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How much do you avoid

1wanderer

Policy Enforcement
The question is not if we avoid, but how much.

I avoided the most when my fight or flight mechanism was firing 10 plus times a day.

My agoraphobia lasted six months, it left me scarred, afraid, and lost.

Meditation and exposure therapy helped me past agoraphobia.

It was a great victory however it was painful and I suffered.

Childhood abuse (Complex PTSD) wires the brain differently, mine searched for danger, then fired my fight or flight mechanism for protection.

Triggered, we sense a near-lethal threat, the prefrontal cortex is confused and partially offline.

Our whole being shifts to surviving, we are scared to death. Knowing all this is a mirage has little impact on my need to avoid.

Thinking is confused as cortisol and adrenaline flood our system.

Forget trying to explain this to others, you have to experience an out-of-control nervous system, the severity, and FEAR produced.

My PTSD and avoidance have matured.

Now, I navigate life a little better but do not even think about going to social functions, crowds, or certain events.

If I have to go to a function, I can block out and distract myself to limit the damage.

Normal people do not understand how much energy and pain we go through preparing to face our PTSD Triggers.

Then there are all the questions and exploration of the interaction afterward.

Our mind wants to judge, and prepare for the next time we venture into dangerous waters.

Childhood abuse brings a danger that never leaves our brain, it is like a big stain ruining the whole carpet.

How does avoidance impact your life?
 
If the avoidance really impacts my life ie. things I actually ‘want’ to do, I tend to go full bull in a china shop. I will intentionally trigger myself and then stick it out till it subsides, over and over and over and over. And yes, it’s messy. Tears, dissociation, wanting to bolt, wanting to beat the crap out of someone, wanting to shred myself, but eventually, it gets better. It’s like those last 2 reps of train-to-failure where you have gritted teeth and it’s taking every fibre of you to get that weight up again.
There’s lots of things I still avoid, run away from, get quite violent about, but all the stuff that really really matters to me, I go full stubborn now and I’m like nah, no more, I will win.
 
If the avoidance really impacts my life ie. things I actually ‘want’ to do, I tend to go full bull in a china shop. I will intentionally trigger myself and then stick it out till it subsides, over and over and over and over. And yes, it’s messy. Tears, dissociation, wanting to bolt, wanting to beat the crap out of someone, wanting to shred myself, but eventually, it gets better. It’s like those last 2 reps of train-to-failure where you have gritted teeth and it’s taking every fibre of you to get that weight up again.
There’s lots of things I still avoid, run away from, get quite violent about, but all the stuff that really really matters to me, I go full stubborn now and I’m like nah, no more, I will win.
I can agree on most of what you said.

I learned to meditate and practiced for many, many hours.

Five hours a day for a few years. My fight or flight mechanism stopped firing for trauma triggers.

As you did, I went to every trigger situation and planted myself until my nervous system calmed down.

It was gratifying but it was painful.

As my PTSD matured I still avoided but navigated better

Even when I take risks I do not enjoy it

I found I do not trust people, very few

Well I do not see myself gutting out some social function that will possibly trigger me for what benefit

I would rather be alone than hypervigilant and on guard somewhere I do not want to be.

When you risk and feel like you won, is it easier to face it the next time. I mean my experience is easier facing my fear for the most part now, but what's the use of wasting time doing something that is not enjoyable

My sense of danger does not change that much
 
in this context, i think i could say that back in the 60's i avoided all the way to full trauma induced amnesia. from the early 70's to the mid 80's, i avoided the shrinks who kept saying, "amnesia" like it was a bad thing. in the mid 80's it started to become clear to me why my shrinks kept saying, "amnesia" like it was a bad thing.

fast forward an unfashionable number of decades and "avoidance" is a consciously used therapy tool to help me take my continued recovery in itsy bitsy baby steps. taking on more than i can handle in a single step tends to be counter-productive.
 
When you risk and feel like you won, is it easier to face it the next time. I mean my experience is easier facing my fear for the most part now, but what's the use of wasting time doing something that is not enjoyable
Little bit by little bit. Some of my triggers I totally avoid and won’t touch with a barge pole. Avoiding them doesn’t make a significant difference in my life, or they aren’t things I want to enjoy. But if it’s something that’s important for functioning, or I *want* to do the thing without being triggered, or if it’s unavoidable, then the only way out is through for me
 
If the avoidance really impacts my life ie. things I actually ‘want’ to do, I tend to go full bull in a china shop. I will intentionally trigger myself and then stick it out till it subsides, over and over and over and over. And yes, it’s messy. Tears, dissociation, wanting to bolt, wanting to beat the crap out of someone, wanting to shred myself, but eventually, it gets better. It’s like those last 2 reps of train-to-failure where you have gritted teeth and it’s taking every fibre of you to get that weight up again.
There’s lots of things I still avoid, run away from, get quite violent about, but all the stuff that really really matters to me, I go full stubborn now and I’m like nah, no more, I will win.
I was thinking about your approach of going back to your triggers over and over. That us kind of extreme exposure therapy.

One therapist fried me once attempting exposure therapy before I was ready

I did my exposure therapy while meditating

It was a safe place

In due time I faced them in real life
Little bit by little bit. Some of my triggers I totally avoid and won’t touch with a barge pole. Avoiding them doesn’t make a significant difference in my life, or they aren’t things I want to enjoy. But if it’s something that’s important for functioning, or I *want* to do the thing without being triggered, or if it’s unavoidable, then the only way out is through for me
thanks for your resonse

Reading a few of your responses, you have a different way than other PTSD sufferers I have had contact with. I facilitate a mindfulness and PTSD Blog and ran a mindfulness group for NAMI.

Your last response. “If the avoidance really impacts my life ie. things I actually ‘want’ to do, I tend to go full bull in a china shop. I will intentionally trigger myself and then stick it out till it subsides, over and over and over and over. And yes, it’s messy. Tears, dissociation, wanting to bolt, wanting to beat the crap out of someone, wanting to shred myself, but eventually, it gets better”

I rarely run across someone who continually does exposure therapy like you do.

Exposure therapy can fry your brain unless you have enough resilience built up

My PTSD. Did not explode until mid 50s so life was different after all hell broke loose.

So let me ask you. How safe do you fell when you risk

Does it take you let's of preparation before taking a risk?

Do you have an exit plan if things go sideways?
 
I avoid a lot of stuff, but I've come to understand that my avoidance is a form of self-care. I don't really *want* to do those things, so...I'm generally better off.
You know I agree with that but it is isolating and everything you read is that attachments and socializing are a necessity

Avoidance is a form of self-care, I kind of agree but a therapist would not likely agree.
 
was thinking about your approach of going back to your triggers over and over. That us kind of extreme exposure therapy.
Yes, I guess it would be like exposure therapy.

Reading a few of your responses, you have a different way than other PTSD sufferers I have had contact with. I facilitate a mindfulness and PTSD Blog and ran a mindfulness group for NAMI.
And yes, I have also noticed that I would tend to have very opposite reactions/triggers/ways of going about things. Why I don’t know, @Friday had some really helpful things to say on the matter but I’m damned if I can remember where she said them 🧐

I rarely run across someone who continually does exposure therapy like you do.
It’s not constant and continuous. More of a ‘right, this is getting silly now, I want to do X, I’m darned if I’m going to keep hiding away’ and then I’ll go at that one thing. It’s not every trigger, all the time.
So let me ask you. How safe do you fell when you risk

Does it take you let's of preparation before taking a risk?

Do you have an exit plan if things go sideways?

*shrug* I take risks all the time. It -feels- incredibly unsafe to me while I’m doing it, but the reality of the matter is I’m usually avoiding something completely mundane which is in fact, perfectly safe, and I’m at no risk no matter what shit my brain and body is telling me. An easy example, having my back to the door is not inherently unsafe, no matter how much every fibre of my being thinks it is.
So the preparation is CBT. Looooots of CBT. Picking up the irrational (which often, I won’t even realise it is until it’s pointed out)
Lol no exit plan. Try not to attack anyone, get out of there. Go and get myself back on track and then go again. If people think I’m crazy screw them, they don’t know me, I don’t know them and I won’t loose any sleep worrying what they think. Chances are they’ll of moved on to something more interesting in 5 minutes anyway.
 
I avoid almost everything in life. I joke that PTSD hooked up with OCD and gave birth to my brain, but it’s not actually all that funny, as I am alone. Symptom management happens only when I am alone. I don’t have family, I don’t have friends, I only have a sad, lonely, miserable existence and I don’t want to even be here anymore as homelessness looms on the horizon.

In other words, don’t be me.
 
Yes, I guess it would be like exposure therapy.


And yes, I have also noticed that I would tend to have very opposite reactions/triggers/ways of going about things. Why I don’t know, @Friday had some really helpful things to say on the matter but I’m damned if I can remember where she said them 🧐


It’s not constant and continuous. More of a ‘right, this is getting silly now, I want to do X, I’m darned if I’m going to keep hiding away’ and then I’ll go at that one thing. It’s not every trigger, all the time.


*shrug* I take risks all the time. It -feels- incredibly unsafe to me while I’m doing it, but the reality of the matter is I’m usually avoiding something completely mundane which is in fact, perfectly safe, and I’m at no risk no matter what shit my brain and body is telling me. An easy example, having my back to the door is not inherently unsafe, no matter how much every fibre of my being thinks it is.
So the preparation is CBT. Looooots of CBT. Picking up the irrational (which often, I won’t even realise it is until it’s pointed out)
Lol no exit plan. Try not to attack anyone, get out of there. Go and get myself back on track and then go again. If people think I’m crazy screw them, they don’t know me, I don’t know them and I won’t loose any sleep worrying what they think. Chances are they’ll of moved on to something more interesting in 5 minutes anyway.
Wow, great response.

I see you are brave, you have a sense of worthiness most abused kids never attain. I also see you face your triggers knowing you are vulnerable. I have done that and success is euphoric. It is an accomplishment not many accomplish in my observation

Being able to face triggers unfortunately is not the complete victory we have other issues

If people think I’m crazy screw them, they don’t know me, I don’t know them and I won’t loose any sleep worrying what they think. Chances are they’ll of moved on to something more interesting in 5 minutes anyway.

This is what surprises me the most you almost have a happy go lucky attitude about people. That means you have considerable self worth

That is extremely rare in complex PTSD

My PTSD has lead to agoraphobia and isolation at times.

The overwhelming feeling of unworthiness originates in childhood abuse and constant criticism with violence attached. Never feeling good enough comes from the person, my caregiver that should protect me abused me

Social anxiety is how my PTSD manifest inside me. I care too much about others

Abused kids crave approval, our foundation is built on quicksand

I was never perfect enough for my dad, perfection is what he demanded.

I think I read your we're an athlete

My dad demanded I be a pro baseball player at 5
 
I avoid almost everything in life. I joke that PTSD hooked up with OCD and gave birth to my brain, but it’s not all that funny, as I am alone. Symptom management happens only when I am alone. I don’t have family, I don’t have friends, I only have a sad, lonely, miserable existence and I don’t want to even be here anymore as homelessness looms on the horizon.

In other words, don’t be me.
Sorry PTSD has brought you suffering

PTSD has an enormous impact on our health, nervous system, and ability to enjoy pleasure.

When I would hit bottom, brain fried, nervous system in overload, I would go out a hike uphill until near exhaustion

It depletes the cortisol and adrenaline along with flushing poisons

The big benefit, physically I achieved a strenuous goal under hard circumstances

The body and mind are connected, so my mind shares the temporary win

Small things we force ourselves to acc9molush are a lifeline

When PTSD is fully activated, I make no decisions, but no more stress by thinking or dissociating from traumatic thoughts.

Thinking is our enemy

Know that things are irrational and what we think we see is distorted
 
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