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Childlike fear state

Thread starter #1
Recently, mainly with this pandemic, but also back before I had a good treatment plan in place, I have these panic spells where I feel like a little child, all afraid. A lot of things with this pandemic have caused this, and I think also still living with my parents (they're fine just certain things they don't respect me on). I feel like I can't do anything and that I'm so helpless and hopeless, but mostly I feel so, so small.

Yesterday we had a huge, violent storm in my area. I felt fine, calm and collected during the actual "scary" part with the violent winds and water damage and electricity out for 12 hours. But now that electricity is on, I'm safe, I'm panicking. I feel like a little child that's afraid of what happened. But it already happened, and I'm trying to remind myself of that. I'm also moving cross country, within the month. This has stirred up anxiety too.

I just hate this childlike fear feeling. Like I just want to be soothed. I'm trying to do as much self soothing as I can but so far it's not working. I'm petrified. When I see the damage done to houses and cars I'm so scared. That could have been us!

I've done a guided mediation, taken a nap, taken a shower with nice soothing lotions and face treatments, listened to happy music, listened to calming music. I have things I have to get done, I can't keep catering to this scared little inner child.
 
#4
I feel like a little child that's afraid of what happened.
I felt like this a lot when I was living in downtown Portland during the ongoing protests. There was so much damage. And then more the next day for 55 days that I witnessed. When things are completely out of our control it is pretty normal to become even somewhat paralyzed by fear for a time, I think. Now that I have relocated, the fear I was having is gone completely, though at the time, it was severe.

While not helpful in the moment, I suspect this will pass and probably fairly quickly since you are safe and know that. In the meantime, continued patience with that scared child will be for the best. It does sound like you are doing what you need to. I hope you feel better soon.
 
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Thread starter #5
Thank you @RussellSue !! I’m sorry you had to experience that but glad it’s better now that you’ve moved. I think once we move and are more financially secure it’ll help too. Right now it’s so out of control. I can’t wait to be able to get everything more controlled.
 
#6
Thank you @RussellSue !! I’m sorry you had to experience that but glad it’s better now that you’ve moved. I think once we move and are more financially secure it’ll help too. Right now it’s so out of control. I can’t wait to be able to get everything more controlled.
Yeah! I totally agree about the financial security. Our move helped that, as well. We were suffering. It's a BIG deal. Worrying about finances is my very least favorite.

That's hard. I am sorry. I hope you are able to get things sorted out quickly.
 
#7
When I see the damage done to houses and cars I'm so scared. That could have been us!
When my son was little I used to take my him around to all the wreckage and excitedly show him all the cool physics involved in what happened. (How FAST would a wooden tree branch have to be moving to puncture STEEL, and skewer that car, do you think kiddo??? Wow! So amazing!) And we’d go home and stream sciency shows that broke down advanced concepts (like structural engineering, and how we build things to withstand storms and earthquakes; storm chasers and the equipment they use, etc.) for regular folk. And we’d go to the firehouse and have them show us their rescue gear (I used to be search & rescue, I get all twitterpated around ropes and shit ;)). And go out with one of the Jewish or Christian cleanup groups. <<< The unknown can be scary, so I familiarised him with the different stages of the process. >>> If that’s something you’ve never done? It might be worth considering. At the very least it would give your mind something to think about that isn’t in “What IF” land. (One night as I lay lying here, a What If crawled inside my ear! It danced and partied all night long, and sang it’s little What If song.)
I feel like a little child that's afraid of what happened.
I never did that as a kid... but that’s my norm as an adult. I’m totally cool calm & collected IN a crisis, and fall apart afterwards. Given a choice? I’d far rather that paradigm than what most people seem to do! (Fall apart in a crisis, and then are fine afterward). I’m pretty sure that’s just how I’m wired / it ain’t changing... so I just plan for it. Ideally go blow off some steam and gentle the adrenaline crash, but with or without a soft landing? I just block out some time to be a hot mess. Then that passes and I’m fine. It’s been my pattern for my entire adult life, so it doesn’t bother me per se? Annoying, certainly. But basically harmless.
 
#8
I can’t wait to be able to get everything more controlled.

It may not be the same for you, but I have found that situations outside of my control (which can be daily within these times of weather turbulence, panademic and civil unrest) evoke my baseline need for security or safe. However, it Is perfectly natural to feel discomfort, child-like helplessness or as you offered-small.

You seem to have self-compassion as well as lovely soothing techniques. Yet, perhaps, you may be slightly engaging your inner critic towards an time criterion for your inner child to just get better already. Many times members here gently reminded me...it takes time to heal. So I thought that I offer you their wisdom...be gentle to you. All in good time. 🤗 if you accept
 
Thread starter #9
Thank you @Friday that’s a really good idea!! I’m moving to a place with tons of hurricanes so I’m going to do that down there. Also I’m the same way, fine in a crisis but crash after. I was totally fine through the scary part and even making back up plans for everything. When it was okay, all the anxiety came. I’ve been there about a few family scary things too. It helps everyone around me that I can stay calm, but that crash comes. But you’re right it’s more useful!! and I shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

@Recovery4Me thank you!! I’m much more patient with myself now, but I still have that inner critic vs child self fight. Working on it. Thank you!
 
Thread starter #10
It got better yesterday and the day before but today it came back because I had a COVID trigger, my parents risked our health by going to a family gathering with children that have been in school and my uncle who had covid symptoms and recently went to the beach and eats out at restaurants and all. Idk how people can do that I'd be so nervous. I didn't go. I don't know if I'm being overly paranoid but I've been having mood swings all afternoon. I'm terrified.

I also almost missed my morning dose of meds and didn't take it til 1pm or 2pm today. I've been doing self care all afternoon, I guess for 5 hours now, and it just keeps coming in waves. I want to be able to get my school done. It's all I have going on right now I just want to suck it up and do it. I'm so tired of dealing with these panic waves. I got some applications in but that's it, and I did a lot of school this morning but it doesn't feel like enough even though it's not due til Wednesday. I just feel so slow and behind and I hate myself for it. I can't believe I thought I could do a full time job and school. Maybe it would have been easier living on my own without my parents doing stupid stuff and triggering me. I'm saving every penny so I can move out!
 
#11
I too, have often wasted a lot of my energy by second guessing myself (when I was tired or in high gear anxiety). If you find yourself feeling like Billy Goat Gruff - ready to head butt, bleat, scamper ontop of ‘stupid’ people (pssst everyone may seem extremely stupid) chances are a sound rest is really needed. But being the PTSD Kings and Queens that we are... fat chance, eh? 😁

Soooo, I just make sure that I am aware that my stress cup ‘may’ be 80% of the problem (to be re-evaluated at a later date). I then warn my family (in a nonthreatening manner) that I am at my tipping point. I use a safe word that we have agreed upon if we have a subject that is too hard for me to navigate (or him) in that moment and often take time out or down time to breathe. Safe space again with softer awareness than being on super-guard with horns lowered.

School is often stressful for many people. Pandemics are a challenge for most. However, someday you will look back with pride with what you have accomplished. Don’t give up, believe in yourself and flex slowly into any major decisions or judgments at this time. You can do it!
 
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