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General Overcoming Anger and Dysregulation in a Marriage with CPTSD

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Braden

Dealing with short tempered people in pain is a lot like dealing with a panic attack… it’s a skill.

If you haven’t had reasons to hone that skill? Because he’s not usually like that, and your own emotions have been blunted? Makes total sense you overreacted, took things personally, and tripped into trauma-land & dysreg.
Where is the best place for family members to “hone” these skills? My wife has CPTSD and I’m good with the validating and supporting her through her trauma responses and dysregulation, but am not perfect. We had a two day spiral that I could t pull out of because I got so hurt and shut down. I said some really mean things and now she’s threatening to leave because I’m unsafe. Really deveststed.
 
We had a two day spiral that I could t pull out of because I got so hurt and shut down.

Honestly, don’t indulge in the spiral. If she’s gonna spiral, she’s gonna spiral. It doesn’t mean you have to get sucked under. It is not your job to regulate her emotions or reactions. Also, it is perfectly normal to be hurt when somebody is lashing out. It doesn’t make you unsafe or toxic or whatever I’m sure you were accused of being. Supporter guilt is a mofo.

I said some really mean things and now she’s threatening to leave because I’m unsafe.

Were they actually mean? Are you really unsafe? Just because she says it doesn’t make it true.

You know who you are. Don’t let her delusions make you think you’re a bad person. That’s another supporter trap. Just because you’re “abusive” or whatever in her head doesn’t make it true in real life. That is her projecting qualities of her abuse/trauma onto you.

It probably sounds a bit blunt or harsh, but you have to detach when she’s acting like that. Do not engage in lashing out behaviors. Set good boundaries. Know who you are. Your feelings are just as valid as hers.

Supporter burnout is real. Take care of yourself.
 
I called 988 a few days ago. They sent me this link and others. I started an online weekly trauma meeting yesterday. It really helped me understand my own reactions to trauma: fight, flight, freeze. I am also signed-up for a NAMI Family Support group on Thursday. I'm hoping to find resources on my own trauma therapist. I've reached out to the local crisis unit and they helped validate the things mentioned about, that I'm not responsible for regulating her emotions and reactions. Unfortunately the situation I'm experiencing has escalated, but I'm seeking help for other people and institutions to support me and my spouse in this crisis.
 
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