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Avoiding going "home" (to parents)

I'm not sure why this is still a thing. I can cope with so much of what used to be filled with anxiety for me, but trips home still send me spiraling.

I always had aversion for the city I lived in, though to be fair my childhood trauma happened in a different city.
My relationship with my elderly parents is strained, mostly because of combination of generation gap and me having protected them from a LOT that has happened to me. Hence them being clueless about why sometimes I'm fine and sometimes I can barely function. I plan to clear the air this year at some point, but I want to be ready and have it planned.

We fight a lot. Now that they are older they fight a lot. That doesn't help. My routine and safe elements all get disrupted and that doesn't help.
Plus since the trip stresses me out I avoid preparing until I MUST and add extra stress to the experience.
I just don't feel home there, comfortable, which doesn't really make it good unless my mental health is on a high swing. I've worked hard since April to be better, and I am, but I'm afraid that this new found balance is shaky.
Trip is in 4-5 days and I'm already noticing myself avoiding even things I enjoy(dancing) which makes no sense at all.

How do I snap out of this? I'm procrastinating on things that never give me trouble because of this.
I feel like I must do something fast, make a change, cope better, plan more, like when there is crisis, except I think the trip is the crisis.
 
I feel the same about going to the place my parents live and seeing my parents, and I avoid that too. It takes a lot to prepare, a lot to manage being there, and a lot coming back again.

What can you build in to help you doing these times?
the journey there - what helps you? last time i travelled down with other relatives who distracted me (unknowingly - they haven't a clue but just talking to them and not being in my own head helped).
i also had a plan of how long I would stay there and I left when I had enough.
I spoke in my head to myself when I was there, when triggering conversations came up. And i had pre prepared things to say. didn't manage to say them all, but stood my ground on some of it.

Are you being too hard on yourself?
maybe acknowledging that actually this is hard. It does impact you. But you have skills to manage, skills to ground, skills to re-centre if you get knocked off course by the trip or them. would writing it down and taking that with you help? some sort of visual reminder?

and remembering that it will be over.
the relief i feel walking away, getting on the train, and leaving them and returning to my home, my life, my relationships: makes me very grateful.
 
I guess I actually avoided it by avoiding it. Generally, it was easy to be "too busy to get away for very long".

When I did go, towards the end, when I had a better idea what was going on, I handled it like I do other events I'm not thrilled with. I had a plan for being there and a planned exit strategy in case I needed it. Just knowing I could get a message saying I was "needed at home" (mine, not theirs!) helped.

Is there other stuff you can do while you're there? People you actually want to catch up with? Anything to create diversions and avoid that "trapped in the house and have to talk about something" space. (Good luck!)
 
What can you build in to help you doing these times?
Good question. I guess I have to plan it out. Hopefully today I'll finally be functional again to handle it. I spent a day in bed (cause I couldn't anything else)- hope that day was enough. Need to break down the stressful elements. I had started making myself helpful cards to carry for panicky times (grounding, intrusive thoughts, overwhelm etc.- and write exercises to do)- scrapbook paper and writing on the back to laminate eventually. Now that I'm stressed it's hard to remember what to write. But I'll try to break down what could help.
This trip is actually worse than usual, because in the next months I maybe changing apartment and job, just discovered half of the jobs I do as freelancer are becoming obsolete and that's a trigger- so yeah, not looking forward to travel but I have to go exactly now,.

the journey there - what helps you?
Good music, a tv show or watching journaling videos on youtube if there is connection, good book (got 1 fiction and 1 non-fiction from the library already before I freaked)- those are set. I actually expect the trip itself to be quite peaceful, 7h of just sleeping, watching good scenery, listening to music and losing myself in the moment. It's a familiar trip so thankfully that part doesn't make me anxious. Also since I'm in another country- usually a book or magazine in that language, as my adult version of safety blanket lol- helps me feel tethered to my actual current home somehow.

And i had pre prepared things to say.
That one is really good! There are certain things always being commented, and I have handled them well only in good times. This is not one of those moments. Writing what I would say and how I would cope might be a nice thing to read on the way there, doing it, thank you!

Are you being too hard on yourself?
Probably. I realized recently that the childhood trauma gets triggered when home because of change of language and other factors, and therefore my confidence gets crushed. And I feel at my lowest there. I started breaking that down in therapy, but there is a long way to go so I have to contain that somehow.

and remembering that it will be over.
Good point. Need to take some pictures with me, maybe books in the language where I'm at, things that remind me I'm coming home.
I had a plan for being there and a planned exit strategy
That could be helpful, writing out a few ideas for the different days. People to see, walk to take etc. When I panic I forget I have options, so I will write down some. Thank you!

I guess I have some planning to do! Thank you both for the useful tips and reminders!
 
All that being said it's still hard to start, I'm feeling colder than the weather would imply and my body actually hurts everywhere, so much is going on now.
Trip is just beyond me, I don't know...
Edit: I have to go though for administrative purposes. So much in my life needs change...this trip is just cherry on top
 
How do I snap out of this? I'm procrastinating on things that never give me trouble because of this.
having never had parents in my adult life, it is hard for me to relate to the adult child rhetoric i hear and see everywhere, but i am achingly familiar with having to deal with events/dynamics which trigger me to ptsd hell. "snapping out of it" has yet to work for me. quick fixes are in mighty short supply in a ptsd psychosis.

what does work for me is to pack a therapy bag before i to carry along for the event. the bag includes material from whatever program i am working this week, grounding talismans, a list of contact info for my current therapy supporters, quick healthy snacks and a distraction such as puzzle books or a craft project. my therapy bags are small enough that i can carry them discretely and big enough to hold whatever i decide i need to carry for this spin on the not-so-merry-go-round. when i feel myself sliding into psychosis, i quietly grab my therapy bag and find a private spot for a therapy break. being prepared for a psychotic episode gets me allot further than the pressure of trying to "snap out of ^it^."
 
having never had parents in my adult life, it is hard for me to relate to the adult child rhetoric i hear and see everywhere, but i am achingly familiar with having to deal with events/dynamics which trigger me to ptsd hell. "snapping out of it" has yet to work for me. quick fixes are in mighty short supply in a ptsd psychosis.

what does work for me is to pack a therapy bag before i to carry along for the event. the bag includes material from whatever program i am working this week, grounding talismans, a list of contact info for my current therapy supporters, quick healthy snacks and a distraction such as puzzle books or a craft project. my therapy bags are small enough that i can carry them discretely and big enough to hold whatever i decide i need to carry for this spin on the not-so-merry-go-round. when i feel myself sliding into psychosis, i quietly grab my therapy bag and find a private spot for a therapy break. being prepared for a psychotic episode gets me allot further than the pressure of trying to "snap out of ^it^."
I am really sorry for your parents, whatever has happened.

I will not go into my issues any more, but needless to say being back home is definitely largely triggering and it will be rough for sure. Meanwhile 2 close friends are going through some of the biggest things I can do nothing about. Right now. Like, I learned 1 of them an hour ago. At the same time my money plans didn't quite work out (I think because it all went haywire from being depressed in the last 3 days and I didn't pay attention to budgeting, but that's neither here not there).

I wouldn't call my psychotic episode per say, except in extreme times anymore. But, it does get hard for them to watch I suppose and if I am asked questions I can't answer. I will revive my anxiety bag for sure. Also I am already going crazytown, so I am moving my trip with a week at most (might be 4-5 days) and I will use the time to a. restrart my online jelewry shop and add planner charms, keyrings and such and such (hasn't been a thing for...a decade I think. And last time I ran it I had just gotten PTSD so it took me months to get to 30 items, longer to 50.... I had almost no materials and it was always oversaturated market... My promotion was occasional (think once in weeks) promotion of 1 product of facebook or 1 blog or a little time on the forums in Etsy. I'd never made jewelry and learned from tutorials. Yet I still had some sales, which in retrospect amazes me. Of course my style is a little different now, it's been a decade, but it's the first thing this week getting me out of bed slumber, so I think I should do it. Plus it's flexible to PTSD symptoms, hence why it started. But I think now I can be better in promoting, I just hope I didn't quite forget the making...

And then my trip... I will have a purpose. And cards with the ideas from this thread, and my anxiety kit. So it will be better... well, a little bit, but I will be more prepared for sure.
p.s. @arfie Is it too rude to ask what your therapy bags/pouches contain? I'm always open to adding new elements to mine.
 
I wouldn't call my psychotic episode per say, except in extreme times anymore.
one of my personal crusades in life is to use the "psych" words more casually. how did psych, psyche, psychic, psychosis, etc., etc., come to have such rigid and radically different meanings? they only differ by a suffix. in my more casual usage, "psychotic episode" doesn't speak to degree of gravity. the cuss fest i launch into after stubbing my toe is as much a psychotic episode as the episodes for which i was hospitalized. kinda like "respiratory infection" can speak to sinusitis as much as tuberculosis.
I am really sorry for your parents, whatever has happened.
every curse carries a blessing or three. i often feel blessed that i don't really have the experience to understand the adult child rants i've listened to within my therapy peer support network. sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
 
@arfie Haha like my adult child rant... I guess it happens, doesn't it?
As far as the rest goes to each its own I guess, I'm the swearing type only when I reaaaaally lose it.

Anyway, I don't know if this was a mistake but I posted my shop idea for comments in a forum and received a bunch of contradicting advice, between don't spend money unless you're sure of positive outcome, and if you think this is the risk to take go for it.
Now that is another life decision that bugs me.

Now that I'm out of bed temporarily at least, shouldn't I be better and spend less? As close to nothng as possible? When do I travel? How do I keep myself from getting this depressed? I'm starting to think I can handle the trip (held my ground in a conversation today and insisted on something and got positive outcome), on the other hand- I am starting to get really depressed and I have to use work to pull myself out of it, cause I need income. My usual client won't have work for couple more days, and I can use supplement income, but my depressed/ anxious brain has already lost it. I think I hit a wall at how much I can feel at one time and I really can't feel how crazy something really is (asses risk properly with clear mind). But, it's the mind I've been given so I hope I make a decision by tomorrow in which direction to more, lack of doing work stuff is torture, as is indecision.
 
Something I didn't think about until I read the new posts (and should have!). The better visits I had at my parent's house were after I started therapy. My T encouraged me to email him whenever I was traveling. So, I did. It really WAS helpful, at the end of the day, after everyone else was in bed, to shoot him a message about what was going on and how things were going. I suppose it helped to remember that someone was for sure "on my side" and it definitely helped keep things in perspective. That might not me an option for you. If it's not, I'm going to suggest you check in here, with us, while you're on the road. You actually don't have to make the trip totally alone.
 
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