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Does it count as avoidance?

Discussion in 'Avoidance' started by Eliza, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Eliza

    Eliza Active Member

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    Hello,

    I was caught up in the Westminster terror attack in March, and since then I have been suffering with PTSD. I used to work near Westminster, and I would have anxiety attacks almost every day on my way to work.

    Fast forward to December and my contract at work ended and I started a new job outside Central London. My anxiety has lessened, my flashbacks are no where near as severe, and I am generally more relaxed.

    However. Does this count as avoidance? I see it as a positive that I am feeling more relaxed. But does this mean that if I start another job in Central London later in life, that I will end up back at square one? And if it does - are there any techniques - aside from getting into Central and going back to the site occasionally - that you can recommend?
     
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  3. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

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    Avoidance? Yes.
    Is that necessarily a bad thing? No.

    Does that mean you’ll just be back at square one later in life? Nope. ESPECIALLY not if you’re processing your trauma & working on your triggers and stressors in the interim. It can, yes, mean you’ll be back at square one if you don’t work on anything in the interim... and this is where the whole ‘avoidance never works long term’ thing comes in. Right now it’s central London. Stick purely with avoidance? It could very easily become all of London. Then all cities, and towns, and... anywhere with bridges and roads even tiny villages. Or it could shift from being central London, to all of Southern England. All of the UK. Everywhere English speaking. Everywhere the BBC is broadcast. Et cetera. Or one of several other possible shrinkings of your world until you’re you’re stuck in you flat day in and day out.

    What working outside the city center is allowing you to do is to take control of how much & when you’re pushing yourself. Truly. Do not stop continuing to go into the city, riding the tube, driving / walking over bridges, etc. just make it on your terms. Working with a therapist can very much help with this. But you can also do it yourself, keeping yourself accustomed / laying new memories over old. If you can MAKE it fun? Go for it. But count on it kind of sucking, especially in the beginning. Set aside a day to keep your city tolerance up for a few hours & then home & relaxing & selfcare afterward.

    It’s one of those bizarre things with PTSD. Keep pushing at you own boundaries? Your world will continue to open up, and you’ll be comfortable almost everywhere. Keep seeking comfort, and fewer and fewer places will offer it, until almost nowhere does.
     
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  4. Xena

    Xena Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Eliza.. I'm so sorry you went through that. there is nothing wrong with not going to the place it happened... That will always probably be one of your triggers

    Im really glad you found this website... Weird thing to say.. I know... But these people have wisdom, knowledge.... Care.... Will listen and will try and help you....

    Im sure you have read all about your ptsd but if not there is alot of information here.

    The new job sounds much better for you. Take care of yourself.... Hugs
     
    Freida likes this.
  5. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

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    Avoidance?

    LOL, no. This is not avoidance.

    You happened to get a job in a new location because your old job ended.

    Avoidance as a ptsd symptom criteria would be more along the lines of quitting your job and avoiding the area by purposely getting a job elsewhere.
     
  6. Justmehere

    Justmehere Help support myPTSD - more info in Social forum Moderator Premium Member

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    Yeah, it’s avoidance, but seems like healthy avoidance rather than pathologically problematic avoidance.

    It is true that avoidance can sometimes lead to a spike in symptoms if someone later goes back to what they were avoiding. Since you are concerned you may end up back there and face a symptom alike, to mitigate that possibility, I’d suggest perhaps finding a way to have a distant exposure to Central London. Maybe it would be checking out photos or a virtual trip through google earth. Not enough exposure to be overwhelmed but to be slightly triggered and then let it pass and you may develop some desensitization to it as a trigger. Best done with guidance of a therapist.
     
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  7. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    I don’t think it counts as avoidance. Your job changed locations. Avoidance to me would be that you would do anything to AVIOD being in the area, hearing about the area, talking about the area. Even moving to stay away from the area completely. But I don’t believe that a change of job qualifies as avoidance. JMO!!!!

    Want to add..... IF you had intentionally QUIT your job to take another one, because of what you went through, then YES, it would be avoidance. But, that’s not what happened. Your job ended and you took another. Not avoidance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2018
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  8. Zoogal

    Zoogal I'm a VIP

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    I did notice it did say her contract ended. You can't just quit a contract can you?
     
  9. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

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    @Zoogal Read what I wrote. “I said IF she had quit her job”

    Hahahahaha. That’s funny, I only posted it once. Guess we need a mod to fix this.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2018
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