What is it called when I am afraid that others will harm me until the point where I no longer can function?

AnD

MyPTSD Pro
I am afraid to feel alone. This is abandonment.

And I am also afraid that others will harm me until the point where I no longer can function. So what is that called?

Where can I read about it? And what can I do to help myself?

I often get into a freeze state or a submissive fawn state where I try to please the other so the harmful behavior towards me will end. This is not a healthy response. I feel unable to defend myself and I want to change in order to stay safe.

I get really scared and I start to beat myself up and will practically do anything to not feel in danger.

I am afraid to spiral down and get worse and worse.

Maybe the fear of it happening is bigger than when it actually happens?
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe the fear of it happening is bigger than when it actually happens?

My experience would say yes, the fear is worse than reality. I feared a situation a few years ago and on a scale of 1-10 I felt it was a 20.

When I finally took the plunge it sucked but was more of a 6 and today it is a 2. So many variables came into play that I could never have anticipated, for as many bad things that happened that I feared...it never occurred to me that some good things in my favor would also happen! That is true in every case, the world isn't against us so to speak. Life has highs and lows and I forgot that highs happen too :)

What I discovered was as while I am notoriously self sufficient I have/had unprocessed trauma and it revealed itself in uncharacteristic behaviors/feelings.

So here I am literally living my biggest fear today and it is't fun but no where near debilitating. And most days I feel good, even really good.

Turns out being re-traumatized/triggered launched massive flashbacks for me, the sense of unease, world ending, frozen sort of feelings were flashbacks. They were near continuous looking back. Normally I lean optimistic so it all compounded my confusion and distress.

Where can I read about it? And what can I do to help myself?

I referenced this on another post but Richard Grannon has an interesting take on flashbacks and how they need to be managed as they prevent healing. In my case I would say that was true and it was a key to my situation. Pete Walker also wonderful.

I think a therapist is important for support and routine but I did a lot of very good work on my own with guides like the above.

Best,

Whirlwind
 
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AnD

MyPTSD Pro
@Whirlwind maybe it is just an emotional flashback that feeling that I get. Along with catastrophizing.

I will look into Richard Grannon, I think I have seen his youtube clips before.

I am not in therapy atm, and I am not sure I will ever go again. I was retraumatized...

Thanks for the help and input. It made me see it at least a little bit from afar.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I think and honestly I could be wrong but this could something that if it goes too long may be basis for agoraphobia like situation. It is valid if you experience this or even if you did not but somewhat other experiences manifested as such but good for you for recognizing this...that is amazing introspection.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Are there places you go regularly where there are people around, but you still feel safe? Like a local park, the gym, a coffee shop, the library, etc?

For me? Like @grit said, my fear of people mixed with depression and I developed agoraphobia. So, while you're waiting for therapy, I reckon it's gonna be finding the balance to at least sustain the status quo - halt any downward spiraling.

Two ways to do that maybe?
1. Try and recognise the places that this is worst? And take self-soothing stuff with you, and plan a destressing activity afterwards (anything from a jog to cooking to a yoga session, to reading...).
2. Identify those places where there are people but you still feel reasonably safe (potentially these are places where you're not actually interacting with people as much) - make a list of them, and try and go to one of those places each day. Hang out for a bit, notice yourself coping in the company of other people, then head home.
 

AnD

MyPTSD Pro
@Sideways
I am not sure I ever feel safe.

I am out and about even though I feel this way. I ride my bike to work, I go to movies, restaurants, I go shopping etc.

My biggest fears are being around my parents since they were a part of my neglect and abuse. My second biggest are therapists since I was retraumatized by the ones I have tried.

I often feel helpless around my parents. I avoid them. I feel fear and uncomfortable. I don't like sharing information with them since I often don't get support but feel bad instead.
 

AnD

MyPTSD Pro
I have found the answer to my question now.

I am afraid of the self hatred that others might spark in me.

My answer is self hatred and the fear of it.

There is also shame about myself.

The cure? Sit with the self hatred, educate myself on the subject. And decide not to abandon myself no matter what life throws at me.

Is it easy peasy? No, but at least I understand.

All my love to you who read this and hate yourself too
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
My experience would say yes, the fear is worse than reality.
I find that the fear becomes its own reality, in the sense that I can be with someone who I know is absolutely safe, but I know if I get closer, the fear will come in, and I run away.

And decide not to abandon myself no matter what life throws at me.
Not running away is a good step!

For me, I first started to get better when I could imagine safer places and safer people. I worked on imagining them, and the fears coming up, but I wouldn't get hurt, and the fears would subside, just in my head. The phrase my therapist and I come back to is, "and nothing happened." LIttle tiny steps,

:hug: :hug:
 
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