Avoiding Those Needing Help

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I have a completely "out of sight, out of mind" attitude with this, and not only am I deeply ashamed by it, but it feels so important that I should not be here/alive because I can't resolve it.

I should also say that the "out of mind" part doesn't always work, but I sure try. And there is an immense amount of anxiety and guilt associated with it all.

This happens mostly with animals, but that's due, in part, because I'm not around people much. I do, though, tend to hold animals in higher regard, so there's that.

It's extremely difficult for me to even acknowledge that there might be an animal that is hurt/injured, in pain, or in some need of help. It's even harder for me to do anything about it. This goes against everything I believe and think--there is nothing in this world more important to me than animals. If it's an animal in my window well, I shut the blinds (although in that case, they never stay closed for long, and I figure something out to help). A bird flew into my bedroom window a couple of weeks ago--my anxiety was off the charts, and I wanted to scream. I did go out and check on it, and did a little energy work with it while it recovered.

I don't always, though. Well, I can only think of a couple of times I haven't--I guess I usually do something, but it doesn't matter because it's not every single time. And the anxiety doesn't go away, in any case.

Not sure why. Except the emotional pain I feel when another is hurt is sometimes more than I can bear. And I think maybe I worry or think I won't be able to figure out what to do. Which is a BS excuse.

This is one of the most important and awful things I'm dealing with right now. And have been for a while. I don't know how to fix it. I don't know how to feel better about how I am/have been. I don't know how to get past the shame.
 
sounds similar to what i began pondering in group therapy discussions of, "detachment." at the beginning of the ponderance, i believed i was exceptionally good at detachment. as the discussions progressed, i came to believe that i wasn't detaching. i was amputating. that animal suffering on my front porch doesn't exist. no need to let it disrupt my business as usual. i have anger to random target and agony to repress.

i began the ponderance of detachment somewhere in the 70's and it remains a works in progress. the good news is that progress over perfection has allowed me to detach far enough to work animal rescue/husbandry, but humans are another subject, entirely. covid gave me a whole new and improved vernacular for human suffering. "please increase your social distance." works still in progress. . .

but that is me and every case is unique.
gentle empathy and support while you sort your own case.
 
I have a rule with myself… that IF I care? I have to do something about it.

Sitting around yelling about the state of the world (or whatever) in the comfort of one’s living room? Doing jack shit except flapping your gums about how people who actually are in the game are doing it wrong? (Not to mention making your living room a shit place to be.) Pisses me off no end. If you care enough to bitch, quit your bitching, and get skin in the game. FFS.

Which means when I’m eyeballs deep in no f*cking way can I do anything about anything… if I can’t detach myself from caring? I quit paying attention to things I can’t do anything about, and focus on what I can do. Here and now.

^^^ Which sounds to me like it MIGHT be what you’re talking about? Except that you’re either:

- consumed with guilt/shame for basic stresscup / stress management?

- do have the time/energy to devote, but are consumed with guilt/shame for not doing so?

- &/or just starting to recognize trauma-ties triggers & stressors) kathunking you into rules-learned-in-trauma / flashbacks / anxiety attacks/ symptom spikes. So whether you care or not, have time/energy/desire or not, the symptom smack downmeans you’re too busy drowning to do anything about anything. Rinse, lather, repeat. As any time you attempt to lean into helping others, you’re too shattered to even attempt it. <<< If this last one? I very highly recommend exposure therapy.
 
Which means when I’m eyeballs deep in no f*cking way can I do anything about anything… if I can’t detach myself from caring? I quit paying attention to things I can’t do anything about, and focus on what I can do. Here and now.
Yeah, there's some of this. And there's some of the "not knowing if I can do anything about it." Or, once I get involved, I have to finish it, and I can't finish anything.

It's hard for me to stop paying attention unless I go deep into dissociation mode. And I spent a LOT of time learning to not do that.
Which sounds to me like it MIGHT be what you’re talking about? Except that you’re either:

- consumed with guilt/shame for basic stresscup / stress management?
Yes!
do have the time/energy to devote, but are consumed with guilt/shame for not doing so?
YesYesYes!
&/or just starting to recognize trauma-ties triggers & stressors) kathunking you into rules-learned-in-trauma / flashbacks / anxiety attacks/ symptom spikes. So whether you care or not, have time/energy/desire or not, the symptom smack downmeans you’re too busy drowning to do anything about anything. Rinse, lather, repeat. As any time you attempt to lean into helping others, you’re too shattered to even attempt it. <<< If this last one? I very highly recommend exposure therapy.
Yes. All of that, I think.

Thanks, @Friday.
 
i came to believe that i wasn't detaching. i was amputating. that animal suffering on my front porch doesn't exist. no need to let it disrupt my business as usual.
Yeah, this sounds very familiar.

I usually am able to go back and address the issue after that initial reaction, I'm realizing. But sometimes, it takes longer than it should. Like last night, there was a bird in the middle of the yard, just lying there. I was pretty sure it was dead, given the position it was in and not moving. But I just couldn't go out to see. HUGE guilt over that. My thoughts tend to spiral at that point, and I'm tugged in all different directions. I need to go out--I can't--what if--that sort of thing. I ended up closing the windows and blinds, turning on the TV, and getting very busy doing the dishes. Went to bed early. But this morning I went out, and it was dead. Looks like it might have been shot with a BB gun directly in the neck, so it was likely dead last night.
 
@whiteraven
in my own rounds with this particular psycho waltz, i'm still building my awareness. during the guilt portion of the not so merry go round, my "superhero syndrome" often kicks in. while i'm saving the world from road kill and child prostitution, i might as well shoot for peace between russia and ukrania while i'm at it.

sigh. . .

note to self
be gentle with yourself and patient with the process.
do what you can and let the rest go.
 
So, I've been thinking about this, and it seems I don't do it as often as I think I do. I think it's just that I don't find it acceptable when I do it at all. And I have an enormous amount of anxiety when I am confronted with something I need to pay attention to in this regard.

Last night I was at the grocery and someone had left their dog in the car next to me. It was very warm. Windows were cracked, and the dog looked fine, but I knew that could go south quickly. I went in and got what I needed--was in only for 20 min--and when I came out, it was still there. So...I called animal control to see what I should do. They told me that, since it wasn't illegal and the dog wasn't in distress, they couldn't do anything. Suggested I go in to the store and see if they would page the person. Oh, lord. Anyway...I went and watched the car from the lobby for a minute--so glad I did, because the person who owned it came out. I was so relieved.
 
My husband needs help Im pretty sure he has ptsd too. He will never share anything or accept this. His mood changes on a dime. Cant take any constructive criticism. When addressed with the mildest form tonight, he literally checked out. Dont know that I am willing to do this for the rest of my life. We are old, so much less that some. Probably shorter if we keep pushing each others buttons. I love him as a best friend, but hard to do more than that, because he is so distant with everyone. Right now, now sure we can reside in the same house. I am so tired of being devalued. Then again, I have a hard time finding my value. For me, it is hard enough, but when he is badgering me, double dose of self doubt. I just wish....oh ya....wish....that I wasn't so damaged that I took it better.... Wishing is for wushes right? Thats just now who we both are. Time to accept. I have been trying so hard to make him food and do other things that make him happy. its just not enough.
 
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