No one reaches out - everything is always up to me

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not quite sure how to explain all of this. I played the middle growing up; my mom would tell me something to tell my dad (and vice versa). They never talked to each other, except through me. It was exhausting.

Growing up and always, it seems, no one ever reached out to me - to ask me if I was ok, to do anything more than to ask stuff of me. Would I do this? That? And frequently, there has not been follow-up. Like, someone would ask me to do something - expect me to do something - and then not provide any further info.

This happened a LOT. And I think I'm realizing how huge a trigger it is for me now. I got an email in July from the minister at our church asking me if I wanted to help with the pet blessing service - I said yes and asked her to let me know what she needed me to do - and then never heard from her again. The service is on Sunday. I'm feeling angry and, although I don't want to just not show up, I also don't want to go. At all.

She's done this to me before. They asked me to take on a leadership role, then when I emailed her with some info I needed her assistance with, and she never responded. There was also a time before that. I know she gets the email; when she doesn't respond, I feel completely disregarded.

It's happened before as well with my then-massage therapist (took her 3 weeks to respond to me after telling me to use email) and my nutritionist.

I always have to figure out everything for myself. And I just don't feel strong enough to do it anymore.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I hear you.

It's too much.

Is there a way of putting a boundary in and explaining your expectation? Like emailing the minister and saying, I never heard from you about the service this Sunday so assume you have it all sorted.
Put it back onto her?

I just put a boundary like that in. I was selling my car and getting really stressed about whether people would show up when they said they were coming to view it. Two people didn't and rather than take control and ask them to confirm, I spent the day panicking. And then they never showed. The third person, I explained to them I needed them to confirm by 11am and if not I will assume they aren't coming. And they said they understood , and they confirmed by 9am and they turned up! (And bought the car). So putting that boundary in worked for me on that occasion. I felt in control.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I can understand how that would be triggering. It's unfair how your parents treated you.

As far as your current situation, what is stressing you more? The unknown or the idea you have to do something? If it's the unknown I would reach out again. Maybe by phone (I hate the phone). Tell her you really need to know what's happening and set a deadline. If you feel like you can't manage it's ok to set a boundary and say that due to the lack of clarity of what's happening your not comfortable doing it.
 
I hear you too.

My father used to say 'they'll flog a willing horse to death' and he was right. No is a very small word but probably the most scary to say, and its also the most empowering. If you're asked to be piggy in the middle again, or to do something for someone else, take a deep breath and think about if you actually want to do it or not. You are under no obligation to anyone but yourself.
 

Friday

Moderator
No one. Everything. Always.

You know what ^^^these^^^ mean, right?

Cognitive Distortions don’t just happen because of PTSD, they happen when emotions are running hot, and for a lot of other reasons.

Can they also NOT be cognitive distortions? Sure. But I can tell you right now that they’re not, since the whole thing starts with people reaching out to you… they’re seeking your help, but either not following up, or not responding in a timely matter. So it’s less a case of a problem you’ve created by the people you surround yourself with (IE people who don’t reach out, full stop), and more a case of…

- your being frustrated with HOW the people in your life reach out to you,
- overreacting due to triggers and stressors surrounding exactly that.

So there are really 3 prongs of attack, here, as I see it;

- Change the people you surround yourself with, to people who communicate in ways that you yourself prefer.

- Learn to accept the people you choose not to replace -with different people who communicate more to your liking- as they are, & judge them individually based on their own merits. Your minister is good at gauging interest but not marshaling her resources, meanwhile your massage therapist & nutritionist suck at the admin side of their jobs, etc.

- Work on the triggers/stressors/trauma that create this monumental blowback unrelated to WHY these people are in your life (spiritual guidance, skill sets, Etc.), but are ruining the relationship, because of people from your past with similar attributes.
 
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whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Is there a way of putting a boundary in and explaining your expectation? Like emailing the minister and saying, I never heard from you about the service this Sunday so assume you have it all sorted.
Put it back onto her?
I actually did just this. And have decided I'm not going on Sunday.
what is stressing you more? The unknown or the idea you have to do something? If it's the unknown I would reach out again. Maybe by phone (I hate the phone). Tell her you really need to know what's happening and set a deadline. If you feel like you can't manage it's ok to set a boundary and say that due to the lack of clarity of what's happening your not comfortable doing it.
It was mostly not hearing from her and not knowing what if anything was expected.
If you're asked to be piggy in the middle again, or to do something for someone else, take a deep breath and think about if you actually want to do it or not. You are under no obligation to anyone but yourself.
Yeah, I *did* want to do the thing Sunday. *shrug*
But I can tell you right now that they’re not, since the whole thing starts with people reaching out to you…
Actually, what I said was that no one reached out to me...to do anything more than to ask stuff of me. That's exactly what happened here. And exactly what happens the vast majority (is that better?) of the time.

There are actually two issues here and, like I said, I was having some trouble explaining things.

overreacting due to triggers and stressors surrounding exactly that.
Yes, in the moment. But I absolutely don't believe I overreact generally...

Your minister is good at gauging interest but not marshaling her resources,
Oh, but she is. It's one of her strongest points. Which is part of the issue...
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Cognitive Distortions don’t just happen because of PTSD, they happen when emotions are running hot, and for a lot of other reasons.
I think all you missed @Friday was that its here that avoidance kicks up too. So...for people that are known for not communicating I made sure there was a checkpoint and and understanding like, "I need to hear from you with your expectations for what I need to do by DATE or I will not be able to help out."

Because I know I won't be able to pick up the phone and call if they slip up.
 
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