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Post-trigger panic, please help me

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Earlier tonight, I experienced one of my more common triggers: making a mistake in the kitchen.

If I drop a dish and it makes a noise, I become frightened. My bf will tell me it’s fine, but I can’t apologize fast enough.

Afterwards, I feel like I can let my guard down only after he says he forgives me. I know it doesn’t bother him, but his forgiveness feels so freeing.

Tonight, he didn’t tell me he forgave me after I made this mistake. I know he was tired and may have forgotten, but now I don’t know what to do. He’s gone to sleep, and I am terrified. I’m so afraid.
 
1. I’ve worked in professional kitchens off & on since I was 14. (And I’m 40-mumble). A few with Michelin stars, a lot of amazing cafes and the like, all around the world. We don’t just drop things, we THROW them… sometimes just in laughing/teasing solidarity with someone who is having a bad night and got hit by a gravity storm… I can be louder!!! Ka-BANG!!! Bwaaahahahaha! (Almost nothing makes you friends in a kitchen, faster, than playful empathy. And it cheers the whole team up / reenergizes everyone). Sometimes that clash-bang-clang-shatter-crash you hear dimly in the front of the house, are the chefs making someone on the crew laugh, and bounce back, rather than get mad, or cry. A meter wide metal bowl thrown at tile? Makes a BIG noise.

2. How would you treat someone who dropped something in your kitchen? Seriously think about this one for a moment, and apply different qualifiers. A guest. A child. A friend. A lover. Etc.

I bring these 2 things up because a few very effective ways to deal with panic are

- Reframe
- Right Size
- Shoe on the other foot

Reframing… is looking at things differently. Finding another way to think about it. Like? Not only do chefs drop shit, but they even do it on purpose, not because they’re angry, but to cheer someone else up.

Right Size is about putting things in perspective. How BIG of a problem is dropping something, seriously? In an abusive household drying the durn can opener “wrong” can be a matter of life and death, much less the “horror” of Mac’n’cheese on the floor. Outside of completely f*cked up unacceptable abusive bullshit? These are total non-issues. Ever. By anyone. Learning to shift gears and NOT treat normal things, like dropping something, like a matter of life and death? Can take awhile. Ditto, not treating normal people like abusers who you have to seek their forgiveness in order to carry on. Right sizing is part of that process, where you take a step back, and look at the actual scope of the problem.

Shoe on the other foot is reeeeeeally hard if you’re dealing with “disqualifying the positive” on the cognitive distortion front. Where it “doesn’t count” if it’s you, but only applies to other people. But it’s a reeeeally good habit to get into, to be able to assess a situation rationally, instead of using emotional reasoning, and lessons learned in trauma. Like dropping something requires you stop the world, and seek forgiveness, or suffer the consequences. Which may actually include your life. Injury, maiming, and death… are big damn consequences. So instead of looking at what you feel YOU deserve, or are afraid of, and have learned to expect… look at how you would treat others, and work on treating yourself the same way.

Right now you feel you need someone else’s forgiveness.
You can learn to forgive yourself.
And in time? Will see there is nothing to forgive, as you did nothing wrong.
 
Right now you feel you need someone else’s forgiveness.
You can learn to forgive yourself.
And in time? Will see there is nothing to forgive, as you did nothing wrong.
Before learning forgiveness from myself, what do I do?
 
This could be a very healing moment: learning that you can cope with this without someone forgiving you.

Because: there is nothing to forgive. Nothing has happened. You are safe. You haven't done anything wrong. Everything is ok.

It feels like the exact opposite. But it isn't. PTSD is lying to you and your mind and body has gone into a place that isn't inline with the situation.

What usually helps you to ground?

Things that help me:
Speaking out loud to myself and saying it's ok, I'm safe, nothing is happening etc.
Hugging myself.
Holding something tactile.
Long slow breaths?
 
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