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Managing symptoms - controlling triggers

Discussion in 'General' started by aowyn, Jan 11, 2007.

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  1. aowyn

    aowyn Member

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    Ok, this is probably going to be slightly incoherent...How can I make it stop when I am triggered? I was reading one of Anthony's posts about how there's a sort of cycle to it? It seems sort of cumulative to me also, the more triggers I experience the worse I get and for a longer period of time. Sometimes it goes on for weeks. Then suddenly it disappears. I've read about/been told by therapist about a few tricks, but none are super effective.

    I'm feeling pretty good today after a several week long episode. Trying to figure out what is responsible for stopping it. Working is a good thing, makes me feel more in control. I went back after taking a few weeks off because d was triggering me. Got her to a semi manageable level again, so I was able to go back. Although I'm exhausted and don't want to be there!

    So can you change it or do you just have to always go with the flow?
     
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  3. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    You have to look your trauma in the face. You have to pull it inside out and all the emotions behind it. You have to come to terms and crash and then expose triggers (start small). You build up. It takes a damn long time.

    Now coping with being exposed when you have no control and without it you are using bandaides to cover symptoms and they never last long term.

    Sorry no quick fixes. To deal with symptoms there are tonnes of info in the info section to deal like guided imagry, meditation, massage, aromatherapy... But to really deal you have to dig deep to fix.
     
  4. aowyn

    aowyn Member

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    Soooo.....when the smoke alarm is beeping because it needs a battery and it's starting to trigger me (like now). Or when I can't relax because I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop...that all relates back to the fact that we lived like this 24-7? Knowing that doesn't fix it. How do you 'face it' or 'deal with it' without some sort of exposure therapy, etc. I'm not triggered by him too much anymore, except when he gets aggressive legally for example. I can sit in the same room with him sometimes now and not be triggered.

    Sorry so many questions!
     
  5. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    aowyn,

    To be honest I have to go look up your history for exacts. But we need to look at ALL our fears, where his has effected us, how it has effected or daily life. Look at the pain and expore it, not try to just move past it. We literally have to turn ourself inside out. Then it seems one day those nightmares do not return, we do not jump quite as high. We return to normal quicker. Our chest does not tightnen and we do not feel faint. But those emotions felt or not felt during trauma must be pulled apart piece by piece... We can help you.

    Let us either start what eats at you the most or better yet go to the mental imagery diary. It will pull up what is most at front.

    Yes, addressing this past relates directly to this. I have been there and know. I hate seeing it happen to others too. But I can say I know what helps as I walk this path. (sometimes pushed down it)
     
  6. aowyn

    aowyn Member

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    I am new, so no history yet, sorry. 14 yrs of emotional abuse, which morphed into verbal abuse, and was quickly approaching physical abuse. We never knew what was going to happen. I find noises really bother me sometimes, I think maybe because I would frequently be in another room and hear a crash or bang or thud, something breaking, or him yelling, or a scuffle with the kids. That would trigger my fight or flight response, to go intervene. Although I was in a constant alert state...wow now looking back I wonder how I did that for so long. So now I think when I hear an unexpected sound (can't figure out why some bother me and some don't) it triggers that response still. My best guess anyway.

    Something else that really triggers me is when I feel like I'm in trouble or exposed or unsafe of course. That one really interferes with dealing with other people I find. My heart starts doing funny things and I get a sort of dread feeling.

    Strong emotion too...mostly if someone is irritated or agitated or angry.

    I'm sure these are not new.
     
  7. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Heart feel tight, or "fluttery"? Just not beating right or fast or too hard? All very normal anxiety symptoms.

    You say hearing a scuffle with the kids. So were you in a parent role or parent and unable to intervene? Feel frozen or scared? Let's dig a little.
     
  8. aowyn

    aowyn Member

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    I'm the mom, and most of the verbal/escalating toward physical abuse was directed at d11. I always had to intervene or at least run interference (I would have much rather left but had no money or a place to go at the time). I get all those heart things at different times. Right around the time I realized we were in an abusive situation I started getting the palpitations...even now when I'm relatively calm, I get them occasionally, usually as I am taking a deep breath. Whenever I'm in a 'situation' like I've listed above (if I'm 'going into battle' i.e., any kind of challenge or confrontation with someone, even if I'm a little bit nervous this starts up), my heart feels like it's racing and pounding (although when I've counted a couple times, it's really not much faster than normal).

    I never froze that I'm aware of (although I do that a lot now, not so much fear, but sort of zone out). I do think I numbed a lot though when I had to put myself between him and her. He threw something on the floor in front of her and it broke to pieces once. I remember standing there blocking his path down the hall because he was going upstairs after her and wondered if that was the time he was going to hit me. On another occasion there was glass breaking, doors slamming so hard you wouldn't believe it...I remember standing there him screaming at me, then him going after her, then coming back and screaming in my face some more, I was in the shower when I heard d11 screaming, I came out in a towel and he had her pinned down in the dirty laundry in the walk in closet, he was going to punish her for something, she had gone there to hide--we left that night. When I heard the glass break, I knew that was it and I went into some sort of zone. I felt no fear, no panic, I was on autopilot. The next whole week though I felt it ALL. Constant state of fear and panic, couldn't eat or sleep. Lost 10 pounds.

    Which brings me to another symptom, I get the sensation when I'm falling asleep of a face flying into my face...at first it was his face, now it's just the sensation. Obviously, standing face to face with him on those occasions is probably related to that. It seems to come and go depending on my stress level and accompanies not being able to sleep, the whole jumpiness thing...when we first left I used to wake up from a deep sleep in total panic, heart racing like I'd been running a marathon, sweating, breathing really fast. That hasn't happened recently.

    My alert level was always high as I said, but things would happen at the drop of a hat. He'd be watching tv and she'd be trying to get his attention (annoying him like kids do) and with no warning he'd suddenly scream at her, or push her off the arm of the chair onto the floor. So I'd hear this scream or thud from somewhere else in the house and have to jump up and run and see what was happening. There was never any warning as far as the mood swings.

    Anyway, when I'm very very stressed, then I do get the tightness too. Kinda builds on eachother.

    Sorry so long...all this stuff just tends to spill out sometimes even though it's been a year. Seems like I remember and process things differently or a little more every time I go over it.
     
  9. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    You can't, because once your triggered you have to identify "why" you where triggered. The trigger effect is not the long term problem, the cause of the trigger is. Like veiled said though, if you have trauma, then exposure therapy will do very little for you, because you have trauma present that is feeding PTSD, thus the sympoms, thus triggers are part of those symptoms, so nothing will be solved except for you getting mighty angry for taking the wrong approach.

    ALL symptoms are present because of trauma. Trauma caused PTSD. PTSD once formed is not curable, however; trauma is. Attack the cause of the problem to rid the majority of the symptoms, I believe is the answer your looking for.
     
  10. aowyn

    aowyn Member

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    Ok, let me get this straight... Years of abuse culminating in threatening situations is the trauma, situations similar to that are triggers (?)--that's how ptsd works as I understand it. (Although sometimes even if I get excited about something good, I get a little triggered...it's the adrenaline going to the heart that does it). So then I need to get rid of the trauma/triggers? I got rid of the trauma (we left). I can't necessarily get rid of triggers, life happens. I'm confused LOL...am I understanding correctly?
     
  11. Andre

    Andre Active Member

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    Since it helped me to interpret Anthony's posts in other threads this way I think I have some idea what he is saying-I hope he will correct my interpretation if it is wrong. The trauma itself is made of the instances that you experienced the trauma initially and the changes it caused in your body. Things that act as triggers do so because of the perception of them as somehow related to the causes of the trauma or occurrences during it and the inability to separate those new experiences from the experiences of the trauma itself because of the bodily changes. The exposure to this extension of the trauma wears you away and makes you sensitive to everything-like a step-up transformer magnifying the impact of every experience a thousand fold-and that is part of what perpetuates PTSD, increasing time for exposure to triggers and making a lethal condition that feeds on itself if not interrupted. How to interrupt it is the hard part, the great challenge. Everybody has a different insulator that they have to use and they have to work to figure out what it is and how to apply it.
     
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  12. aowyn

    aowyn Member

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    Ok, that makes sense...what do you mean by 'insulator'?
     
  13. Andre

    Andre Active Member

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    Sorry, I got a little carried away in my little analogy and did not explain. While a transformer modifies voltage, stepping it up or down, an insulator is a poor conductor of electricity within certain ranges; with high enough voltage even an insulator can act like a conductor-I thought this was apt as if you get too upset you may need new strategies to deal with it too. You have to figure out what to change and how to change to help yourself stop feeling so upset by those reminders and heal the damage caused by the experience of the trauma.
     
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