A rough day

Today’s writing prompt from the folks at Nablo is: “What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of your father?” I kid you not. Man. Man oh man oh man. Let’s not go there. Today has been hard enough as it is.

I woke up feeling anxious and wiggy. I’m not entirely sure why, though I have a theory. I forced myself to go for a walk, though it was just about the last thing I felt like doing. I walked by the river, which was quite nice. I saw lots of great photo shots, though I didn’t have my camera with me. But I was still anxious. Hyper vigilant and freaking out whenever anyone came up behind me. Even the birds made me freak out (I don’t like birds anyway, but usually they’re not a problem in the winter).

By the time I got home I was virtually paralysed by fear. I played on the computer for a while but avoided moving too far into the real world for fear that I would freak out.

I felt like such a failure. I’d been doing so well – less anxious and less depressed than I had been. I felt like such a fraud.

My theory (which I realised after several hours of this)? Well, I have two theories, actually.

The first is that the Wonder Therapist’s return from holidays unsettled me a bit. I had my last session with the Back Up Therapist a few days ago, and my return session with the Wonder Therapist yesterday. Perhaps Back Up T is right and you shouldn’t see two different therapists at once?

My second theory (and possibly the more accurate one) is that I had a date this afternoon. A kind of blind date with a guy from the online thing. I was nervous. Freaking out nervous. Scared sh*tless nervous, actually. I tried to remind myself of all the rational things the Wonder Therapist and Back Up Therapist have told me, but it didn’t work. Sometimes the craziness wins, I guess. I was so scared I wanted to back out. But I didn’t. May be I should have, but I’m glad I didn’t. It went well (actually it’s the first date I’ve been on where I haven’t wanted to run away after the first 20 minutes; I guess that’s progress, of sorts). I think we’re going to catch up again this week (though I don’t dare hope).

When will I learn that stuff like this is guaranteed to freak me out? And when will I learn how to manage that? Stupid d@mned PTSD … sneaks up on me every time.

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4 thoughts on “A rough day

  1. You will learn to manage it in your own time, just as everyone does. PTSD doesn’t decrease on a linear scale; as you have new experiences, you will discover new and different triggers. With time, you will learn to anticipate triggers and implement management beforehand, but it’s unlikely that you’ll ever know all your triggers, or be entirely free of surprise reactions. What will happen, though, is that you will become so practiced at quick and effective self-intervention that the idea of being triggered will no longer weigh on you as it does now.

    For someone in the particularly delicate stage of learning to navigate new emotional territory, there’s almost nothing more completely terrifying than a positive interaction with someone you haven’t met before. It’s natural that you would feel freaked out.

  2. Kerro –
    Just a reminder about the two steps back, one forward……

    Glad things went well on your date. Glad you didn’t back out of it.

    OLJ

  3. Wow! What I was thinking as I read your post was…”You were scared, wanted to run away, have just had a changeover of T’s and still went on the date and stayed. Wow! And it seemed as if it wasn’t too bad. Great work, I would say. I know you’ll take care of yourself while your’re freaking out after the fact, which to me seems an entirely normal reaction. Seriously, I mean that. Dates are pretty freaky things. Or maybe that’s just my projection.

  4. @ David – I think you nailed a couple of things there. One, that I’m navigating emotional territory; and two, it’s certainly new. I never realised that PTSD would be like this forever – constant freak outs at all these new things. I hope, though, that you’re right and I get better at recognising triggers and surprises and intervening earlier.

    @ OLJ – Ha! Love it when people throw my own words back at me!

    @ Cat – Thanks, I don’t think you’re projecting. Both the date and the T changeover were freaky. I’m trying hard to be gentle with myself. Also new territory.

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