My "I Might Get into Trouble"fear

Flossy

MyPTSD Pro
I have C-PTSD. A major block in my coping mechanism of dealing with life is the fear that I will get into trouble. I do not stand up for myself with authority figures. I am sensible when in conversation with them (doctors etc) but do not fight for my viewpoint at the time because of this fear.
My major trauma was my Narcissistic mother.
What can I tell myself that will change this thought pattern. I know it will involve practise but I would love to hear some ideas on how to replace that thought, that I will believe.
Would writing possible outcomes that are based on logic be a good thing to do? I dont respond to things like "I deserve to be heard" It has to be practical for me to use it.
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
For me it was to try one thing and see, hear, feel the outcome. Secondly this occurred within the context of therapy because he knew this and his phrase was two-fold, let’s do something new and have I ever statements. So having been seeing him for years the let’s do something new was challenging but I did do some new things-the have I ever was the more difficult piece because in my head I countered it with, well no you haven’t but you might. I have a medical team, a daily nurse due to medical needs and sometimes my nurse does things that I just can’t do to stand up for myself. However she has been coming daily for a year, so we have a trusting relationship. I can’t comment on the writing idea much as I don’t tend to resolve things that way. I liked the idea of doing something new as the more I practiced the more my thought patterns shifted. The key is how I view the people that I need to do this with. If I can reassure myself that I can trust them then I do the something new piece with them, which may be asking for something I need, saying no to something I am against doing or with my doctor saying this is what I feel is going on with my body what do you think? So maybe change track and find the areas of trust with the people and review it under have they let you down or not been there for you? What happens to us is we view people through the same lense as our abuser and therefore use the same patterns to cope with them. When we step back and recognize the many different people in our lives and reassure ourselves of the qualities we can see in them that they are not a threat, we can offer to ourselves the opportunity to try something new with them in our approach. So if I was trying something new, I would choose one thing, do that. Accept the outcome as it is, knowing they mean well and are working in my best interest. That line there was a very difficult one to believe-but also something my therapist often said. It was a foreign idea that people did things in my best interest, and that they were there to help. all I had to do was let them, and participate in it.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
gentle empathy, flossy. i'm 67 years old and still trying to be "a good girl" and on the lookout for the unpredictable hand of discipline to smack me upside the head for not jumping the proper distance nobody bothered to tell me about. it is, indeed, a major blockage to my healing and growth.

when my fears are riled, i avoid the what ifs as if my life depended on it. i can what if my way to certainty that the aliens are going to kidnap me for their rewiring experiments IF i don't stay masked and socially distant. alternate scenarios a-forming as i fret. i am so compulsive with the what if scenarios that i declared "I.F." to be an acronym for "idiot factor." i work to get the if out of it.

what has worked better in my personal herstory is **just** breathing my way through the panic attacks and deliberately testing the limits after i have calmed down enough to think straight. will mixing plaids and stripes really ruin my reputation? it sounds silly, but i agonized over the junior high gossip for that very crime for a ridiculous number of years. these days i take pride in being, "a fashion train wreck."

i don't know if any of that applies to your case, or not, but. . . gentle support while you sort.
 

Flossy

MyPTSD Pro
gentle empathy, flossy. i'm 67 years old and still trying to be "a good girl" and on the lookout for the unpredictable hand of discipline to smack me upside the head for not jumping the proper distance nobody bothered to tell me about. it is, indeed, a major blockage to my healing and growth.

when my fears are riled, i avoid the what ifs as if my life depended on it. i can what if my way to certainty that the aliens are going to kidnap me for their rewiring experiments IF i don't stay masked and socially distant. alternate scenarios a-forming as i fret. i am so compulsive with the what if scenarios that i declared "I.F." to be an acronym for "idiot factor." i work to get the if out of it.

what has worked better in my personal herstory is **just** breathing my way through the panic attacks and deliberately testing the limits after i have calmed down enough to think straight. will mixing plaids and stripes really ruin my reputation? it sounds silly, but i agonized over the junior high gossip for that very crime for a ridiculous number of years. these days i take pride in being, "a fashion train wreck."

i don't know if any of that applies to your case, or not, but. . . gentle support while you sort.
I think I am at a similar state to you. 68 and still trying to be a good girl. When I do test the waters and it works out, I tend to have the first thought of "shit, I got away with that". As though it was something naughty and not a human right.
Funnily it applies to the way I dress as well. I dream of wearing long flown dresses with twigs in my hair and Queen Mab-like makeup but tend to tone it down the last few years. Thank you for your kindness. I appreciate your understanding.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Another one with a narcissistic mother here (imo).

Sort of talked about this with my T only last week, when I apologised to her about something and her telling me j had nothing to apologise for and that I didn't do anything wrong. Blew my mind. I keep repeating in my head her saying I didn't do anything wrong. Such a powerful thing to hear.
What T suggested to me is to ask myself "what would adult me do in this situation?" , As opposed to feeling/thinking/responding from a child state. That has actually helped because then I can be naunced, and emapthetic (to myself) and rational.. so that might help?

For me, it's this fear of abandonment and shame. If that is the same for you, maybe also working on that?
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
Funnily it applies to the way I dress as well.

me, too, except for the fact that i wanted to be a boy and can't stand makeup, etc. i try to see the humor in this and push myself to actively seek that humor. in the mid 80's, early into both my engineering career and motherhood, i couldn't afford new clothes and blue jeans were over-priced and virtually unavailable in the second-hand stores. "fancy clothes" were virtual giveaways in the second hand stores. i went cheap and fancy, but still the pants "required" in engineer settings. i could get dresses even cheaper, but i wasn't bold enough to wear a dress into an engineer gathering. at that stage, i didn't even know HOW to wear dresses, but they were so cheap that i went ahead and bought a few for around the house. turns out that wearing dresses isn't as complicated as the fashion hounds of the 60's and 70's made it out to be.

my co-workers went into righteous fits the first time i wore pants made of fabric other than denim and a shirt which had buttons. the pressure for me to stick to the blue denim uniform (blue jeans and t-shirt) was tremendous. get my stubborn streak riled, why doncha? i even started wearing dresses to engineering consults.

fast forward to the turn of the millennium and my "boy's clothes" are now high lady's fashion and i am quite fond of dresses, especially the grease-stained ones. the sticks in my hair are still from crawling under machines, but those long, flowing skirts are far more practical for minimizing indecent exposure while i'm getting those sticks in my hair. go figure. the descendants of high fashion ladies who worked so hard to get me into "girl clothes" are now gasping in shock when i wear a dress to a PTA meeting. yes, i am still going to PTA meetings since i inherited 3 young orphans at age 65. that twist still feels like the immaculate conception of triplets.
 

Flossy

MyPTSD Pro
Another one with a narcissistic mother here (imo).

Sort of talked about this with my T only last week, when I apologised to her about something and her telling me j had nothing to apologise for and that I didn't do anything wrong. Blew my mind. I keep repeating in my head her saying I didn't do anything wrong. Such a powerful thing to hear.
What T suggested to me is to ask myself "what would adult me do in this situation?" , As opposed to feeling/thinking/responding from a child state. That has actually helped because then I can be naunced, and emapthetic (to myself) and rational.. so that might help?

For me, it's this fear of abandonment and shame. If that is the same for you, maybe also working on that?
I tend to ask myself now, 'is it reasonable?" "Is it sensible?" which seems to work as I have never been sure if what I thought was those things. I guess that is the same as asking what my adult self would think.
 

Friday

Moderator
I play the “And Then What? Game” when I’m chasing fears that are stuck in a feedback loop.

Whether the fear itself is logical/illogical, IF the fear came to pass? I’d sort it. Maybe not well, maybe not sanely, maybe brilliantly… but whatever it is? It would be a reality. And realities have courses of action to take. So I follow those actual courses of action to their conclusion(s) in my mind. Or on paper. Whatever.
 

Friday

Moderator
It’s also helped a whole lot when my Then & Now are in wildly different worlds.

For example? I hit someone’s dog with my car several years ago, now… and my immediate course of action upon getting home was to start throwing go-bags in the car, dumping personally identifying info into a burn bin; to be fully out of the house & leaving the state within 10 minutes or less, to catch a plane outside of a reasonable perimeter to look for departures.

Because -at one time in my life- the “natural” course of events for killing someone’s dog? Was to have 15 or 30 armed men break into your home, torture your loved ones to death, and set the whole thing on fire. That is NOT the world I was/am currently living in.

But sitting myself down to PARSE that? Was soooooo excruciatingly painful as every instinct was screaming at me that I was wasting time & endagering everyone I loved.

THEN - And Then What? = Easy. You kill someone’s dog. And then what? They come after you. And then what? You either run, fight, or die badly. So if we run, then what? If we fight, then what? Etc. <<< Note how there are (often!) multiple and then what branches to follow. >>> It was just me, the baby, and my husband… so we couldn’t fight. Not and stand any kind of chance against a superior force. So, clearly? We needed to run.

NOW - And Then What? = Soooooo hard when my head was stuck in the past.

You kill someone’s dog.
And then what?
You’re sad. And they’re sad.
And then what?
That’s it. -or- They shout. -or- They sue you.
Oh.
We’re looking at being shouted at or sued. As the worst possible outcome.
Right.

***
I don’t always go to the trouble of separating out Then&Now when I’m dealing with misc. fears & anxieties & hypervig. It’s smarter when I DO, but it’s often (much!) faster to simply game out courses of action I’ll never need to take, just to relieve the stress when I’m already stressed/symptomatic/busy. It helps that I KNOW I’m doing this? Pretty sure it helps. At least in the whole reality-check, thing. And it MASSIVELY helps my stress levels. It’s just also not the sanest of courses to take.

For example?

I had 3 different exit strategies (aside from the door, which would “clearly” be blocked) from my T’s office… in the eventuality <cough> …of it being stormed by armed men. As well as came dressed in one of those layer changes of clothes that mean I can look like someone completely different with very little effort. And a few other “precautions” we won’t even go into right now.

Yep. Not a sane premise in the NOW.
Totally sane premise THEN.
 

MaplePancake

Learning
I relate a lot. I was actually thinking of posting something similar. This is a tough problem to work through. I will respond quickly to your remark about doctors. They really do not want to dominate or control you. Their goal is to treat your illness and if they misunderstand something about your symptoms or how you are responding to a treatment they will be happy if you set the record straight. It is just part and parcel of doing business for them. As for more general fear of authority I will have to think more. I don’t have anything useful to say at the moment
 
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