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Anxiety & feeling vulnerable after gas station experience

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I didn’t wake up in a great mood but was hopeful that going out would improve it.

I went to fill car with gas at a gas station I rarely go to. It’s inconvenient bc you can’t pay at the pump, you need to walk over to the teller. But it was way cheaper so…

As I was walking over to teller he’s an older man with what seemed like a sweet smile which I automatically mirrored. He said something through the window that I didn’t quite understand but something to the effect that I have a nice smile. He took my credit card, was completing my payment, and then told me to come in. I was confused bc there isn’t really an “in” to go into. It’s not a store. Just a booth that’s his private space. But he opened the ironclad door (no outside door knob) so I took one step in… I DID need to get my card back.

He said something about how every time he sees me I look so beautiful or some kind of garbage like that and I said thanks and (FINALLY ) took my card.

He then opened both arms, pretty much asking for a hug. Him and I are from different cultures and I figured his was into hugs so (as much as I didn’t want to) I allowed him. But then he immediately snuck one arm all the way around me to rest on my hip and I jerked back.

I know I’m being a drama queen but I felt like I’d been groped. This triggered a panic and anxiety attack which I’m still trying to get over. I can’t stop remembering his hand on my body. And I feel so icky and dirty.

No flashbacks, THANK GOODNESS. Maybe bc his action didn’t remind me of any action done to me when molested/raped?

Just feeling very vulnerable. Like my insides are on the outside and any little thing can set me off.

Why did I allow him to touch me?? Can’t stand myself
 
i wish i could just away my drama queenery, but here i am, still ready to self-flagellate over any idiotic oversight.

why did i allow creeps like that to touch me? ? ? why do i still do moronic stuff now that i'm too old to attract such creeps? dunno, but i felt like an absolute moron every time and i have the self-flagellation scars to prove it. self-forgiveness doesn't come easy, but it's a necessary part of being more gentle with myself and more patient with the process.

for what it's worth
i heard a rumor once that smart people often do dumb things. it's what you do next that counts. self-flagellation is not a very smart thing to do next.
 
self-flagellation is not a very smart thing to do next.
Ur right. But SO much easier said than done

I feel raw. Like I’m wearing my insides on the outside. As skin. I’m expecting and ready for an attack at any moment
 
12:30 AM and I just realized that I haven’t eaten a thing yet today. I bought a sandwich but forgot about it.

I HAHE THIS!!!!
 
I so understand this.
I also lose my voice and my power and my autonomy in situations like this. I fawn and fawn and fawn and fawn. And then I beat myself up for it all.

What helps me is thinking through at what point I felt I couldn't do/say what I needed and to practice what I could do differently next time.

You aren't being a drama queen. You have been triggered. And the interaction made you not be able to say what you wanted but attended to his needs instead. Classic abuse survivor tactic.
But this wasn't the past and you do have power now. So it's learning to use it. (I say this with such ease but I wish I could do this!).

What usually works to ground yourself in these moments?

It's great you have realised you need to eat. Any other self care?
 
Like I’m wearing my insides on the outside. As skin.

i'm loving this imagery! ! ! it describes my sense of the phenom, beautifully. i used to feel like i had a movie marquis on my head, advertising my idiocy of the hour. i didn't need twitter to tweet the twit. my self-flagellation was based on the sense that i needed to beat the critics to the punch before they posted their weekly columns.

when i challenged that perception with a little help from my therapy supporters, i realized nobody was even noticing. i am kinda amazed at how many people tell me i look as serene as a guru when i am having a psychotic break. are all gurus dissociated to catatonic states? catatonia does, indeed, **look** serene.
 
I didn’t wake up in a great mood but was hopeful that going out would improve it.

I went to fill car with gas at a gas station I rarely go to. It’s inconvenient bc you can’t pay at the pump, you need to walk over to the teller. But it was way cheaper so…

As I was walking over to teller he’s an older man with what seemed like a sweet smile which I automatically mirrored. He said something through the window that I didn’t quite understand but something to the effect that I have a nice smile. He took my credit card, was completing my payment, and then told me to come in. I was confused bc there isn’t really an “in” to go into. It’s not a store. Just a booth that’s his private space. But he opened the ironclad door (no outside door knob) so I took one step in… I DID need to get my card back.

He said something about how every time he sees me I look so beautiful or some kind of garbage like that and I said thanks and (FINALLY ) took my card.

He then opened both arms, pretty much asking for a hug. Him and I are from different cultures and I figured his was into hugs so (as much as I didn’t want to) I allowed him. But then he immediately snuck one arm all the way around me to rest on my hip and I jerked back.

I know I’m being a drama queen but I felt like I’d been groped. This triggered a panic and anxiety attack which I’m still trying to get over. I can’t stop remembering his hand on my body. And I feel so icky and dirty.

No flashbacks, THANK GOODNESS. Maybe bc his action didn’t remind me of any action done to me when molested/raped?

Just feeling very vulnerable. Like my insides are on the outside and any little thing can set me off.

Why did I allow him to touch me?? Can’t stand myself
That is way not okay.

Not your fault, though.

Not your fault. What a creep.
 
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