Paranoia - Unable to confront family and friends

GoneBy

New Here
Hi everyone, first of all I must say that this site has helped me a lot in the sense of not feeling hopeless as well as understanding a lot more about PTSD.
Although I'm undiagnosed, I've been to two therapists that have diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety respectfully, and neither have lead me into feeling any better. I'll also try to not extend myself too much, since it's a kind of complicated story.
Basically, there's a belief in me that my family and friends are aware that I have "something" and therefore I'm crazy. Putting it this way makes a lot of sense that the previous Ts had just told me that I'm just "too anxious" about the situation. It all started when I was going thru really bad depression and anxiety (I was broke, and had to live a double-life making everyone believe I was fine when I was barely eating) when my ex-roommates tried to "scare me" with beating me up because I "disrespected" them, and wanted to teach me a lesson. I used to smoke a lot of weed as a coping mechanism, and by that time I hadn't smoked in a while, so I got reaaally high, to the point of bad tripping. So they basically waited until I was in this state to try and scare me. In my head nothing made any sense, since we had all had been hanging out previously. At some point I even stood up and told them "Hey, I have a feeling that these is happening, but I don't want to freak out about a misinterpretation since I have really bad anxiety attacks" (stupid me to think they would be honest) they of course denied everything but kept on and of course, the panic started to build up. I tried to talk about it but it became too much to control since I was also pretty stoned. Of course I snapped by the inconsistency of their words and their actions so I went into this screaming stated, accusing them of things while they kept denying everything. I know that until this point it sounds that I was just paranoid/overreacting due to being high, but the moment I started to calm down they tell me "I almost believed it" like if I was just putting on a show to avoid a beatdown. I remember to be dissociating at that moment and just not reacting to anything, so I went home, of course feeling guilty. But at the same time trying to process what had really happened and if they were telling the truth, or that if I really read their actions since the beginning and they just played along with my panic attack.

That situation left me exhausted and I thought of going to therapy, but depression could barely make take a bath once every 3-5 days so it was just easier to isolate myself.
This situation kept repeating a lot (they kept inviting me to our old flat), up to 2 times a week, since in my mind "it was my fault for acting that way" and I was trying to reintegrate into my old life (again, silly me). I would go there, they'd give me weed but they would not smoke, and then start talking in double sense about the "bad things" I did while we lived together and I would start panicking and dissociate. I remember that they would also start watching UFC brutal knockdowns and street fight compilations (we literally never did this while living together) while I was there, panicking and trying to "not loose my shit like in the past", while also having small spasms due to the muscle tension. It also got into a point that everything that I would say, could be misinterpreted so I was just having to pick the right words or just straight up not talk. It was winter, so the cold could not help but make me tremble as well (I'm from a much hotter zone). Even tho I was aware all this was happening, I was still trying to give it a "coherent sense" since nothing made sense for me. After these "sessions" I would even apologize to them "just in case I said something bad while high" like if I had no control over my body. From this point it would just keep getting worse (I've also realized this is getting way longer than I expected, so imma try to wrap up) and the gaslight was more than evident (even tho at that time I was not aware really aware of the term, nor anxiety/depression topics)

I managed to switch jobs and home, to try and improve my situation, but the exact same thing started happening at my new job. It was a small town, so it was easy for the rumors about the "fearful/pussy crazy guy" to spread easily, but once again I was determined it was all in my mind and that I had to let that go.

Note: I had no way of support nor anyone to talk about it during this situation, so I just lived with it in silence to not have my parents worried (we lived in different towns)

Things just kept getting worse, and since people realized I was always dissociating/panicking, it was way easier for them to pick on the gossip and come up with a more distorted rumor.
This kept happening for about 2 years, until I had enough. At this point the PTSD symptoms where showing off (me, still unaware of what it was, and that I was just "imaging it all"), to the point that it distorted every single aspect of my life. I could not confront people/abusers, because the fear of me snapping was way bigger + the anxiety + the social anxiety of them believing I'm crazy for coming up with "such things". Even my landlord and all the people I met, as well as friends of friends were aware of it, but my closest circle would just act so normal with me, that it only lead me more to believe that I was the crazy one.

Note2: I have narcissistic and emotionally immature parents, so I grew up to be a people pleaser and never getting in any conflict, plus emotionally neglected


Long story short, I moved back to my hometown thinking I would be "safe" but things started to get absurd again. To the point that people I've never met before know my triggers, and do it on purpose, just to see "if the rumors are true".
It's hard for me to confront them due to the past situations, so I just sit there spiraling and dissociating, like if I knew what they were doing and they knew that I knew what they were doing but could do nothing due to the nature of how all things happen, and all that happened. It was hard to digest, since I also had close friends trying to trigger me, which somehow let me to feel guilty, for thinking my close friends could do things like that, and of course, debating if I should just ask them or not. That, of course, led me to not having a close trustful circle.

I'm going to see a psychiatrist next year, and was expecting to get support from my family and friends, but we go back to the title of all this.

*How do you tell someone if they've heard that I'm crazy, without them thinking I'm crazy for asking them that?
*What if all this time they knew, but tried to make a "safe" environment for me by not talking about it?
*What if they actually think I'm crazy (parents think mental health does not exist) and they just live with it because they don't know how to live/deal with this situation?
*What if everything that happened was just life and I could just not deal with it?


All this just creates a great feel of shame, guilt, and self-hatred for not being able to stand for myself in some situations. Even tho I'm aware that those situations can just be "enhanced" by my symptoms. Some days I can totally connect the dots and makes sense that I was gaslighted and taken advantage of, other days I tell myself that I'm the one that caused every single one of the situations that I've been trough, and I'm just looking for someone to point out. Sometimes I appreciate my family and friends for still being there despite all that has happened, others I hate them and myself for living a lie and just go with it like if nothing happens. I've had months without a single trigger, but everything has become unbearable again due to things that have happened recently (random people that I don't know trying to trigger me)

I'm so lost once again, and in great fear that nothing of this happened the way I saw it and its a totally different perspective. But there are so many things that I went thru that felt so real, I just don't know anymore. Neither who I am, the life I'm living, the people I know. It's like just a façade of "life goes on", but knowing its a lie and being unable to do anything.


Anyway, I gathered the strength to write all this (this is the first time I've talked about it in like 5 years) because my brother was "defending my depression" (I haven't showered in days, I've barely moved from bed) and I overheard him say I was crazy. I really want to believe it was paranoia due to the nature of my "trauma" and that I misheard that.

I say "trauma" because I'm aware people have gone thru way worse situations, and my story just sounds stupid to me as well, which causes great guilt everytime the intrusive thoughts are back. I really look up to all the amazing and strong people that have managed to get up, and just keep on living, because living has become an unbearable feat.

Feel free to ask any question, give your points of view or just relate to it in any way, maybe what I just need at the moment is to vent a bit...
 

GoneBy

New Here
Just to discard it was a "rookie first bad trip" I must add that I was a regular smoker. Used to smoke everyday, up to 3 times a day and had a great tolerance to it, so the fact that I can barely smell it now its really concerning as well
 

caroline_13

MyPTSD Pro
Hi everyone, first of all I must say that this site has helped me a lot in the sense of not feeling hopeless as well as understanding a lot more about PTSD.
Although I'm undiagnosed, I've been to two therapists that have diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety respectfully, and neither have lead me into feeling any better. I'll also try to not extend myself too much, since it's a kind of complicated story.
Basically, there's a belief in me that my family and friends are aware that I have "something" and therefore I'm crazy. Putting it this way makes a lot of sense that the previous Ts had just told me that I'm just "too anxious" about the situation. It all started when I was going thru really bad depression and anxiety (I was broke, and had to live a double-life making everyone believe I was fine when I was barely eating) when my ex-roommates tried to "scare me" with beating me up because I "disrespected" them, and wanted to teach me a lesson. I used to smoke a lot of weed as a coping mechanism, and by that time I hadn't smoked in a while, so I got reaaally high, to the point of bad tripping. So they basically waited until I was in this state to try and scare me. In my head nothing made any sense, since we had all had been hanging out previously. At some point I even stood up and told them "Hey, I have a feeling that these is happening, but I don't want to freak out about a misinterpretation since I have really bad anxiety attacks" (stupid me to think they would be honest) they of course denied everything but kept on and of course, the panic started to build up. I tried to talk about it but it became too much to control since I was also pretty stoned. Of course I snapped by the inconsistency of their words and their actions so I went into this screaming stated, accusing them of things while they kept denying everything. I know that until this point it sounds that I was just paranoid/overreacting due to being high, but the moment I started to calm down they tell me "I almost believed it" like if I was just putting on a show to avoid a beatdown. I remember to be dissociating at that moment and just not reacting to anything, so I went home, of course feeling guilty. But at the same time trying to process what had really happened and if they were telling the truth, or that if I really read their actions since the beginning and they just played along with my panic attack.

That situation left me exhausted and I thought of going to therapy, but depression could barely make take a bath once every 3-5 days so it was just easier to isolate myself.
This situation kept repeating a lot (they kept inviting me to our old flat), up to 2 times a week, since in my mind "it was my fault for acting that way" and I was trying to reintegrate into my old life (again, silly me). I would go there, they'd give me weed but they would not smoke, and then start talking in double sense about the "bad things" I did while we lived together and I would start panicking and dissociate. I remember that they would also start watching UFC brutal knockdowns and street fight compilations (we literally never did this while living together) while I was there, panicking and trying to "not loose my shit like in the past", while also having small spasms due to the muscle tension. It also got into a point that everything that I would say, could be misinterpreted so I was just having to pick the right words or just straight up not talk. It was winter, so the cold could not help but make me tremble as well (I'm from a much hotter zone). Even tho I was aware all this was happening, I was still trying to give it a "coherent sense" since nothing made sense for me. After these "sessions" I would even apologize to them "just in case I said something bad while high" like if I had no control over my body. From this point it would just keep getting worse (I've also realized this is getting way longer than I expected, so imma try to wrap up) and the gaslight was more than evident (even tho at that time I was not aware really aware of the term, nor anxiety/depression topics)

I managed to switch jobs and home, to try and improve my situation, but the exact same thing started happening at my new job. It was a small town, so it was easy for the rumors about the "fearful/pussy crazy guy" to spread easily, but once again I was determined it was all in my mind and that I had to let that go.

Note: I had no way of support nor anyone to talk about it during this situation, so I just lived with it in silence to not have my parents worried (we lived in different towns)

Things just kept getting worse, and since people realized I was always dissociating/panicking, it was way easier for them to pick on the gossip and come up with a more distorted rumor.
This kept happening for about 2 years, until I had enough. At this point the PTSD symptoms where showing off (me, still unaware of what it was, and that I was just "imaging it all"), to the point that it distorted every single aspect of my life. I could not confront people/abusers, because the fear of me snapping was way bigger + the anxiety + the social anxiety of them believing I'm crazy for coming up with "such things". Even my landlord and all the people I met, as well as friends of friends were aware of it, but my closest circle would just act so normal with me, that it only lead me more to believe that I was the crazy one.

Note2: I have narcissistic and emotionally immature parents, so I grew up to be a people pleaser and never getting in any conflict, plus emotionally neglected


Long story short, I moved back to my hometown thinking I would be "safe" but things started to get absurd again. To the point that people I've never met before know my triggers, and do it on purpose, just to see "if the rumors are true".
It's hard for me to confront them due to the past situations, so I just sit there spiraling and dissociating, like if I knew what they were doing and they knew that I knew what they were doing but could do nothing due to the nature of how all things happen, and all that happened. It was hard to digest, since I also had close friends trying to trigger me, which somehow let me to feel guilty, for thinking my close friends could do things like that, and of course, debating if I should just ask them or not. That, of course, led me to not having a close trustful circle.

I'm going to see a psychiatrist next year, and was expecting to get support from my family and friends, but we go back to the title of all this.

*How do you tell someone if they've heard that I'm crazy, without them thinking I'm crazy for asking them that?
*What if all this time they knew, but tried to make a "safe" environment for me by not talking about it?
*What if they actually think I'm crazy (parents think mental health does not exist) and they just live with it because they don't know how to live/deal with this situation?
*What if everything that happened was just life and I could just not deal with it?


All this just creates a great feel of shame, guilt, and self-hatred for not being able to stand for myself in some situations. Even tho I'm aware that those situations can just be "enhanced" by my symptoms. Some days I can totally connect the dots and makes sense that I was gaslighted and taken advantage of, other days I tell myself that I'm the one that caused every single one of the situations that I've been trough, and I'm just looking for someone to point out. Sometimes I appreciate my family and friends for still being there despite all that has happened, others I hate them and myself for living a lie and just go with it like if nothing happens. I've had months without a single trigger, but everything has become unbearable again due to things that have happened recently (random people that I don't know trying to trigger me)

I'm so lost once again, and in great fear that nothing of this happened the way I saw it and its a totally different perspective. But there are so many things that I went thru that felt so real, I just don't know anymore. Neither who I am, the life I'm living, the people I know. It's like just a façade of "life goes on", but knowing its a lie and being unable to do anything.


Anyway, I gathered the strength to write all this (this is the first time I've talked about it in like 5 years) because my brother was "defending my depression" (I haven't showered in days, I've barely moved from bed) and I overheard him say I was crazy. I really want to believe it was paranoia due to the nature of my "trauma" and that I misheard that.

I say "trauma" because I'm aware people have gone thru way worse situations, and my story just sounds stupid to me as well, which causes great guilt everytime the intrusive thoughts are back. I really look up to all the amazing and strong people that have managed to get up, and just keep on living, because living has become an unbearable feat.

Feel free to ask any question, give your points of view or just relate to it in any way, maybe what I just need at the moment is to vent a bit...
Hi GoneBy:

I don't have all the answers for you, but I have suggestions. Take what you can use and leave the rest:

Have you ever tried meditating, or even sitting silently? When I first started, I couldn't meditate, but I'd allow myself to sit/lie down and cry or think about whatever I wanted, or not think, for 5 or 10 minutes to start. It gave me some peace.

Have you tried journaling? Or talking to the wilderness if you're outside on a hike?

I think it would be great for you to get into group, or individual, therapy. Not because you're crazy or bad, but because you need support, like we all do.

I hope you have a great day.
Caroline
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello goneby. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

for what it's worth
ptsd **is** an anxiety disorder. my ptsd is official and indisputably diagnosed, but i often benefit far more from general anxiety groups because of the broader focus. 1) not all of my life stessors are trauma related. 2) the fashionable favoring of ptsd often results in misdirected wheel spinning. so sorry mommy and daddy were mean. so sorry your exes weren't the romantic panacea you dreamed of. can we take ownership of our own problems now? whatever the source of our issues, healing is a do-it-yourself gig.

as for the extensive laundry list you posted here, might i suggest breaking it down to bite-sized chunks? tackling too much at once is a guarantee of confusion.
 

GoneBy

New Here
Hi GoneBy:

I don't have all the answers for you, but I have suggestions. Take what you can use and leave the rest:

Have you ever tried meditating, or even sitting silently? When I first started, I couldn't meditate, but I'd allow myself to sit/lie down and cry or think about whatever I wanted, or not think, for 5 or 10 minutes to start. It gave me some peace.

Have you tried journaling? Or talking to the wilderness if you're outside on a hike?

I think it would be great for you to get into group, or individual, therapy. Not because you're crazy or bad, but because you need support, like we all do.

I hope you have a great day.
Caroline
I do find going to the outdoors to be cathartic, where the only sound I can hear its nature, no intrusive thoughts at all. I kept a journal, but at some point that made me anxious as well. With meditation I did have a nice run, but eventually being lethargic led me to drop all this and, it is hard to try and remember the tools we have when we are in that state. Thank you for reminding me of changing my physical lifestyle as well, I'll try and retake taking walks tomorrow

hello goneby. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

for what it's worth
ptsd **is** an anxiety disorder. my ptsd is official and indisputably diagnosed, but i often benefit far more from general anxiety groups because of the broader focus. 1) not all of my life stessors are trauma related. 2) the fashionable favoring of ptsd often results in misdirected wheel spinning. so sorry mommy and daddy were mean. so sorry your exes weren't the romantic panacea you dreamed of. can we take ownership of our own problems now? whatever the source of our issues, healing is a do-it-yourself gig.

as for the extensive laundry list you posted here, might i suggest breaking it down to bite-sized chunks? tackling too much at once is a guarantee of confusion.

I think this resumes vey well my main problem. There are so many aspects that need to be taken care of, that I can't seem to find a "coherent" way to solve them all (which as you stated, its impossible to do). I will give it a try with my new therapist about the anxiety, and slowly try and tackle the rest of the many things affecting me, and of course, try to get a diagnose whatever the result may be. Thank you, I appreciate your guidance.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
There are so many aspects that need to be taken care of, that I can't seem to find a "coherent" way to solve them all (which as you stated, its impossible to do).

it is absolutely amazing how fast small steps add up. breaking a proverbial elephant down to bite-sized chunks sounds intimidating at first, but it gets you much further than trying to swallow the elephant whole.

another for what it's worth
in my own recovery road, i have yet to gain anything, whatsoever, from confronting my abusers. all of mine were/are so good at twisting things to their own sick ends that i more often end up with setbacks and further abuse. i get much further cleansing and sorting my psychic wounds within my therapy network and letting my abusers fade into the halls of failed attempts to break me.
 

Friday

Moderator
Long story short, I moved back to my hometown thinking I would be "safe" but things started to get absurd again. To the point that people I've never met before know my triggers, and do it on purpose, just to see "if the rumors are true".
It's hard for me to confront them due to the past situations, so I just sit there spiraling and dissociating, like if I knew what they were doing and they knew that I knew what they were doing but could do nothing due to the nature of how all things happen, and all that happened. It was hard to digest, since I also had close friends trying to trigger me, which somehow let me to feel guilty, for thinking my close friends could do things like that, and of course, debating if I should just ask them or not. That, of course, led me to not having a close trustful circle.
1. So the purpose of confronting your family/friends is to stop them trying to purposefully trigger you?

2. How do requests like this generally go over with these people? IE Is there any real expectation that they would stop if you simply asked them?
 

Sideways

Moderator
I'm crazy for coming up with "such things"
What "things" have you come up? Do you mean the idea that 'everyone is upsetting me on purpose'? It's not clear from your post.
it was way easier for them to pick on the gossip and come up with a more distorted rumor.
This doesn't make sense.

Do you mean they've come up with a rumour about you? Or they're telling you a rumour?

What is the rumour? That you're 'crazy'? You've alluded to some strange or antisocial behaviours that you've engaged in, at least while high. Is it possible that "people" are simply reflect on those behaviours when they engage with you? Do you think that's unreasonable?
(I'm trying to interpret what you've alluded to, I may be completely wrong about what you're trying to say).

IME, there's usually very little accuracy to be found when referring to "people" as though they're a homogeneous mass - because they aren't. That does sound like paranoia, and is definitely worth raising with your pdoc in the new year.
It's hard for me to confront them
Yep.

And most often it goes pear-shaped. Because either:
(1) they aren't out to get you, in which case, a conversation, rather than a confrontation, would be a more productive approach; or
(2) they ate out to get you, in which case, you're just engaged with people intent on abusing you (rather than disengaging from them).
I must add that I was a regular smoker. Used to smoke everyday, up to 3 times a day and had a great tolerance to it
Have you managed to kick this addiction? That's gotta be a priority if you've been finding it difficult to motivate yourself even for basic care, and something you could be getting help with.
 

turrican

New Here
Maybe sometimes we over-complicate things like confrontation and standing up for yourself. Often the best way to stand up for yourself, or to be assertive, is to do something like blocking a person's phone number so that they can't contact you.
 
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