I Feel Like The Only One

Hi. I'm new here. I'm scared to type this post. My anxiety has gotten so bad but I have to.
I'm a survivor of abuse as a child and for years I have had a lot of trouble with certain content in movies, on tv, hearing peers talk. I get very upset and feel like I'm not human because I don't feel "normal" like everyone else seems to feel. I also get angry because as a female, I feel objectified and less than. I feel victimized all over again, I guess you could say. So I don't watch anything new, I don't go to see anything new. I'm buried in habit.
I've observed other survivors in the past and it seemed to me that no one else has the same feelings about this content.
I was just triggered recently completely out of the blue and that propelled me to do this. I'm trying to filter what I say, so I hope I'm making sense. Thanks.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
It is a symptom of C/PTSD to avoid things that might trigger you. Many of us here have problems even leaving the house. You aren't alone. As part of my self-care I don't watch violence on TV. The only reason I watch TV is to sit with my mother. It's also normal in C/PTSD to feel less than. I felt that way all my life until I worked through a lot with therapy. I get dizzy and have chest pain if I go to the movies. It's all a part of living with this illness.
 
It is a symptom of C/PTSD to avoid things that might trigger you. Many of us here have problems even leaving the house. You aren't alone. As part of my self-care I don't watch violence on TV. The only reason I watch TV is to sit with my mother. It's also normal in C/PTSD to feel less than. I felt that way all my life until I worked through a lot with therapy. I get dizzy and have chest pain if I go to the movies. It's all a part of living with this illness.
Yes therapy has been something I had been lacking. I actually am in the process of fixing things so I can afford it again. I've had so little therapy, except for the temporary help I've gotten, like IOPs. I get so hopeless sometimes that I feel like I'm stuck in it and it's part of who I am.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sideways

Moderator
no one else has the same feelings about this content.
Nah - people don't always show that "this is really distressing for me". For me personally? Stuff I watch that upsets me tends not to sink in till I'm alone, often when I go to bed. I very often have nightmares after I've watched something too close to the bone.
So I don't watch anything new, I don't go to see anything new. I'm buried in habit.
Putting aside "it's normal to watch tv and films", this is perhaps a really smart coping strategy for where you are right now, yeah? Something distresses you, so you exercise some self-compassion and choose not to do that distressing thing. That's a smart move.

Two things: is it making your life worse not watching anything new? If so, then it's something to work on. You could start by choosing things that are very unlikely to contain distressing content. There's a reason this Kids films suggestions thread got so many replies. You're not alone.

Second, this isn't necessarily permanent. As you recover (needs work, takes time), you're very likely to find that the amount of things that are distressing, and the amount of things you avoid, will decrease substantially.

Me personally? I haven't been to the movies in years. I'm used to not seeing the latest big film till years later. I watch stuff at home where I can hit Stop and walk away if I need to.
 
Yes I find it waxes and wanes. If I'm very symptomatic it is worse. If I heal more overall it is better. If I'm exhausted or anxious or ill it's worse. If I can process over time or re-associate a trigger with something else it becomes neutral or manageable. Managing anxiety is huge. Stress is a terrible contributor.

I'm not sure we can ever know what anyone else is thinking. But it's ok to be different. The biggest gain in getting older for me is realizing it really isn't that important what others want or do as what comforts me, comforts me. And like @Sideways said sometimes avoidance is ok, especially recognizing and acknowledging what your capacity to handle atm is, and choosing wisely. Also self care, bathing, resting, sleeping, eating, grounding, treating yourself with more kindness.

One of the bigger useful things I think too is communicating, and also stopping running yourself down. To think of it in a more factual sense- when x occurs, y happens. Which says nothing about the core of you as a person. Like if you said if I eat strawberries I throw up. Well for you right now that is something you know about yourself, and it may be that way or change eventually but it just is what it is.

Welcome to you!
 

Friday

Moderator
I've observed other survivors in the past and it seemed to me that no one else has the same feelings about this content.
People have different “things” that get to them.

For some it’s audio/visual, like films & TV, or witnessing events in person.
Others are strictly audio & can’t hand music &/or sounds.
Some are very tactile, and it’s the feeling of XYZ (sun on their skin, the damp in the dark, the weight of their own bodies on themselves, etc.).
For others it’s interpersonal.
Et Cetera.

Which isn’t to say that any/all external cues cannot stress or trigger someone, just that most people tend to have a specific kind of range that is ABSOLUTELY!!! intolerable to them, or fragile, or prone to cause explosive reactions.

Makes sense if you think about how people have different learning styles, because people take in & process information differently. Those who learn BEST by seeing, hearing, doing; solo, small groups, large groups, etc. Since the way we acquire, store, access, & associated information is different for all of us? And triggers/stressors are information our brain has acquired & stored & associates “incorrectly” (at best), whilst trauma gets kept in the present rather than relegated to memory? It makes sense that those glitches would hit people differently. Either in their best, least, or neither sought out nor disregarded channels for learning.

Nah - people don't always show that "this is really distressing for me". For me personally? Stuff I watch that upsets me tends not to sink in till I'm alone, often when I go to bed. I very often have nightmares after I've watched something too close to the bone.
Also? This.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
I don’t watch anything without checking it first Unconsenting Media and does the dog die app. The app is one off cost and it’s brilliant it’s generally kept updated. Failing that IMBd has a parents guide does kinda give spoilers but idk about that. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve not been able to find a show or film with those 3 things.

Some of the most innocuous shows and film have rape scenes. It’s totally unnecessary in 90% of the cases. The phoenix moment when trauma causes generally women characters to become more powerful or focused. It just feeds into this idea what doesn’t kill you bullshit.

You’re definitely not alone I’ve worked on most of my triggers (some are going better than others, it’s a work in progress) that can occur in every day life. I just don’t see the point in desensitising myself to rape scenes it’s not media I want to consume or financially back. It’s purpose is to shock or disgust or cause deep empathy to the victim. It’s generally lazy writing chuck that in there for shock value. So it’s perfectly reasonable that I am shocked and disgusted as well as triggered.
 
@Invisigirl_2276 I thought of one more thing with triggers, not sure if it will help or it's just unique to me. I think there's a difference in triggers I've experienced: there's times when I don't know (or don't realize for a long while) what specific thing (object, body position, whatever) is triggering me. Then there's something I know and I just 'react' despite myself. Then there's some I fight overreacting to but they still hit me and usually also later like a ton of bricks. The context shows up in nightmares, as @Sideways said, or I can't sleep at all (more often). And for that last one, I can only use an analogy: if the trigger was a loud drunken angry voice, and it puts me back to childhood, that's one thing. If it puts me back to childhood, and I know I'm maybe coming home to it in the present (as an adult) that's another. And if it puts me back to childhood, reminds me of what I'm coming home to (fear and dread) and now I'm telling myself stories of how this can never end, and happiness and a 'normal' life and family will never be possible, then that is something else again. Especially if surrounded by people who have, or at least appear to have, the opposite, ie the poverty surrounded by affluence theory, And if I am sort of forced to listen and watch and be reminded of what I didn't have, don't have, and believe I will never have. It's both triggering, and yet painful because it extends beyond dealing with the original triggering thing.

Hope that makes sense, I'm not very good at expressing stuff!
 

caroline_13

Confident
Very grateful for this post, although reading it is a little bit scary bc it's bringing some stuff back.

Sometimes just female nudity itself triggers me (because it is so much more common than male nudity, and it's associated in my head with my upbringing.)

Also, all the stupidity and chauvinism/racism that thinks certain harmful things are funny. Associated with my ASSHOLE brother and to a lesser extent my father.

I have learned to find joy and empowerment: different meanings: in things that used to just upset me so much without any "normal" explanation.

I also gravitate to children's movies and don't even understand the appeal of a lot of mainstream movies. I have to say, since my childhood, films have gotten better in terms of their maturity and catering to previously marginalized audiences.

I also much prefer reading a book to watching a film. Books are a great comfort of my life (although even some of those, even if wonderfully written, get to me: I had typed a couple titles here but then deleted them, I'd rather leave them blank). That said, there are some shows and movies that have hit the nail on the head for me: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Alias."

IDK if that is your specific. issue, but just saying there may be t.v. out there for you and when you least expect it, you find it.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Let's make a list:
Expression in eyes
Paint colours on walls
Ping pong tables
any aggression (ever try to watch tv and have no aggressive behaviour?)
Red dodge RAMs
Men with goatees
Kitchens
Car chases
Children crying
etc
etc
etc

I would pass out. Immediately. If it wasn't so damned real it would be laughable. But it wasn't. It destroyed my life.

I watch tv now. Some. I don't like tv shows as a general rule - never have. But I want the choice to watch or not without crazy reactions. I worked hard on getting my baseline anxiety way down and that really helped.

I am going to suggest you don't bash yourself for watching the same things - because it sounds like your nervous system needs predictable right now. Maybe do some research on how to calm the nervous system. That could help immensely over time.

Best wishes....
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
It's different for everyone, what triggers us. Sometimes it's things not even associated with trauma (that I know of ).

I tend to stick to sports and shows that don't have screaming in them as it really bothers me. I have lots of my own media available that doesn't trigger me in any way and stick to that a lot.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I love love love watching films. Time was I would hang out at film festivals and see 4-5 films a day. When life was all about denial of what happened.
Now, if I am in a challenging state of mind: I also watch what I have watched before. Something predictable. May even know all the words. But it's "safe". Otherwise I might start watching about 10 films and turn them all off and then revert to something I've seen before or give up and just think about all the time I've wasted.
Anything can set me off: just a stupid ROM com with its nonsense gender divisions and stupidness about relationships can set me off.

So, you're really not alone.

Hope the current state your in lessens a bit and go get some respite from the hard feelings.
 
Top