Is there a Word for this

Why can’t I accept help without fearing that the person is annoyed and will leave? I have struggled with this concept a lot over the years following the trauma but today something clicked in my head- and it’s left me feeling defeated and scared for NO reason.

A little context:

I had worked a 12 hour shift here in KY overnight- the tornadoes that came through had struck a town less than 20 minutes away from my place of work. People had perished in that storm. Now, I watch over individuals in a single household so it was just me up with all this responsibility while also being absolutely terrified.

I somehow held it together and got us all safety sheltered in the bathrooms- morning came and we were thankfully ok as well as the house too. But when I went home at lunch time I noticed every single sensation was dialed to 20, my boyfriend guided me through a lengthy panic attack and I soon realized I was sleeping in his arms.

Upon the realization I profusely started to apologize and since then (even after his constant reassurance) have been worried sick. What if he’s sick of this? Of me? He has to think I’m weak, that I’m too much. A broken record. This situation happens too often- usually over the assaults and past.

I’m so scared he is going to leave- but he hasn’t shown any sign of leaving. Yet my brain is certain I will be left, he’s my world- but I just know I’ll lose him. I’m going to be alone again. I’m trying so hard to follow through with taking my meds, going to therapy once a week- it’s just not enough.

Is this a normal feeling?

The feeling of fear over losing someone because of your disorders?

The fear of trying hard but ending up just running in place?

The feelings of shame and guilt because it seems like your disorder is your personality?
 

Sideways

Moderator
Is this a normal feeling?
Feelings are inherently 'normal'. That would be my starting point. Because when we've got a big issue like Shame to deal with, personally I like as much of the 'normal' stuff to be nice and clearly out of the way as non-issues as possible.

I think the short answer to your question is yes - I think a lot of people feel really uncomfortable about accepting help. I'm the worst at asking for help, and I feel really uncomfortable when help is offered. It's something I've worked on a lot.

When it starts to enter dysfunctional territory perhaps is when we start feeling ashamed for people just treating us nicely, or offering help when, if it wasn't us on the receiving end, we'd easily recognise that help is totally acceptable/ordinary/par for the course.

An intimate partner being kind, compassionate, supportive, helpful, when you've just been through an experience like that? Is loving, and totally in order.

You don't need to be ashamed about someone being kind to you.

You don't need to be. But, you are. And if you let it? It will gnaw away at really good quality relationships. The Shame monster is a really big one to confront. It takes time, and I think most often a good therapist or therapy program. But you aren't stuck with feeling like this every time someone treats you kindly.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
the two names i have for my renditions of this are, "abandonment syndrome" and "hypervigilance." once my fear of being rejected comes into play, my hypervigilance kicks in to high gear and begins to see evidence of "the inevitable" everywhere i look. my personal m.o. for handling, "the inevitable" is to reject before i can be rejected. if i must endure the pain of rejection, i want to at least control when and where "the inevitable" happens.

my personal handling of this psycho snot knot is to address the hypervigilance first. normal vigilance produced by our normal survival instinct has a physical component of anxiety hormones which allow us to react with heightened speed and strength. with hypervigilance, those hormone shots just keep on coming after the actual threat has passed. those hormones are more potent than methamphetamines. by the third shot, i have the intelligence of a meth head. i will not have full access to my mental capacity until i have purged those excess and very physical chemicals from my system. vigorous physical workouts work best for me in purging those hormones. how long it takes to detox depends on how long i have let the hypervigilance escalate. the earlier i catch it, the easier it is to purge the hormones.

typically, after the detox, i can recognize that the clear and present danger is long gone and enjoy a gentle, compassionate belly laugh at my own residual reactions while making amends to the innocent bystanders who got caught in the path of my strictly personal storm.

but that is me and every case is unique.

gentle support while you sort what it is for you. you are not alone.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Feelings are inherently 'normal'. That would be my starting point.
Yup. It's sort of normal. If you have PTSD you start your day with the kind of stress that most people feel at the end of a stressful day.

On top of that most people with PTSD have some executive function issues (brain fog, forgetfulness,) and frequently something called cognitive distortions. Because everything goes through that Fight Flight Freeze filter on the way in, that's how you perceive things -negatively. Throw in a little hyper-awareness and you can go from here to standing on the curb with your bags in about 30 seconds.

IT'S A LIE. Your PTSD is lying to you. It's twisting everything to be negative, to make you feel bad. Sad part is, the more stressed you are the stronger the negative feelings.

Then you think about your relationship - same filters, same stress, same inevitable overthought out conclusion. Change the story. Change how you communicate so it's clear, no games, just the strait poop. Get grounded and reduce stress before you talk if you can. Clear any misunderstandings quickly and clearly, even if it seems silly. Don't give your PTSD room to affect how you see your other.
 
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