16 comments on “Mind Your Words: Nerves, Anxiety, and Panic Are NOT the Same Thing **Trigger Warning**

  1. Thank you for validating what I have been experiencing. I was manipulated and conditioned for over 25 years. When he decided to discard me, I received the full wrath of evil contempt. He acted as if he was on a high and I could see the enjoyment he got from terrorizing me to the point I could not breathe just to steal everything. I know people mean well when they say you need to move on with your life and find a boyfriend. I just am afraid of everything!

    • I’m sorry for what you experienced. It’s horrible to live through, but I think afterward, trying to reconcile and make sense of everything after leaving so you can rebuild is a scary experience. Do you have “just” PTSD or anxiety as well? I can’t imagine having both to juggle at the same time. The panic and PTSD are quite enough.

      Sending love and support,
      Amy

  2. You and I have the same sort of PTSD. Different triggers, same issues. Thanks for the warning. Can’t write too much, got a little triggered. I am so glad you put in that dialogue, it is exactly like that, you think you are arguing with yourself and then you realize you are truly arguing with him. Everything you think, he had actually put into your head, for if he hadn’t, there would be no internal dialogue over it at all.

    • Believe it or not, I initially forgot to tag the post with a trigger warning, but I realized right after I published it, so I think I intercepted it before it was viewed. I’m sorry it triggered you, but I expected that for those of who are survivors or trauma and those who struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD, the only kind thing to do was put in the warning. I’d much prefer that if someone thinks it even MIGHT trigger them that they don’t read it or stop as soon as they feel it coming on and immediately manage the anxiety or panic before it becomes overwhelming. It’s so hard to get through once it’s gotten enough momentum.

      I used to have internal dialogue like that in my head for everything. It was so disruptive, and in the beginning I even heard the negative parts in his voice hissing at me. So unsettling. The stressors for me were so powerful that even though I knew it wasn’t real, I would literally see him appear out of thin air in front of me when I was doing something I would have been punished harshly for if I was still with him. You really do go through a period of time where that fear and conditioning is so deep and desperate, the feeling you could die is VERY real.

      Thank you for reading the post, it was brave of you to do. I’m not trying to dissuade you from reading any posts, but going forward when you see that warning, stop for a moment and think about if you are currently in a mental state that would allow you to read without being triggered badly enough that you had to spend time afterward battling to get it under control. I appreciate every view, but absolutely NOTHING is worth your peace of mind. Especially not when we have to fight so hard to find it.

      Sending love and support,
      Amy

      • I do sometimes pass over things I fear will trigger me, but the only way to keep those memories from having so much power over me is to remember them. I am working on getting over those triggered moments, with CBT or mindfulness. It helps to be triggered, safely, and see where it stems from. Because usually I am just triggered for ¨no reason¨ and I have no idea why. The psychologist I saw who is a PTSD specialist told me I am triggered pretty much all day. So I am trying to identify those triggers, talk back to the source or at least identify it, and try to work through them so that they no longer are untouchable avoidances that worsen my PTSD. I am trying to explain the process to you, without knowing how, because it is feelings, emotional reactions. I have trouble explaining such things. I am tired of being PTSD, being constantly triggered, I want to be a person again who has her own reactions to the present. Reacting to the past in the present time is wearing on me.
        I do refrain from viewing violence, though, which is easy in a PG house full of little kids!

  3. I have a new visitor to my blog who is still in an abusive relationship and is suffering terribly with anxiety, PTSD and immobilizing fear, she is really struggling with how to leave etc. I am giving her the link to this post in hopes she will stop by here and read some of your posts. I think she will be able to relate and I hope find some strength knowing it is possible to escape after years of horrendous abuse. You are doing such great work here. Hugs

  4. Good evening
    Thank you for sharing and I can relate in many ways, tho my exspirances are not the same but giving me (all ) hope I really love the way you exspess your experiences. Its only been crazy journey getting to were i am and now reading this blog to me is inspirational in many ways.In my opinion I suggest men read this as they might learn from this kind of personal termoyl that one must go thru to recover.
    Blessings
    Stewart

    • Hi Stewart,

      I think it makes it easier for us as individuals when our circumstances are similar, but I feel that the most important thing any of us can do for anyone (whether they have been abused or not, whether they have panic / anxiety disorders, PTSD, or are healing from any sort of trauma or not) is to share about not only our experiences with the trauma / abuse itself, but our accomplishments AND things we still struggle with. For those of us who have been abused or suffered any type of trauma, it gives us that extra support knowing someone else understands where we are coming from. As a result of this, the isolation and loneliness, hopefully even some of the shame and humiliation, can be relieved and minimized so our burden as survivors isn’t as heavy.

      But we come up against so many walls not only while we are enduring the trauma, but as we leave, as we open up and share what happened, as we continue to talk, and as we reach out to help others. The most frustrating and demeaning wall to come up against is blaming, shaming, and invalidation. This is why it’s so important for me to keep sharing about every facet of what I endured and continue to endure. There will always be others coming out of trauma behind us, and it should always be increasingly easier for them to find not only physical resources but the emotional ones as well. And not that having shelter, food, and safety isn’t of urgent import, I feel the more urgent need that goes unmet is emotional support, because having a safe “place” where judgment and criticism and blaming and indifference and uncaring and cruelty cannot reach gives us the footing and stability to start healing. A great deal of that support comes with reinforcement that you are not alone in your journey and that people do care enough to share something so deeply personal with the world.

      For those who endure panic and anxiety but maybe haven’t (and hopefully not) been abused, there is still a need to see that others who are struggling are willing to speak out about their experiences and difficulties with the disorders and how they affect their lives. It isn’t so much the circumstances but the struggle and the identifying with that battle that gives us each hope and a larger support system where we can be ourselves without having to hide the disorders as though we are defective or as though we should be ashamed. We can only tear down that wall of shame and isolation by using our voices to break it down.

      For those who haven’t been abused, suffered trauma, or deal with any of these disorders, our speaking serves as a constant reminder to our humanity, our right to be treated with dignity, and the validity of our experiences. Some are more stubborn about being compassionate to our stories, but for them, I should give fair warning that their dissent to my speaking (and i have had my share to battle) only makes my speak more. They MUST know they cannot blame and they cannot force stigma or shame on us for our experiences and struggles. They MUST know that until we are treated kindly the demand for respect and compassion will not go away.

      I consider myself to be fortunate, because I have connected with so many survivors of sexual abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence who carry shame for not only the abuse but the aftermath and the emotional battles they wage every day. As such, I feel it is my obligation as someone doesn’t carry that burden, to share even the ugliest parts of story openly and very publicly. So I can be another voice of support for those who need the encouragement and another voice to raise up over the dissension against our right to love, compassion, and dignity.

      For men I think dealing with abuse and emotional trauma is more complicated and difficult because they are men. Society gives no leeway with this. Men are expected to bear every ounce of hurt and struggle and damage on their backs without flinching, without telling anyone, and when they are being harmed and come forward to share their abuse, when they come forward and share their struggles with mental disorders, they are mocked and made to feel even more shame than I think women can truly understand. As though being hurt and emotional trauma make you less than a man. And that has to stop!

      No matter what our circumstances, we all find ourselves struggling to battle through various severity of emotional disorders. Even if your story and mine are vastly different in content, having someone who can relate to our emotional distress and be able to give us encouragement and understanding and compassion and love and kindness and all those things so critical to our healing is profound. We give each other peace, and that’s all that matters.

      Thank you for your comment.

      With love and support,
      Amy

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