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Did I do something wrong? Am I crazy?

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VeryAngry

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Hello, recently I was diagnosed with PTSD after a very humiliating and psychologically abusive situation. I'm only nineteen and my family is generally very supportive, particularly my brothers, however my mother can be very invalidating sometimes. For the past two days, I've been suffering from gastrointestinal issues and am on antibiotics. Naturally, my PTSD symptoms have been flaring up to the point of complete incapacitation. I told my mother about my triggers and all she said was, in the most dismissing tone, that other family members have their issues too and that I've been complaining about this too much. I got so angry that I told her to shut up and she got angry as well. There was a glass of water and I slapped and broke it with my hand.

Am I crazy? Am I justified in feeling this way? I don't even want to talk with my mother ever again about my issue as she's almost always dismissive.
 
Yeah, I’d say you’re totally in the wrong, here.

Common enough, with PTSD, as emotional dysregulation & overreacting tend to be pretty core components for most of us… especially in the beginning… but that doesn’t excuse lashing out at others.

I don’t say this lightly, or as someone whose knee-jerk is flight, rather than fight. I’ve thrown a chair through a church window, I’ve beaten a stove with a skillet (it’s boiling contents going everywhere, and pure luck no one ended up in the burn unit from that little tantrum), I’ve picked more physical fights than I can even begin to count (not just good ole fashioned bar fights, where death & serious injury are accidents, rather than the point; but deliberately taking jobs & putting myself in kill or be killed situations/ countries/etc.), and I’ve stormed out more times and in more ways than bear repeating.

Bottom line? I am completely out of order IF

- I’m yelling, and the other person isn’t far away.
- I’m breaking shit. (There are ways to go blow of steam by breaking shit, but in the middle of an argument, or on accident, or as a reaction? Ain’t the way.)
- I’m pouring my anger on anyone because it feels “right” to do so.
- If someone did whatever I am doing TO me? I’d knock them on their ass.

Self-Control is one of those things that so often just FLYS out the window (sometimes along with chairs!) with untreated PTSD, and is one of the most vital things to learn to recognize, and manage. It’s easier to see, & therefore get on top of, when the knee jerk is exploding outwards. But regardless of whether it’s rage directed outwards (verbally or physically), or despair directed inwards? It is absolutely a skill that can be relearned.
 
Yeah, I’d say you’re totally in the wrong, here.

Common enough, with PTSD, as emotional dysregulation & overreacting tend to be pretty core components for most of us… especially in the beginning… but that doesn’t excuse lashing out at others.

I don’t say this lightly, or as someone whose knee-jerk is flight, rather than fight. I’ve thrown a chair through a church window, I’ve beaten a stove with a skillet (it’s boiling contents going everywhere, and pure luck no one ended up in the burn unit from that little tantrum), I’ve picked more physical fights than I can even begin to count (not just good ole fashioned bar fights, where death & serious injury are accidents, rather than the point; but deliberately taking jobs & putting myself in kill or be killed situations/ countries/etc.), and I’ve stormed out more times and in more ways than bear repeating.

Bottom line? I am completely out of order IF

- I’m yelling, and the other person isn’t far away.
- I’m breaking shit. (There are ways to go blow of steam by breaking shit, but in the middle of an argument, or on accident, or as a reaction? Ain’t the way.)
- I’m pouring my anger on anyone because it feels “right” to do so.
- If someone did whatever I am doing TO me? I’d knock them on their ass.

Self-Control is one of those things that so often just FLYS out the window (sometimes along with chairs!) with untreated PTSD, and is one of the most vital things to learn to recognize, and manage. It’s easier to see, & therefore get on top of, when the knee jerk is exploding outwards. But regardless of whether it’s rage directed outwards (verbally or physically), or despair directed inwards? It is absolutely a skill that can be relearned.
Thank you for the reply! However, what I can do about my mother invalidating me? Invalidation is one of my biggest triggers.
 
Don’t put her in a position where you need her validation.

Helluva lot easier said than done.

Especially if it’s the pattern of years, & she’s always been the person you can depend on as a source of strength. Until now.

But I’m expecting she’s more to you than a yes-man / validation machine? Focus on those aspects of her personality & your relationship. Find where the 2 of you shine. Do those things with her. And when what you need/want most IS validation? Have a short list of other people/places where you can find that.

- Some people are natural problem solvers. You bring them a problem, and they immediately start cranking out solutions, brainstorming, looking for the win.

- Some people are natural listeners. Whatever you bring them? You get their full and empathetic attention & support.

- Some people are natural bridges. No matter what the problem you bring them? They normalize it, bring perspective, become the bridge between ‘completely f*cked’ and ‘everything is going to be alright’. No matter what it is, or how bad things are? They stand in the middle, able to not just see but actually touch the other shore. And are always down to remind you of that, and help you get there.

- Some people are natural mirrors. You bring them anger? And they get just as angry as you are (with you, or at you, varies!) You bring them sadness? They cry. You bring them joy? They laugh. You bring them problems? They share their problems with you.

There are others, of course, but these are all such opposites that it’s easy to see how

- if someone just. wants. to. be. listened. to? How they’d feel unseen/unheard/not find what they’re looking for, if they bring their problems to a problem solver, or bridge, or mirror. They don’t want stupid ass solutions, or to be told it’s all going to be okay, or a list of someone else’s goddamn problems.

- If someone want help strategizing? Someone just sitting there like a lump, or dishing out platitudes, or only caring about their own problems? Can f*ck off.

Et Cetera.

We’re all good at different things.

Doesn’t mean we don’t love, respect, and want the best for people who need/want something we suck at. It just means we’re good at some things, and suck at others.

Find the people who are good at the things you need.
Find what the people you love are good at (and suck at).

My 2.02
 
Don't remember how breaking the glass made you feel in a moment. Remember how it felt afterwards and having to ask others for validation.

Grasp that and other similar behaviors and you can start to control your reactions.

Validation is from yourself and not your mother.

If I knew how to conquer that I could be so helpful!

Feelings justified, actions not.
 
Am I crazy?
Nope. You have an illness.
Am I justified in feeling this way?
Yes. Feelings are feelings. They do their own thing. If you’re angry, then that’s okay.

Invalidation, leading to feeling angry, makes sense to me.

None of that makes it okay to break a glass, or act out in other aggressive ways, around other people. That’s an issue with your behaviours, not with emotions.
what I can do about my mother invalidating me?
Healthy boundaries.

Like @Friday suggested, not giving her opportunities to invalidate the way you feel. Which likely means not sharing how you’re genuinely feeling with her. It would be nice if she was more validating, but she isn’t. And we can’t make people be more validating.

What we can do is find someone else who will offer us the validation we need. With ptsd, this usually means finding a therapist, because they’re specifically trained to understand what’s going on for us.

Even with a therapist, though, acting out angry behaviours through aggression is still not going to be okay. A T should be able to help you learn how to feel angry without behaving angry.

That’s CBT. Gold star treatment for ptsd.
 
Agree with others. Totally valid to feel the way you feel. It's how you express that that is the key.

An apology about breaking the glass might help. And then maybe a frank discussion with your mum about your feelings and her feelings. It might not lead to her behaving in the way you need, or understanding what you need. But it might lead to you understanding her perspective , whether you agree with it or not, and then understanding the limitations in that relationship for you.

It's not easy at all when the person invalidating you is your mum. It's really incredibly painful. I speak from experience and I understand how hard it is to overcome that expectation.
 
Hello, recently I was diagnosed with PTSD after a very humiliating and psychologically abusive situation. I'm only nineteen and my family is generally very supportive, particularly my brothers, however my mother can be very invalidating sometimes. For the past two days, I've been suffering from gastrointestinal issues and am on antibiotics. Naturally, my PTSD symptoms have been flaring up to the point of complete incapacitation. I told my mother about my triggers and all she said was, in the most dismissing tone, that other family members have their issues too and that I've been complaining about this too much. I got so angry that I told her to shut up and she got angry as well. There was a glass of water and I slapped and broke it with my hand.

Am I crazy? Am I justified in feeling this way? I don't even want to talk with my mother ever again about my issue as she's almost always dismissive.
I know the feeling. You are you and the rest of the world is not you.

You need sympathy not comparison with everybody else. I always used to paint my nails to stop myself.
 
Hello 👋 @VeryAngry , I'm going to share an experience I had with my mum. I was telling her how I've reached my limit of tolerance with the staff at the mental health team, in particular my new psychiatrist. Their attitude and care sucks. They have f*cked me over for 15 years. Mum came round and I was telling her and she just said "you've got to give him time" ...."no" I thought. "They've had enough time and warnings.

I felt myself getting quite emotional and angry and promptly
Said "I'm not going to talk to you about it anymore because you don't understand ". I have previously lost it with my mum and broke things, banged things and hit her. Not proud of that but it's the truth. After I said I'm not talking to you about it anymore I felt much calmer and in control because I'd dealt with it in a mature way.

Some people like an excuse to be violent 🙄 😒...to let out their pain, "this is how much pain I'm in and I want You to feel it...!!! @Friday advice is rock solid. Everyone has strengths and weakness. Write a list if you have to of people in your life, pro's and cons so you know who to go to with a particular problem.
 
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