A few weeks ago, I got a speeding ticket. I was speeding because I was late, and I felt invincible to the law. I shouldn’t have been doing it, especially since Jon has already been understandably stressed over our dwindling money and job situation.
When I told him about the ticket he gave me a very uncomfortable and totally useless lecture. He calls it yelling, though I’ve never heard such quiet yelling before. He was venting his anger on me, though.
I already felt terrible for costing us a significant (to us) amount of money that could have easily been avoided with some good sense. It was even worse that he has tried to both warn me and not nag me about my speeding habit.
Overall, the whole thing, including both of us sincerely apologizing, was done in about 15 minutes. Except, it wasn’t. I continued to feel terrible, both emotionally and physically. As usual, I explained it to Jon to process it myself.
My PTSD flashbacks are not of one particular traumatic event. They are not of one memory or even one person. They are not well defined, but I was experiencing one as he lectured me. I was re-experiencing people I love telling me I’m wrong. Even more specifically, I was experiencing the feeling that I am useless, burdensome, an embarrassment.
I realized that it is normal when I feel upset with myself, for me to frantically try to come up with ways to take myself out of my family’s life without them noticing. I have never been suicidal because killing myself would definitely burden people I love and I’m trying NOT to be that. To add insult to injury, I have never found a way to cut myself out of my loved ones’ lives without them being hurt by it, and this makes me feel helpless and doomed.
Last night, I told Jon I wanted to crawl into a corner and tell him to run. I’m assuming this is not a natural or healthy response to someone being upset with you.
After about an hour, and some crying, my stomach finally relaxed and I no longer felt on high-alert emotionally. Jon points out that “only an hour” is a huge improvement for me and he is right. When we first got married, much smaller and less real issues would trigger me and send me into deep depression and avoidance for days or weeks.