10 comments on “It’s Not a Simple Case of the “Nerves”

  1. That is exactly how the isolation happens, and that is exactly what it feels like. I can feel him, I know what he is going to say. I am still waiting for the beating. You have captured this perfectly.

    • It’s been so hard for me to overcome this one thing, but the trouble is that it impacts how I relate to everyone. I spend so much time in my head thinking and considering and pondering and reflecting and analyzing and examining over everything I do, everything I say because of this fear of him that persists. Even though I know he’s gone. Even though I know that the people in my life now couldn’t even conceive of punishing me, I still have mortal terror there that they will. And I wish you didn’t understand. I’m sorry you struggle with this, too. I hope as time goes by that it begins to lessen for you. (I haven’t forgotten about the blogs I am going to suggest. It’s been a rough few weeks. I hope to get to it this weekend.)

      • I understand rough weeks, and no worries.
        I find myself struggling with two things: Eye contact, and over explaining myself. The eye contact is also cultural, so I give myself a break on that one, but I wish I would stop feeling as if I owe everyone an explanation!

        • So you have double the issue with eye contact. If it’s something that really makes it difficult for you, even just trying to consciously do it more with women. Over time it will get easier. But since it’s cultural and probably second nature to you, don’t force it with men. It will just make you more self conscious.

          I cannot tell you how long it will take you before you stop feeling like you have to explain and justify yourself. I still battle this, too. People do not understand and worse, many don’t try to. Eventually you will be able to just say “It is what is, and I’m not explaining myself to you.” Another part of why you feel the need to explain is because I am sure you were conditioned to be sorry and to give overly detailed answers. Generally, victims of abuse are trained to apologize even when they don’t think they are wrong… and eventually we just apologize for everything because we don’t know what to do.

          One day at work, one of my supervisors asked me about whether or not I had entered some invoices. People who have not been conditioned will say yes or no with a quick explanation. I proceeded (because the AP Manager is a man) to give him this detailed run down of the past entire day and then told him I was getting ready to. He looked at me like I had two heads, and then I apologized. He knows my situation so he is pretty much used to it but often tells me when I apologize that I didn’t need to. A lot of people do. A few aren’t too patient with it, but after one too many times of them giving me too much attitude, I pretty much came out and told them exactly how I was conditioned to be like this, and they never asked again. They just deal with it because they know they have to.

          Unless you are doing something that is HURTING other people, don’t apologize or justify yourself to them. Politely explain that someone hurt you and until you are able to work through it, they are just going to have to learn to deal with. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. You were hurt, you were violated, and fear was conditioned into you. It will take great effort to do this in the beginning. I mean A LOT. Just because they don’t understand, it doesn’t give them the right to judge you.

  2. I also shut down and start speaking in very short sentences when I am asked a question, if that question is a follow up or a repeat. The interrogation was just as bad as the gaslighting for me.
    I haven’t told anyone at work. My supervisor knows I am in the state’s protection program, but she does not know why, and she does not ask.
    One funny consequence is that I find myself profoundly grateful to be around normal or good people. So absolutely every interaction someone has with me is accompanied somehow by a ¨thank you¨ of some sort. People at work that everyone complains about, because they are grumpy or distant, I still like. I like everyone who is not abusive, it seems. I have to keep it in check, and keep it to myself.
    I, like you, find myself overly accountable for my actions. If someone asks me why I put my kid in a certain activity, I explain the thought process in full detail, as if I were before a court.

    • Oh the interrogation. Even the most innocent curiosity feels like being in front of a firing squad. I was in that situation again tonight, and once it got to the point where I felt I was asked too many questions (not even a negative line of conversation) I looked at her and said “Why are you asking me so many questions? Why do you need to know? I’m not answering anything else.” Questions asked in a normal conversation now equal interrogation which of course puts me on high alert for imminent punishment. I found myself having to repeatedly say in my head “There is no fist coming, there is no fist coming.”

  3. I’m sorry you are struggling with this. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you. Keep on trying my brave friend! Even if you never conquer it completely, you will gain much by never giving up!

    • Well at some point I’ll get past the part where it stings. Everything has been progress, and while I know logically he didn’t take my uncle from me, it still feels like he did. Repairing the rifts and chasms he’s left behind has been an extreme amount of work and I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. But I didn’t get this far by giving up, so why after all this effort give in now. We survivors are famous for finding the strength somewhere even after its been depleted. So it is with me as well.

  4. My heart goes out to you. I dealt with PTSD from another source. Neurofeedback and a peculiar type of emotion coaching healed me without having to talk about anything. Love to you and hope you can find even a little relief from your trauma.

    • Thank you for your comment. I usually don’t make it a habit to take so long to reply to comments but I have just been agitated lately at some mystery thing causing this obnoxious anxiety that I can’t pin down so I can make it go away. Regardless of the source, PTSD is a beast that takes extreme amounts of effort expended day and night to even begin to get under control. It’s a wonder I get through a day sometimes.

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