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Why can’t i will myself to move?

Discussion in 'Military & Emergency Services' started by PhotovoltaicEye, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. PhotovoltaicEye

    PhotovoltaicEye New Member

    Has anyone else been frozen with indecision? I’m finding myself stuck, usually in my car. Getting out of it for the most part, but even after getting in I struggle to get much further than starting it. When I get to work I fight with myself to get out, when I get home at the end of the day I sit in the driveway, sometimes for hours. I hesitate to go out for lunch in the middle of the day because I’ve gotten back to work after driving through somewhere and just sat in the car till time to go home. It’s being viewed as a good order and discipline issue, and I can’t seem to express to my therapist or chain, what it’s like. I’m in a MEB right now and can’t get it done fast enough. In the meantime I hate myself for not even being able to be disciplined enough to move myself out of my car. It doesn’t help that nobody seems to understand. What do I do with this?
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  3. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Share this post with your therapist? You explained it fairly well.

    When your sitting there, what's going on in your head, do you know? (You might not know, but think about it.)
    headshrinker89 and shimmerz like this.
  4. PhotovoltaicEye

    PhotovoltaicEye New Member

    I have explained it in more or less these same terms to my treatment team (Therapist & Chain). They think I’m being defiant. I’m not sure how to make them understand that is t the case. I’m well aware of the consequences this could bring if the pursue a disciplinary course. I’ve already been threatened with an article 15 and reduction in grade. The last thing I want is to stir things up. A lot of what’s going on in my head when I’m sitting there is just that: “If you don’t pull it together and get out of this car it will put your years of service to waste!” I feel like a child shrugging his shoulders when asked why he did what he did when he knew it was wrong. I don’t want to get in trouble. I don’t want to fail in these last moments of an otherwise spotless career. I want to get my head on straight and just finish, but every step toward the exit feels more and more precarious. It feels like no matter what I do the ice is cracking under my feet and any move I make is going to be my last.
    IceQueencop, scout86 and Zoogal like this.
  5. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

    Man, that’s what I look like on the edge of a panic attack.

    Using every last shred of self control to mind my bearing, so I’m not lashing out and beating the holy hell out of anything anyone in reach. Not enough self control left over to actually propel me into action.

    What helps?

    1. Adrenaline. Either the sudden influx of it (and threatening yourself / risking being late at best UA at worst, seems like you’re trying to drive your levels up to get to that calm, clear place, but it just ain’t working / ain’t enough) -OR- burning it off. In advance. Seriously. Blow off steam you don’t even feel yet, because it’s there your threshold has just gotten so high you’re not feeling it. Running. Heavy bag. Push-ups. Pull-up bar by the door. Sparring. Mind blowing sex. Burn it all off, hit the showers, take care of business.

    2. Valium. <<< Not a long term solution, and chemical distance is a big part of why so many vets end up drunks & addicts. Don’t go that route. 10,000 kinds of f*cked up and f*cked over leaning on alcohol, or drugs, and then you’ve got 2 problems instead of just 1. But when I’m being smart I keep an emergency Rx in a drawer for when I can’t blow off enough steam to keep myself in hand.

    3. Therapy :wtf: Seriously. I hate it but? Suck it up and do it.

    Stress Cup
  6. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    That seems like a pretty good reason not to move. I'm totally serious, it does. I mean, moving could get you killed, right? Or, maybe, someone else?

    I can do that sort of thing for different reasons and in different ways. Which require different responses.
    There are reasons for that too. Do you know what they are? Probably going to be different for different people.
    Zoogal and shimmerz like this.
  7. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

    I had issues with my car as well. I mean, not with my car so much as using my car as -- well, I am going to call it a shield. I mean I could use it to waste time, it was definitely a shield for me so that I could avoid the stuff I was terrified of, which was any indoor space.

    Is it possible your car provides a sense of safety to you that you haven't quite been able to process yet?
    IceQueencop and scout86 like this.
  8. PhotovoltaicEye

    PhotovoltaicEye New Member

    I have brought this up with my therapist here at my local duty station, and my social worker at Walter Reed. When I was getting back to lodging at Bethesda while I was there I would sometimes sit in my car in the parking garage until night fall. I'd just sit there and watch. It amazed me how few people either noticed me or if they did notice, how few acknowledged some weirdo just sitting in his car in the garage. It does feel like my car is a shield of sorts. It's like a filter.

    I wore earplugs while I was under inpatient care, but that doesn't really work back on duty. I'm just trying to keep my head attached while my MEB concludes and I'm separated. I thought my unwillingness to fight an early separation with less than a year to 20 would demonstrate just how desperate I am to not be here, but everyone seems intent on making me ride this out, ironically by threatening me with disciplinary action.

    I have TAPS all next week and VA appointments still to go. I look forward to the days when I am taking care of separating far more than the days I am drawn far closer to the operational environment than I can tolerate at my job site. I'm just confused by it all and remain convinced the best thing for me will be time and distance from service. It's been my whole adult life and that can be somewhat frightening, but I can't keep going like this.

    I almost regret asking for help when I did. I had less than two years to go, but I know if I hadn't reached out when I did, I wouldn't be here right now. It's a total mind f*ck to feel like it would have just been easier to keep my mouth shut even if that meant I would have killed myself as a result.

    I'm trying not to catastrophize over all this and to stop myself from going down that line of thinking again, but its tough. I have leadership who I've caught saying they don't feel my PTSD is sever compared to other people they've known to suffer from it. It's those types of comments that put me in a place where I have a hard time keeping a cork on it. I didn't choose to have the nightmares I do, or the trigger responses I have to things that seem stupid and mundane in my rational mind. I have had events in my life where I was under far greater threat than any of the events that stuck with me, but I didn't pick what stuck. I just wish my leadership could sit in on a group session and see how differently PTSD affects people who've had similar experiences. Even if the common trends of depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts are all present, we all have varied responses.

    In spite of those differences, as afraid of being judged by others who I felt had a greater right to have PTSD than I did, not once in any group session have I ever had somebody say, "well your trauma isn't really that bad compared to my trauma." Mostly because, I think, they get the concept of the weird random sh*t that can run through your head.

    Thanks for letting me vent and listening. Thanks for the comments and incites. It's good to know there are people capable of listening without casting judgment. I do enough of that to myself.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2018
    LuckiLee, scout86, CyclePath and 4 others like this.
  9. CyclePath

    CyclePath Well-Known Member

    I really want to post a solid response for you, but honestly my brain power (is that one or two words, shrug) is gone right now.

    So, I'll keep it simple. Sorry you're here, but welcome around!

    Here's a couple quick thoughts:

    Has your car become your MRAP/MATV?

    Right before I retired I was a total train wreck, so I feel you on the just wanting to get out of there feeling. I was hanging on with everything I had left. TAP and VA apps will give you some space, use it.

    Hang in there. Do your best to focus on recovery and finding a good balance with the CoC. Good luck!
    scout86 and Friday like this.
  10. headshrinker89

    headshrinker89 Member

    Sounds like some anxiety you're going through and also some sort of "control" conflict going on internally. Can you recognize how you feel during these moments of being frozen?
    scout86 likes this.
  11. IceQueencop

    IceQueencop New Member

    If you can focus enough to read The Users Guide to the Human Mind talks about why are brains do things like keep us trapped inside our cars. Yea, it’s a survival mechanism. If you can thank your brain for wanting to keep you safe, and tell your feet to get out of the car.
    We have lots of different ways we handle our PTSD, but almost universally we isolate. My therapist says it helps to cut down on the various stimuli in our environments.
    She also says PTSD looks different for military and professionals, because we’re trained to work in stressful conditions, but just because we don’t LOOKK like we’re falling apart, doesn’t mean we aren’t.
    Hang in there. You’re almost done.
    scout86 likes this.
  12. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    True words! that's why the asshats will talk about how you don't look like you are suffering or that you trauma must not be as bad. We function under stress and then it bites us in the butt years later.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2018
    IceQueencop likes this.
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