Other Can you tell the difference?

EvenStrongerNow

MyPTSD Pro
Can you tell the difference between when you're being triggered along with what you think is happening isn't happening.... and then being triggered while what you think is happening is actually happening?

Does your response change? Does it really matter?

If my question is too vague, I'll give one snippet of an example using one trigger. Trigger: Someone who being vague, trying to engage with me in a way that causes me to have to go out of my way to ask questions because they aren't giving the kind of detail to coincide with what they initiated if that makes sense. They are so cryptic that I get to a point where I have no idea what we are actually talking about.

The image: Being back with my ex, playing 20 questions just to pull info out of him because he only gives little bits at a time on purpose when people just don't communicate like that (example--him in a text: my sister is dying. Tty soon Me: which one? Him: the only one Id claim. Me: so and so? Him: It's a long story), feeling me out to test my tolerance level, etc.

Present situation: Someone telling me someone is dying, being really vague when I ask questions and only giving tiny bits, communicating in an unusual manner, when I withhold sympathy for a bit they say things like "nevermind" or "okay take care now", or act like someone who was inconveniencing me and say things like "sorry to bother you" "I won't contact you again", when I say "okay take care" back to not engage in that kind of crap, then what feels like love bombing starts happening with "I really admire your strength" and "you're such a beautiful person", "you're always helping others" ....all of this strange dynamic coming from someone I barely know.

Working through triggers like this gets even harder for me to decipher and navigate when it is someone I love.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I really detest when people are being vague and oblique. But. There is also a style of joking and banter that is like that and that I actually enjoy, but only with topics that don't require an emotional need to be explicit. Certainly not the sister who died.

If such is the case, it isn't joking, it's grey rocking. Which is someone trying to detach themselves from someone or a situation while not entirely cutting. For whatever reason. The one with the sister, he can be avoiding his pain by stating things too frontally but still looking for comfort. But also showing he doesn't need you. So you wonder why he's even shared it in the first place.

Its context dependent. If this follows love bombing and happens in disorientating ways, and that when you ask to clarify nothing comes or you get passive aggression or aggression, then it's manipulative and made for you to feel bad. It's a form of gaslighting to make you doubt of yourself and feel guilty not getting it.

Asking things directly and not going into mind reading to figure it out will rapidly give you the answer for your test.

But in general, it is true that us folks with PTSD and anxiety disorders have an aversion for unpredictability and even innocent kinds of semi cryptic jokes or gentle teasibg can be a bit setting off. I am perfectly capable of making that kind of joke myself while if someone does it to me in the shape of a question, I'll undoubtedly reply in perfect first degree before even thinking even knowing it's perfectly absurd.

I can't stand even gentle teasing, even when I see it's sweet and that all parties are okay. Healthy teasing is very gently pushing the boundaries of a well established relationship to check if everyone is so alright interpretation doesn't leave the shadow of a doubt: it's a joke. Based on your quirks. And trust makes you know it's never going to go further than that.

For me just forget about it. I'll always have a startled response towards it because I interpret it as a threat. This paranoia has been useful. I do not fail to miss actual threatening 'jokes' that are made to try to control me or others. But it also makes me more fragile because while my detectors are pristine, it's at the cost of being very activated.

I can make the difference of someone doing this genuinely as a joke because when they see your response, hesitation or slight fussedness, they pick up the signs they went beyond your boundaries and that happens once or twice, but they stop quite quickly when they see you aren't responding positively. They see it's annoying for you and whatever your reasons are they're okay with it and find other ways to get close to you or just don't get closer.

People who do that for power and control, they spread it as a long series of sustained micro aggressions that end up playing with your nerves and they're waiting for the moment you'll be so confused or fed up. They don't see or deliberately ignore signs such as withdrawal, stiffness, delayed response, avoidance of eye contact, irritation, upfront protest.

So, to answer your question. While I do get triggered every single f*cking time something like this happens, I still can tell the difference. With the innocuous trigger I have a spike of anxiety that warns me, I still am able to assess a situation. With the bad situation, it's when my rational assessment thinks it was off the grid. Perhaps I have a number of false positives. But it's not a mode of communication that I enjoy and while not necessarily being toxic, depending on whom, it certainly is complicated and brain consuming, which I don't want neither.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
@Friday is right.

I think the amygdala being a threat system can't perceive the difference between real threat and perceived threat. Just 'on' or 'off'.

I've never heard a man talk that way, because of the power differential. And most men don't share as many women do, so Idk. I've done that when I question whether it's welcome to write, or afraid it's crossing a boundary, or afraid Idk if they are angry, etc. It sounds silly to read it. But then again, if you don't know if it's welcome Idk what to say? do you answer their texts? In person I'd just ask directly, but as I say I've never heard a man do that. I only change the subject, etc at work if it's someone I don't want to share with/ can't (most). I expect you can still deserve the compliments, but they could still regret speaking up. I don't usually push topics unless I am very worried, But I am way more private than most and way more concerned it will make someone feel worse, not better.
 

EvenStrongerNow

MyPTSD Pro
Friday, when I asked, does it really matter, I wasnt referring to the response change. I was referring to telling the difference. I can see my error in where I placed it. I am an out loud thinker and realize that doesn't mean other people will follow my version of chronology.

But if my explanation isn't necessary, I will just say that being triggered for me personally doesnt equal me treating someone like shit. Of course I wouldn't be okay with that.

@Friday is right.

I think the amygdala being a threat system can't perceive the difference between real threat and perceived threat. Just 'on' or 'off'.

I've never heard a man talk that way, because of the power differential. And most men don't share as many women do, so Idk. I've done that when I question whether it's welcome to write, or afraid it's crossing a boundary, or afraid Idk if they are angry, etc. It sounds silly to read it. But then again, if you don't know if it's welcome Idk what to say? do you answer their texts? In person I'd just ask directly, but as I say I've never heard a man do that. I only change the subject, etc at work if it's someone I don't want to share with/ can't (most). I expect you can still deserve the compliments, but they could still regret speaking up. I don't usually push topics unless I am very worried, But I am way more private than most and way more concerned it will make someone feel worse, not better.
The man I'm referring to in the example above is my ex. He did speak that way to manipulate because he was a Psychopath. The trigger and image is from the past. The part where I put 'present' was illustrating the situation in the present where my trigger and image came out. Does that make more sense?

I really detest when people are being vague and oblique. But. There is also a style of joking and banter that is like that and that I actually enjoy, but only with topics that don't require an emotional need to be explicit. Certainly not the sister who died.

If such is the case, it isn't joking, it's grey rocking. Which is someone trying to detach themselves from someone or a situation while not entirely cutting. For whatever reason. The one with the sister, he can be avoiding his pain by stating things too frontally but still looking for comfort. But also showing he doesn't need you. So you wonder why he's even shared it in the first place.

Its context dependent. If this follows love bombing and happens in disorientating ways, and that when you ask to clarify nothing comes or you get passive aggression or aggression, then it's manipulative and made for you to feel bad. It's a form of gaslighting to make you doubt of yourself and feel guilty not getting it.

Asking things directly and not going into mind reading to figure it out will rapidly give you the answer for your test.

But in general, it is true that us folks with PTSD and anxiety disorders have an aversion for unpredictability and even innocent kinds of semi cryptic jokes or gentle teasibg can be a bit setting off. I am perfectly capable of making that kind of joke myself while if someone does it to me in the shape of a question, I'll undoubtedly reply in perfect first degree before even thinking even knowing it's perfectly absurd.

I can't stand even gentle teasing, even when I see it's sweet and that all parties are okay. Healthy teasing is very gently pushing the boundaries of a well established relationship to check if everyone is so alright interpretation doesn't leave the shadow of a doubt: it's a joke. Based on your quirks. And trust makes you know it's never going to go further than that.

For me just forget about it. I'll always have a startled response towards it because I interpret it as a threat. This paranoia has been useful. I do not fail to miss actual threatening 'jokes' that are made to try to control me or others. But it also makes me more fragile because while my detectors are pristine, it's at the cost of being very activated.

I can make the difference of someone doing this genuinely as a joke because when they see your response, hesitation or slight fussedness, they pick up the signs they went beyond your boundaries and that happens once or twice, but they stop quite quickly when they see you aren't responding positively. They see it's annoying for you and whatever your reasons are they're okay with it and find other ways to get close to you or just don't get closer.

People who do that for power and control, they spread it as a long series of sustained micro aggressions that end up playing with your nerves and they're waiting for the moment you'll be so confused or fed up. They don't see or deliberately ignore signs such as withdrawal, stiffness, delayed response, avoidance of eye contact, irritation, upfront protest.

So, to answer your question. While I do get triggered every single f*cking time something like this happens, I still can tell the difference. With the innocuous trigger I have a spike of anxiety that warns me, I still am able to assess a situation. With the bad situation, it's when my rational assessment thinks it was off the grid. Perhaps I have a number of false positives. But it's not a mode of communication that I enjoy and while not necessarily being toxic, depending on whom, it certainly is complicated and brain consuming, which I don't want neither.
The extra spike of anxiety I'm familiar with. I did start asking direct questions when I felt myself 'mind reading' and making all kinds of assumptions for the vagueness. When I did that, that's when this present person started doing the 'okay take care' routine. I know that people typically do that (make assumptions and mind read) in social situations anyway but for me, that can mean complete danger to do that. Or at least, it did once in a big way. Being highly tolerant and being okay with taking on all or most of the emotional labor are two of the traits that allowed me to be hooked by a Psychopath. It feels like you may have experienced the same/similar trauma I described based on the words you used like 'gaslight', etc. Or maybe you just really understood what I was asking. It really helps when this happens and I can make the most sense of this kind of reply. Thank you for writing all of this. I've come back to it many times already and it is really helpful.
 
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