in the south-eastern states, I would be waiting until there are far fewer people being newly diagnosed each day. If I could be wearing one, I would not be removing that mask yet. Dodging people is too difficult for me, so, unless I was to walk around with a 3m diameter fence, assuring personal distance was respected, I'm not going out much.

    I have chosen to be v careful.

    As for my P.Dr, as he reminds me, it's not my responsibility to concern myself with his welfare. I'm not paying him for that. (me giggle), not to monitor the boundaries - his job; not to censor what I say to him, for fear he will be upset, angry, or anything. He doesn't burden me with how he feels from moment to moment, or when I am not there. When I mused about whether his room was still painted the cool blue colour, he would neither confirm nor deny. If I ever get to go back there, I might be in for a surprise.

    I still find it hard to say the hard things for anyone to hear, especially when I feel vulnerable to my anxieties, slipping towards depression, old thoughts & feelings,&...

    Confrontation is scary. I am easily intimidated.

    Criticism, disagreement, telling him I don't like [blank]

    He don't have to do anything, not say a negative word, for me to think. I'm doing that myself.

    Though my feelings suggest not, I just have to keep telling myself, years of experience would indicate: I can get through this, too.

    mmMekitty

  13. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to Croix
    Croix,
    I like your perspective:
    “I guess the way I look at the PTSD, depression bouts and permanent GAD is that the exercises I've done do hurt, yes, but they are my working on the injury done to me, in exactly the same way one might learn to walk again after an extended stay in hospital wiht lots of scar tissue. It is me doing it as part of necessary therapy, stretching and pushing, not the original culprit punishing me again.”
    I’d like to put these words into my favourite quotes Word doc. It doesn’t have many profound ones, but I think your words are. Now I want to use a bit of my proverbial concrete and plant them in my brain.
    Or, better yet, let these words be a seedling, to nourish and grow.
    Sometimes I am aware deeply the feelings I have are, and it seems I might think all the good things anyone might like, but my feelings will still be the same.
    Is the only difference between when I was a child and now that I now can acknowledge and own my feelings? Is that all I really have learned, or not quite. One other thing I know is that the secret he said was mine as well as his was never mine. He said that for his own protection.
    I will bump into you elsewhere, I’m sure.
    mmMekitty 🙀
  14. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15297 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hello mmMekitty, people of all varieties have the option of telling us what to do, and yes, many do this, but for a long time I don't give an iota what the person says to me, especially if their words are against what I feel, if I did then I'd be a total mess, what they say is their opinion and I can't deny this, so if people say things to you that's their choice, but you have your own thoughts on what you want to do because don't they do the same if you make a comment to them.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  15. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    25 September 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi, Geoff. I welcome your thoughts.

    For a long time, since I was a child of around 12 years old, when things really started happening, I responded by closing myself up, I learned to wear a mask of indifference and even believed I did not care. I denied so much, even how and when I lost my virginity.

    I tried to be like most teenagers I saw around me, not understanding how many of them may have been abused too, and tried to have at least one boyfriend. I realised years later, I had told him I was still a virgin, even though that was taken three years earlier.

    I imagined nothing could get beyond my imaginary barrier. Not in, not out. I felt it necessary. I was convinced I would be at the least, sharing the blame for things done to me, or disbelieved.

    Later, I would likely be told not to talk about it to anyone, just as I was told following my attempted suicide (I'm going to get another email now!), and therefore had no support then.

    Secrets abound!

    & then, learning I could not trust my own father to keep his hands off me.

    My (ex-)ste-mother was unapproachable, had been emotional/psychological for as long as I had known her. No help there.

    I kept every location where I might spend time separated in my head. Home, school, neighbour's house, anywhere else I spent time. Also within each, I kept events segregated as well. For example, I would not consciously know of how I had been abused at home, while I was at school.

    When I left home, I was so into this self-protective mode, I kept doing it. I didn't recognise I was allowing other people to abuse me too. And when I did, it would be months into the relationship. Escape time!

    A couple relationships were much more involved, over something like 14 years each, overlapping. One was with a previous Psychiatrist, breaching therapeutic boundaries.

    I was barely existing, moving through feeling untouched and as an observer of life. This state of existence cannot and would not hold up forever.

    I am sensitive to how I am regarded by others. I had to admit the words I heard were felt very deeply, like bricks flung at me. Sticks and stones, my bum!

    So I didn't permit myself to be aware at all.

    But wouldn't it be better to find a middle ground, or learn how to be judgemental about how people treat me? I might think, I disagree, or I understand where you are coming from, maybe even take a little on board? All relevant to each situation.

    I am not this disarmingly gorgeous cat - I admit: am human, just not happy about it.

  16. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5926 posts
    25 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty
    Dear mmMekitty,

    We’re so grateful to have you reach out to our community this morning and are so sorry to hear everything you have going on at the moment. Times like this can definitely get overwhelming and a scary space. We hope that you find our forums to be a safe and supportive space to talk through your thoughts and feelings. Our community is here for you. 

    We hope you know that there is always help available to you, whether it's from our professional mental health counsellors Beyond Blue (available 24/7/365 on 1300 22 4636) or our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).
    Keep checking back in with us whenever you feel up to it. 
     
     
  17. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    27 September 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thanks, you just keep sending emails, I'll keep writing. It is one thing that keeps me going. There are some words for which euphemisms are just not going to work.

    It has taken me a long time to accept the words which describe how I was treated, how I feel and how I responded. It took me long enough to understand that right from the start, the silence and secrecy had never been mine to keep. Not a damn bit.

    And I don't have to be afraid of being upset or in distress about feelings and memories. Really, that is all they are - feelings and memories; nothing more - maybe, oh, you know, sometimes I'm not sure.... it's like the feelings and memories have spikes and claws, weight and mass, a toxic breath as well, and they make a whole lot of noise...

    Thanks for your concern.

  18. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15297 posts
    28 September 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hello mmMekitty, it's not easy to know when you're in the middle ground, but it's something you might believe you have achieved, but do others accept this or do they still believe you're struggling.

    This is a problem we have to encounter, because when you start trying to crawl out of your demeanour, we have to believe that we can see a light at the end and any comments which might be aimed directly at us, we have to be able to reject them and believe in ourselves and that all positive comments are rewarded and any negative remarks we're able to ignore.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    But wouldn't it be better to find a middle ground, or learn how to be judgemental about how people treat me

  19. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    1 October 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    If I was not clear:

    It does seem, I can't be as cut-off & have my invisible two-way barrier anymore. Sometimes I wish I could have it back. But doing that would mean I would not be as alert as I need to keep myself safe. BUT, not hypervigilant, expecting the absolute worst behaviour to come from anybody and everybody either. I need to have some sense of how other people's behaviour may impact me, in order to make that judgement about whether I will accept it, as non-harmful, or say eff off to those who would harm me.

    My only intimate relationship is with my PDr, and it is platonic. I have not really understood precisely what the 'therapeutic relationship' is or if what we have is an excellent example of one or not. It has been the best of all relationships I've had. He does nothing, as far as I can tell, inappropriate. Importantly, we are not friends.

    He reminds me our sessions are for me, not him. when I mention I am concerned about how what I am saying might effect him. Let him worry about that. His feelings are his responsibilities. But we can talk about my reluctance to say some things, whether it is my fear he will judge me, (for example), as stupid, childish, disgusting, or literally incredible.

    Or if I disagree or would want to argue, I realise, I am concerned he will be angry, & worse, make me leave. He does prod me at these times.

    Geoff, you can be responsible for looking after your feelings, or get some help with that. Alongside that, I don't want to be insensitive to your feelings.

    I don't think it would help if (in person), I was so sensitive I would burst into tears if you wanted to talk about something very upsetting to you. I want to ensure, you are not manipulating my emotions in order to use me, take advantage of me, or even do me great harm. I need to see signs of this sort of thing from such people.

    Afraid of getting close to anyone; I feel safer at a distance. So, I thought I would be fine with keeping physical distances, lockdowns, & being alone more. Easy!

    I've my moments all the same. I am having a really big one now. I don't expect anyone here to fix that. I'm learning: feelings are neither GOOD or BAD. + they are human.

    I second guess myself heaps. Which others are going to look and wonder if I am suffering? I still don't think anyone cares, as long as I don't show it, no burden me.

    I have a lot more work to do to feeling okay with myself.

    Thanks, Geoff, answering helps to reflect & clarify my thoughts.

    mmMekitty

  20. mmMekitty
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    mmMekitty avatar
    942 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    A few people have spoken of their experiences with the masks. I am very grateful for their comments.

    Yesterday, On another thread, ‘Vent and Let It Go’, I read about someone else, who has an experience which (along with other effects (has caused them to be intolerant of things on their mouth, & they, too, are unable to wear a face mask.
    I wasn’t expecting to read what was written in that category, in that thread.
    I was triggered again. Like an ambush from behind a tree, as if I finally heard that someone else felt as I do, experiencing what I do.
    In an instance, I am glad, if that’s the right word, & dismayed to be able to sense someone else knows all about what I feel. I don’t want anyone else to experience what I did & have it affect them in the same way, but then again, I do, because I don’t want to be the only one, alone, in this.
    I find I feel deeply for them. Able to visualise the scene in a shop where they were confronted and abused by the staff members.
    I dread such an occasion.
    My helper keeps trying to encourage me, saying how it will be alright. & maybe so, but I am still afraid.
    I’ve lost any sense that I could in any way defend myself.
    *

    There was already turmoil last night, before this. I think that belongs somewhere else Another thread? 'What if ... questions.' in this catergory.

    mmMekitty

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up