Christmas struggles

willow1

New Here
Hi, I am new to this and have never done anything like this before. But I am really struggling. This is my first Christmas living with chronic PTSD and it is incredibly hard. I am only just remembering all the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of my father as a child. I had no recollection of anything until August this year. I have been having flashbacks and various body memories relating to different incidents that happened, which I have been able to kind of cope with kind of. But I am having flashbacks about things that happened on Christmas Eve and my emotions are all over the place. For days I have felt there has been a fog over me. It is more intense and persistant and because of this I am struggling to shift my focus and ground myself. My partner asked to go on a break a couple of days ago which has added to all the stress as well. I am really nervous about tomorrow. I feel dread as I know that a new memory is lurking in my mind waiting to come out. Does anyone have any advice on how to manage? The grounding techniques I have been using haven't been working over the past couple of days as the PTSD has been so intense and I am surrounded by triggers which are new to me. I feel like I have been just living in another world and I am not sure how to bring myself back.
 

ms spock

Sponsor
Sorry to read you are going through such an ordinary time of it which is just so upsetting.

Can you just be kind to yourself with however you are?

Feel your feet on the ground?

Drink hot or cold drinks?

Do some distraction - read a book or something to take your mind off it?
 
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willow1

New Here
Thank you for the advice. I get so overwhelmed with it all. And there is all this pressure because of Christmas to be happy. I have my brothers kids over here and I worry about being the way I am in front of them. I struggle to be kind to myself and am always thinking of others, I am just trying to learn how to rewire what has been programmed into me and it is really tough. I will try what you have suggested. Thank you.
 

ms spock

Sponsor
I totally get being overwhelmed. Not that it helps but OH YEAH I FEEL THE OVERWHELM!

Go easy on yourself learning to live with PTSD is not easy or for the faint hearted.

I wish you a 🥳 🥳 ❤️🖤💛 Seasons Greetings & Happy Summer Solstice @williow1! ❤️🖤💛🥳🥳

The kids will be fine however you are, really, if you are honest, as is age appropriate, they won't even remember it. Realness matters, reality matters, if you cried what is the worst that could happen? The kids might hug and console you and you could compliment and tell them they are the "kindest people"? That means they feel that they can feel that they have power to assist another person - that's not a bad learning for a Xmas Day.

You don't have to be perfect - that's too much pressure for you and it's too much pressure for the kids as well.

You can even talk to them about feelings, if age appropriate and say some days we enjoy things for part of the day, some days for a little while things don't go well, sometimes people get upset and angry but it passes and then folks can have some nice times.

***struggling to implement my own advice - so I am also aiming to be kind to me today as well***
 

Clocked

New Here
Never under estimate the power of deep belly breathing. As you breath in visualize the inhale peeling and loosening those thoughts and feelings from inside your body and mind. During the exhale visualize these same thoughts & feelings leaving you in the air of the exhale and being released into the universe. With each successive inhale and exhale....visualize the same lift and ‘send off’ for that which still sits with you.
If I’m at a gathering, I will leave and take a short drive to find a less stimulating environment, then will park and do this exercise.

Hope you find some relief.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Never under estimate the power of deep belly breathing. As you breath in visualize the inhale peeling and loosening those thoughts and feelings from inside your body and mind. During the exhale visualize these same thoughts & feelings leaving you in the air of the exhale and being released into the universe. With each successive inhale and exhale....visualize the same lift and ‘send off’ for that which still sits with you.
If I’m at a gathering, I will leave and take a short drive to find a less stimulating environment, then will park and do this exercise.

Hope you find some relief.
I'll keep this one for when I need it.....thanks for the step by step visual!
 

Friday

Moderator
The grounding techniques I have been using haven't been working over the past couple of days as the PTSD has been so intense and I am surrounded by triggers which are new to me. I feel like I have been just living in another world and I am not sure how to bring myself back.
Take it as a lesson learned...

1. Your grounding techniques are perfectly capable of handling normal things, but in the face of stronger stuff? Need some additions. Whether that’s new grounding techniques, or self care, or variations to what you already do, will depend on you & what’s going on in your life.

2. You’ll always come back to yourself. The question really, is how long that takes. Years, days, hours? You’re already past your threshold for how long you want, or are used to it, taking. Make a note of when you’re okay this time... and then compare it to next time, with new skills in place. It still might not be where you want it, but it will give you a baseline, to work back to your best-self, with.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
I kind of skimmed through this, but is your T out of town for the holiday? Sometimes the change in routine and feeling of abandonment when T goes on a short holiday can just be overwhelming and set off new memories or flashbacks. (Not to mention the break from your partner!) I would remind yourself that things will become more routine in the near future. You are going to be okay. Try to sit with your posture of the strong capable person that you are/you can even fake it if you don’t feel that you can be this person. Try to really take that person’s lead because that is or can be current you! Go outside for at least 10 minutes a day. Imagine yourself holding the younger you that went through hard stuff. I’m personally struggling with some of this stuff myself, but I know that I will be okay. I even wrote that in a card to my T. “This holiday is going to stir up all of that abandonment crap, but I know that I’ll be OK.” She told me that it’s really important that I was able to write that down. It made her really happy to read it. Sometimes I think about those words, “I will be okay.” There is a lot of power in them. I believe in them for you as well. Try thinking them, saying them and writing it down. “I’m scared, everything is spinning out of control swirling my past and present in a mess and I’m scared....but I’M OK 🙂!”
 
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