Need to attend location of recent retraumatisation

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KathK

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Hi,
Short version, cptsd from childhood traumas compounded by a few as an adult, then between carer burnout and flare of ptsd (was subpoenaed to give witness victim testimony though at last minute this perp pleaded guilty without hearing so I was spared actually taking the stand) I was having flare of physical chronic conditions and had to attend the hospital where a clinician supposedly trained in trauma informed care caused acute trauma and I went into a fugue until I walked in and shut the door at home (I’ve spoken with the manager of that clinician including getting training put into practice, manager was fabulous). I now have to attend the hospital for a procedure, just an hour or so, and I’m having panic attacks just at the memory of having to attend the hospital grounds even though this is the opposite side of the hospital, and I can’t drive past without panic attacks. I know all my techniques and have backup meds if needed but I can’t take much as I have to drive. Ideas ? I don’t presently have a regular psychologist as just started with one I’m trialling though she’s never worked with adults or survivors so is probably too inexperienced, and my GP has been fabulous and I’ve been trying to do exposure on my own but I don’t know how I’ll get into the building or sit for the infusion especially having to drive and walk the dog after. Thanks peeps, hope you’re having a lull in symptoms, Kath
 
I know all my techniques and have backup meds if needed but I can’t take much as I have to drive. Ideas ?
Most basically, if the drive is what prevents the med-backup? Cab/Uber/Similar.

Not necessarily from home.

Driving to somewhere you feel good hanging out with the dog whilst the meds start working / wear off.

Altering visual & olfactory triggers can help as well. Very colored sunglasses (pink, purple, blue, yellow, whatever) & a spritz in your mask or dab under your nose of perfume or camphor
 
Hi. Thanks for the suggestion. There’s no buses locally and I don’t have money to pay for transport so driving was the only option. Between meds, sensory items, distraction grounding/breathing, and having nurses I feel safe with as I attended the day unit as a carer last year so know a couple of the staff and they were very supportive and considerate (I was upfront about recent medical trauma), I got through, albeit high panic and arousal despite everything and had to work really hard not to leg it. I can’t completely avoid my local hospital, but for now I think I can keep most things to virtual/phone . Over an hour since I left and still very much panicky. Puppy helping but I’m wiped from the level of panic, just going to receive a medical treatment and feels like a month long ordeal. I know it’s not necessarily forever, but right now it feels I’ll never be able to go even to an outpatient appointment at the hospital without fear and panic. You knows
 
but right now it feels I’ll never be able to go even to an outpatient appointment at the hospital without fear and panic.
Ever worked on eliminating triggers stressors?

 
Ever worked on eliminating triggers stressors?

I’ll read through properly. I’ve had to work through a few triggering situations before with a version of exposure therapy, such as after an assault in my kitchen I was reactive just looking that way then with things to help ground/distract/manage arousal I progressively entered doorway or reached into the fridge, then entered for moments and built up from there, initially having peer phone support then moving to music/audiobooks, and after a few months I could enter the kitchen for short periods with only mild arousal; a few years on and I have no challenges entering the kitchen when needed for whatever time is needed. I know there’s similarities but this feels different as I could control who entered my home (the person was banned for a few years and very strict guidelines and boundaries with safety backups if any rare visits now as not someone easy to cut off from).
I’ll read the link, but I don’t presently have a therapist who can work with me on this, though with the kitchen incident the therapist wasn’t helpful but a friend with lived experience was there on the phone supporting and mentoring me through. Maybe I can try it without a therapist, see how I go
 
I have no bright idea sorry but wanted to offer you some solidarity. I'm in a similar situation and as time goes on it's only got more and more entrenched. Exposure unfortunately only made me feel worse, even tiny amounts were sending me spiraling and it left me feeling like it was something else I'd failed at. I'm sorry it's so hard. I use earphones with loud music to try and distract me and actively try and dissociate into the music. Not ideal, but it's the best solution I've come up with for the time being.
 
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