Sufferer United 232, 31 years ago

Kittie

Confident
Hello,

I keep staring at my phone and haven't been able to put the right words together... I have big changes in my life right now and it is triggering old haunts.

My boyfriend surprised me yesterday with news some people would like, he is buying land for us to build our house...and build our lives. I would be more excited if it wasn't across miles of ocean. I reminded him I had a bad experience and refuse to ever get on a plane...he can pick me up at the dock instead! If he really loves me, he won't get upset? Uh...he said just take a sleeping pill, we won't crash. (Secretly, his words made me sad.) We never discussed the accident in detail but he knows the ugliness no makeup can hide was from a crash. He loves my heart more than my appearance. I thought I'd be alone forever. Paradise found?

I wake up with panic attacks and the experience is still with me. My life was changed forever. My husband didn't like being married to a freak. I've been a recluse cat lady for several depressing years. I've talked to a counselor to try to deal with grief. It numbs slightly with time, until I wake up with anxiety. I've accepted I was put back together as good as they could with what they had to work with...and the results aren't pretty. Someone else accepts me as I am!!!!, but am I being too sensitive to his insensitivity? Paradise lost? Am I overreacting? I would panic so much on a plane I'd embarrass us both. I would have a heart attack, no joke. I felt relief knowing I'd never fly again. I want to be normal.

We may go camping tomorrow night and have a serious talk. I want to stand my ground and express myself so he understands...that means I have to talk about hard things. I hope I can do this and keep my composure. I keep some details to myself because the words get stuck. A lot of people lived, but many died. If I could put it into words, he might have a better insight into my feelings.

I have my mind stuck in the past more than usual, not healthy for me. The future of being happy with someone was doing wonders for me mentally! At my age (55) it's hard to find a soul mate. We've been friends a few years, no problems, until I added my fear of flying into things. Am I crazy to wave "aloha, babe!" if he continues to have such little compassion? I think I'm too sensitive. I always downplayed the details but it was extremely bad. The news articles mom saved could've spoken for me but I threw them away after she passed away.

I never healed inside. I don't want this to hold me back forever. If I can get myself together, I can have a more normal life and enjoy it.

Thank you for letting me join your community, I don't know anyone who can relate to the mental effects of trauma. Best wishes to each person here!
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome and sorry for what you have been through.

Talking to him sounds good.(or writing it down if the words don't come out? I did that the first time I told my trauma to my partner of 16 years who I hadn't ever said any detail too at all, just one small comment at the beginning and then expected her to remember that and of course she didn't, why would she when a throw away comment from my end and then years of acting like everything is ok won't keep it in someone's mind even though it's embedded in mine).

Being insensitive about this doesn't make him bad that just means he needs to understand. If you haven't felt able or haven't wanted to talk about how the event has made you feel and how significant it was, then he can't read your mind. It does mean opening up. Somehow.

The way you right about him, shows the love you have for each other. Maybe an open conversation might really help. Help you to talk about this painful event, and maybe help it to not be so present again, and help him realise you won't travel in that way and why and he can support you.

Sending you strength (although it sounds like you have bucket loads of that).
 

Friday

Moderator
Mahalo! Welcome to the community! 💖
Being insensitive about this doesn't make him bad that just means he needs to understand. If you haven't felt able or haven't wanted to talk about how the event has made you feel and how significant it was, then he can't read your mind. It does mean opening up. Somehow.
Agreed.
he can pick me up at the dock instead!
I know quite a few people (vets, mostly) who refuse to fly* & instead travel by cars/train/boat... but I know countless people who hate flying, for various reasons, SAY they ‘refuse to fly’ but what they actually mean is that they take sleeping pills. Some say both “I refuse to fly, I have to sleep through it’ but for the most part they just swear they don’t fly. Even though they do. 🤪 People. So durn confusing, sometimes. I tend to take people at their word, so the number of times I’ve run face first into their hyperbole? Drives me a bit mad. Why on earth am I wasting my time looking into alternate transport if what you reeeeeally mean is you need a Valium??? Just say you need a Valium! Aaaargh.

*I know about an equal number who refuse cars, trains, or boats. For similar reasons.

Points being
- I hope you’re serious about sailing where you want to be (because it’s. a super useful solution/alternative to flying)
- I wouldn’t hold too much against your beau, if his experience Is like mine, with what most people “really mean” when they say they don’t fly. (IE sleep through it)... Because this sounds like the first time the issue has really come up with you two. AFTER you have a serious talk, or the next trip? Cha. Hold it against him. But the first time someone learns something? They’re just learning it. No matter how well we know it, they don’t. All they have to go off of is their previous experience.


We've been friends a few years, no problems, until I added my fear of flying into things. Am I crazy to wave "aloha, babe!" if he continues to have such little compassion? I think I'm too sensitive. I always downplayed the details but it was extremely bad. The news articles mom saved could've spoken for me but I threw them away after she passed away.
To have compassion? Requires understanding. So rather than him being insensitive and not compassionate? It really just sounds like he’s ignorant. Since he doesn’t know (yet) how serious this is... there’s no reason to be compassionate.

Like you probably wouldn’t send kitten pictures to a girlfriend of mine whose trauma history includes cats and kitten being skinned alive and tortured in various ways... and cats/kittens are a huge trigger for her because of that... but if you didn’t know that about her? You probably wouldn’t think twice about it. Yeah, you know she’s not super into the whole internet cat thing, but neither are a whole lot of other people. And THIS picture? Is totally worth it. Or it’s not a meme, it’s yooooour brand new kitten, and so cute! Be happy with me!!! >>> Wouldn’t be done because you don’t care about her, or aren’t cannot be compassionate. You just don’t know -until she tells you- that you’d even need to be.

Just my 2cents... and again, welcome 😊
 

gealach

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome to the forum @Kittie

Movingforward10 and Friday wrote some great things, so I really have nothing intelligent to add. I just wanted to say I appreciate the fear of flying. I have been in 2 incidents where the plane nearly crashed (wing-tarmac) during landing, both at night and in a storm, and I was in a gondola accident. All between the ages of 4 and 16.

This is a very supportive forum, and whatever a person is writing about there's usually someone with a similar (in some way) experience/feeling/question/rant/whatever, so you'll find that you're not alone here.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome to the forum!

I agree with the "he just doesn't get it, yet" comments. You might suggest he read the Wikipedia article. I just did and it's pretty amazing. (I remember when that happened.) The article might help him appreciate what you went through a little better.

I think I can understand where you're coming from on flying. You're entitled to your feelings, no matter what. I wouldn't totally give up on dealing with the fear of flying, if you don't want to. There are some new (and kind of weird) things being done to treat phobias. I noticed in the article, to my complete surprise, that the cockpit crew survived the crash and they all went back to flying. It made me wonder if there's any kind of an online community for people who've survived plane crashes.

I hope you guys can work through this, and that we'll see you around here some more!
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
Am I crazy to wave "aloha, babe!" if he continues to have such little compassion?

A few years back, my hubby wanted me to get on the aerial tram at the waterfront in Portland, Oregon and ride it up to the hospital. I told him it was a bad idea but he persisted.

I took double clonazepam and started walking toward the platform from about a mile away. By the time we were within a couple of blocks, I was sweating bullets. By the time we reached the platform, I was crazy with fear, losing my temper and barely able to speak. I went into the bathroom at the OHSU building right next to the tram to pee because whenever I am nervous, I have to pee.

When I came out, he was on his knees on the floor next to a chair. He motioned for me to sit and he tearfully apologized to me, saying he would have never pushed if he had understood. He had no idea what he had asked me to do. And I didn't fall from heights, only got terrorized with the possibility.

I still have never been on that tram.

He did not get it. He loves me and he has boatloads of compassion but he did not get it until right then.

My husband didn't like being married to a freak.
I don't know much about your current relationship but I do know what it is like to be deformed and being rejected by your husband for physical scars from a trauma can only be described by me as potentially soul-shattering and I am so sorry that happened to you.

I really, really hope that you are able to fathom and realize that just because someone will love you, scars and all that it doesn't necessarily mean that they are the one for you (even at 55, which is hardly old, in my opinion). People should love you, scars and all -- that's not about you -- that's about humanity and being brainwashed into thinking that good looking women look like this and that if they don't have a woman who looks like that it reflects poorly on the size of their...

Let me stop that tirade and just say that the feeling that this may be the only man ever to love you is not healthy information to add into the equation. He probably is not the only man who could ever love you. I mean very probably is not the only man who could ever love you. This is not to say that he is not the right one for you. BUT him being the right one for you has very little to do with his ability to see past your scars.

That said, I hope you do have that talk and I hope you can hold your ground. What's wrong with a boat trip, anyway? Sure, it's not convenient but neither is having a complete meltdown on a plane. That could become extremely inconvenient depending on how bad it is. Now, if you could be put under anesthesia a month early and literally sleep through the whole thing, that might be different but it doesn't work that way. And you have a life to live where choosing to stay off of planes has been the right decision for you.

It's great that he was thinking about your future but you there is the part where he may have been thinking of his future a lot more clearly than he was thinking about a future for the two of you. Sure, he didn't realize but buying land for two people's live usually involves input from both sides. I'm not calling him a bad person for making that decision BUT if you talk to him in detail, if he isn't just being selfish, I am sure he will be able to see where making this decision without your input wasn't entirely considerate of you simply being the other party with feelings, a past, experiences, etc. Making a life together cannot be one-sided. Both people have to have a say in things.

That's way more than enough out of me. I hope you are able to be heard and that this is the relationship you need it to be. Take care.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Like you probably wouldn’t send kitten pictures to a girlfriend of mine whose trauma history includes cats and kitten being skinned alive and tortured in various ways... and cats/kittens are a huge trigger for her because of that...
I love cats and kittens. Those of us who have been traumatized work our way towards healing in attempting to find words for the horrors we have been through or had done to us. This is where I find conversations to be very difficult with those who (luckily) have no way of relating to being damaged so badly that it haunts most of our waking and sleeping moments. It doesn't make those that don't understand bad people. There is just nothing on their radar to relate it to.

I get this statement
Uh...he said just take a sleeping pill, we won't crash.
and I see it as an indication that he truly will not understand what this is. Thank god for him.

My shaman used to say all the time that love conquered fear. I did a ton of serious trigger reversals by 'overlaying' the fear with love. With time it can work. I practiced a ton of times for many issues using youtube videos. An example is every time my home alarm went off I knew trouble was coming. I knew I was in for it. I have no words for what they did to me. Sometime after I had escaped the situation but before I could live a normal life again, I started to faint every time I hear an ambulance, police car or fire truck. Horrors. So I hopped onto youtube and found a video of the alarm they used to f*ck me up with.

It took a bit but I turned the abhorrence I had when I realized that I had bought the alarm and literally given them the tools to terrorize me with. Things aren't always the way they seem in trauma though. I then realized that because of that alarm they could not surprise me. I had actually protected myself with that alarm and it had helped me more than it hurt me.

So it seems like you really love this man. It seems as if he loves you too. Is there a way that you can reverse or overlay your last flight - the one filled with horror and terror and pain and trauma, with this man, who loves you and wants to take care of you and help you get over your past wounds? Can you picture how life could be in this new paradise? Is it possible that you could soak up the sun and love your new place? Maybe you could help others who have been catastrophically damaged in their own trauma? Maybe this is an end to the pain and a start a life of self love and a beautiful relationship with your loved one?

Idk, just a thought..... it sounds like it would be a pity to let go of this opportunity for a new happy healthy loving life.
 

Kittie

Confident
Thank you to all for your input and kindness. I appreciate your advice and ideas! I'm a work in progress, but there's something to be gained from each reply.

All is going well so far, we chose a day of fun before the serious discussion. That happens next and some of your replies will make this a little easier. Thank you again and best wishes!
 
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