Fight or flight - anyone else feel like you're constantly in it?

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Yup. Hypervigilant towards people and ready to hit before anything happens, then keeping telling myself it’s absurd because all I’m doing is walking on the streets. At home it’s more freezing though, overthinking stuff and then blanking out when it becomes overwhelming.
 

adamjam

New Here
Yes, pretty much every day. I'm always hyper vigilant wondering where the next threat is coming from. It's exhausting. 😣
It is exhausting, especially where my kids are concerned, I'm constantly ready to fight off a kidnapper always on the look out.

Yup. Hypervigilant towards people and ready to hit before anything happens, then keeping telling myself it’s absurd because all I’m doing is walking on the streets. At home it’s more freezing though, overthinking stuff and then blanking out when it becomes overwhelming.
I just wanted to make sure that what I'm feeling is common, when I told the last two therapists about this they bailed on me. Was starting to think I'm more abnormal then I thought. Glad to see I'm not alone, though I am sorry others live with this also.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
when I told the last two therapists about this they bailed on me. Was starting to think I'm more abnormal then I thought. Glad to see I'm not alone, though I am sorry others live with this also.
Yes, it is very scary.

I’m healing from very intense DV and the fight response has been something that has been needed even if in most situations in our society fighting is completely unnecessary. Having the fight response rewarded is also something that I’m wary from and it’s a worry I have that instead of just snapping if triggered, I might assault someone who comes too close or represents a threat with a false positive.

But I guess that knowing it and not living myself as a constant victim does help.

Unfortunately I think many people live with this state of aggressive hypervigilance but it’s not something that is much talked about and it should. At the end what makes the difference is what you do with it.

There was a point I went to krav maga classes (it then closed because of corona and close-contact sports are stopped for now), and I met a few women that were assaulted in a way or another and who told me that the training and knowing you have the capacity to respond to more or less any situation calmed them down because they know they can be faster and more logical in their responses.

Krav maga is a bit of a case though because it is designed to be implemented with chains of reflexes that you do without having to think, and they work in first, get out of close contact, don’t go get enmeshed and rapidly place yourself in a a space where you are able to evaluate the threat and then you can respond if it’s needed. All that in less than a second. None of these reflexes are "go amok and fight with that person". It is made to make you respond reasonably and quickly in triggering situations, with very specific triggers.

In that sense I found it quite healing, plus the loads of energy you have to put into the cardio training and punching targets is really regulating.

Depending on your weight and the "natural" danger you represent, the tactics might change. If you are really light and small, instructors will orient you to gestures that are more aggressive, faster and less defensive because you cannot afford a single hit. If you’re bigger, they’ll orient you more towards defusing situations. I was really wary of choosing a place with the right mindset because sometimes in combat sports there is a stupid competitive/aggressive vibe that is exactly the opposite of defense and there you meet aggressive creeps and awful people. Look for instructors that are caring and will empower you by diminishing your fear rather than enabling it, it’s really important.

I’d like to come back to it as soon as possible.

I hope this helps.
 
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Friday

Moderator
More often, when I’m doing badly, I live on the very edge of it. Willing to kick into fight or flight with the least provocation. A leaf blows under a car? I don’t stop for even the fraction of a second needed to assess & dismiss (or assess & take appropriate action) what hit my alarms, I’m down & rolling.

It’s vexing as hell. Try folding the laundry when every instinct is screaming at you with the same intensity that the house is on fire. Do you reach for the next shirt and casually fold it when your house is actually of fire? f*ck that noise. That’s a whole ‘nother brand of crazy (that at least I can be grateful for not having). You grab the people you love best, and maybe even a few you love least ;) and exit at speed. You don’t just stand your happy ass in front of the stupid clean clothes and look for matching socks.

((As an aside, this is why ALL my socks match. Same brand, same color, just dumped by the armload into the same drawer. No matching required. Open a drawer, grab 2. When 1 wears out? Toss it. Buy new ones? Add ‘em to the drawer. I refuse to spend even 1 iota of self control -or second of time in my life wasted- matching socks. Nope. Huh-uh. Ain’t gonna happen. Not when I’m doing well, and no way in hell if every alarm in my head is screaming at me.))

On the edge of fight or flight?
- I’m in the land of hypervigilance (vigilance? Useful. Hypervigilance? Not useful)
- anxiety attacks & anxiety just running hot in general (shakes, shits, & pukes, oh my! // and let’s not forget concentration that would make a syphilitic gnat with ADHD look scholarly & relaxed // being cold all the time, hungry never, sleeping one of those, homeostasis für scheisse),
- emotional dysreg that looks like a freaking heart monitor (over & underreacting)
- disassociation stuck somewhere in between tunnel vision & caricatures
- ditto on disassociation? Stuck just BEFORE being useful? The past doesn’t fall away (just a LEEEETLE more adrenaline and everything will smooth out as the past falls away, the present falls away, and there is only THIS, this moment in time, in perfect clarity, as what needs doing gets done) only any sense of the future leaving the present a foggy murky morass of past & present sort of jumbled together.
- & maybe half a dozen other things, but talking about disassociation always threatens to cross my eyes half permanently

It’s not a happy place... living on the edge.

The only time I’ve actually kicked into fight or flight for longer than a few hours or few days... was a panic attack that got “stuck” for 5 months. Any other time I’ve been living in flight or fight, rather than the edge of it, there’s been cause.
 
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