Keep On Crashing When I Get Home

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This is crazy! I'm okay when I'm out and about - well, I'm not crashing - but when I get home I feel the pull inside to crash, like I'm being sucked inside myself and getting smaller. I have a great partner who I love like nothing before but, for some reason, I shrink when I'm around her, I become afraid and hyper-sensitive. We've been together for 3 years now but the symptoms I describe above have only recently started to show.

Does anyone else with PTSD get this? Gotta talk to my psych about it.


yes i do. when ever i go out for more than a couple of hour's. im not sure if its my M.S. or my PTSD or both.
Also when I do alot of house work or gro. shoping. Being out in crowded places is really a big trigger too.
i thought i was the only one, thank you for you post.


Poff (like the shortened version...hope you don't mine),

I really think that once we get home (safe place) all the guards we've had in place all day come off and everything that's been pushed aside during the day gets to be dealt with. That's just me, mind you. Although I have noticed quite an improvement with myself as I'm managing my stress better throughout the day rather than at the end.

Usually my weekends are my crash time schedules, doing things that need to be done (laundry, grocery, etc.) on my whim. I also am finding out what my husband has known for years...a good nap is a wonderful thing.


Two things that my therapist is having me do. When I am out and about stop and notice things and my reactions. Switch into a clinician mode and notice things from a scientific stand point. Notice too what is happening inside. Where is the stress building. Usually in my stomach. It gets tight. I think when I am out and about I quickly shut down because falling apart in the open is not the proper thing to do and so like Marlene said when we're home that is our safe place.

The second thing which takes much more bravery on my part is to take some time at home sit down and bring the feeling up but this time systematically attack it from the aspect of fear. So lets say while at the mall, I smelled the guy who was talking to me behind the counter and he had alcohol on his breath. Wham...the adrenaline memory sets in. Then I ask why did the alcohol smell make me want to get away fast. What scared me or what was I afraid of to have that reaction. I follow the fear down and find it reminds me of my mom when she used to hover over me drunk and yell and scream and abuse me. So a now experience is taking me back to a then experience. They are different and now I can separate the two.

A side note I am recently discovering that most of my memories are somatic or of my body and not visual memories or even remembering memories. There are no words so it is matter of bringing up the body memory and just keep asking why does that scare me and eventually I can see where it lands in a core fear.

As far as recoiling from your partner. My past trauma made me want to be left alone or I was alone in dealing with my trauma in silent fear. So when people want to comfort me I don't respond well. I want to be left alone to process it as I have always done...alone. PTSD is now allowing me to see how my processing needs management.

My experience only,


I understand what you say Patty and that is a great way to look at it, I just have a hard time slowing down my thoughts enough to look at it from another point of view. I guess practice is the only way to do that.

I totally recoil and go inside, my husband is left to figure out what is going on by himself. I do the same thing with my therapist, I am terrible at role playing, I get uncomfortable and I shut down and then he has lost me for the rest of the session. Frustrating, I really try not to let it happen and I acknowledge that it does but I can't get out of that hole once I am in there, know what I mean. How do you do that?



Writing is what helped me learn to slow down the thoughts. Bullet points to get the gist of the thought out. Every once in a while my mind will stop on a thought and I can write more before the next thought comes. I forget from one thought to the next (hence why I thought I was going crazy) but at least I could get enough down that when later I read it back I can sometimes pick up the thought again and finish it out.

And with regard to therapy and husband...It just makes me remember that just yesterday I was able to say to my therapist that I am afraid to open up because I am afraid that after therapy when I am all alone the emotions will hit me and I just don't have the power or will any more to hang on. They are there but they are too much to handle alone. He was great and asked what we could do to make that a safer process. I ended up needing his reassurance that he wouldn't abandon me and stop therapy. For some reason I am convinced that I will be smack in overwhelm and all help will leave...which I just followed that out and see how no one ever came to the rescue during my abuse. They would show and see but then they would act as if everything was okay. So monarch I guess you could say that it is the fear of being stuck in pain and not being able to get out that keeps me shut down.
Hope that helps.


gosh, it is nice to know that I am not alone, I talk to my therapist all the time about that. Our thing is that we switch gears and talk about something else for the last 10 minutes of the session, something in the present that is pleasing and that tends to keep me rooted in the present. I am the same trouble with being afraid that my therapist will "give up" on me, he assured me that he has no intention of doing that, but so many people have given up on me in the past I just have a hard time believe him, it lives inside me to be scared of abandonment.

I tend to write alot and that helps but when I am out and about, say shopping and that feeling hits me smack in the face like I am going to die right then and there I freeze, I can't think or I can't slow things down enough to think.

I really hate this thing that I have, this PTSD it is not my fault that I have it but I am stuck with it and now it plagues my life and my families life. I have almost run away twice now because I don't want to hurt them anymore.

It is hard on a family.


hello again, p'off'd

Hi, I have the same problem with feeling better away from home, then feeling extremely anxious while at home. In fact, when I get up in the morning, I wake with extreme anxiety and cannot move fast enough to get out of the house. Often I just go into work early just so I don't have to be at home. Mornings are the worst time of day for me. Weekends are especially hard because I don't work then, so I have to deal with the mornings by being at home.

I also tend to get more anxious when the time is coming for me to go home at the end of the work day. I attribute most of this to coming home where my husband will be soon. He swears to me that he loves me, but I have had great difficulty in being around him. I have learned through therapy that one of my coping mechanisms has been to be mad at him (or anybody else) instead of dealing with my feelings of fear that come about when I'm with him (will he abandon me soon because he's sick of dealing with me and my anxiety and depression all the time?) Abandonment is probably the central issue with me, and is on my mind with every relationship I ever had/have.

My therapist has encouraged me to let go of my discomfort and anger toward my husband and just feel the feelings, no matter how anxious or depressed they make me. Obviously, they don't make me feel so bad that I am in danger of harming myself. But I'll tell you, feeling all of my feelings like this is terrifying and makes me literally shake down to the bone, internally and externally. I've started having more nightmares and have developed sleep problems. When I wake up in the morning there is no sense of even a few seconds of peace. As soon as I wake, there is the horror of another day of hyper anxiety and trying to deal with it.

I have been doing a lot of writing in the trauma diary, but also by hand at home and that has led to some break throughs. I also see an individ. therapist that has helped me a lot and as part of marriage counseling with my husband there, have made some headway. I read entries in this forum from time to time, but only when I feel the need. I am actively working very hard to dissect and repair my retarded emotional self and to learn how to accept the losses and to deal with all of these feelings in a healthier way.

Sorry this has become more about me, but I wanted to let you know that I understand very well how you feel and how I am working at trying to be comfortable at home too. I am envious of you that you feel love toward your wife. I'm still having trouble feeling that for my husband and don't know if it's because I'm 'stopped up', or if over this long period of time I really have fallen 'out' of love with him.
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