Posts Tagged ‘anticipatory anxiety’

Thanks, Old Man

Dear Old Man,

Thanks.  I’ve never met you before, but yet, you felt the need to pry into my personal business.  At the gym.  While I am walking with my child in the hallway.  Thanks Old Man for asking my daughter “do you have a younger brother?” “do you have a younger sister?”  Thanks for listening and ending the conversation when she politely  said “no.” Oh wait, you felt the need to get more personal?  Thanks for asking me, and my daughter, “why not?  don’t you want to baby?”

So, I truly am in a better place with my PTSD, but this question would have sent me into a full and complete panic attack.  No wonder I avoided novel situations, or uncontrollable situations like the plague while fully involved in PTSD.  Thanks Old Man, for reinforcing my reasons I avoided everyone and everything in the throes of PTSD.  Turns out that trigger was not irrational anticipatory anxiety because people like you exist.

PTSD aside, what if I had a physical reason I could no longer have kids easily.  Oh, wait, I do have that reason.  Thanks Old Man for making me more anxious about my current physical situation.

And not to mention, there are some people in this world who do not want more kids.  What if my financial situation was such that more kids were irresponsible?  What if, god forbid, I was no longer married or with a partner who wanted kids?  What if, what if, what if?

Thanks Old Man for being a nosy busy body.  And no, you don’t get a pass just because you’re old. 

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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Spring Cleaning

I’d like to point out-I like to keep sentimental items.  Just so we all know.  I keep things that are nostalgic to me, and believe me, I can find nostalgia in a used napkin if the story behind it is good enough.  Luckily, I have a husband that helps me to clean out, tidy up, and keep the important things so our house does not become one that is profiled on the television show “Hoarders.”

My point-keeping nostalgic items is all well and good unless you have PTSD.  Then, these items often become painful triggers and reminders of trauma.  Until now, items from my daughter’s early years have been piled and shut away without regard to organization in various bins and dressers in our basement storage.  Until now, those items were triggering, awful, reminders of all the stuff I couldn’t do, didn’t do, because of the PTSD.  Until now, the outfit that I took her home from the hospital in was a direct adrenaline rush and full-out panic attack.

Until now.  Today-I organized bins with toys and clothes that have been haphazardly piled willy nilly in our basement.  And guess what-no triggers, no tears, no anxiety.  Only nostalgia.  Nostalgia about the good times, the precious times.  I found the outfit we brought my daughter home in.  Instead of remembering the pain, fear, panic-I recalled the joy of a true miracle.

It is amazing to me that I could do this today.  Ask me about doing this 2 years ago, I would have claimed it to be an impossible task.  Just goes to show what therapy can do for you.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Anticipation

A huge part of PTSD is anticipatory anxiety.  This is a diagnosis that entails the anticipation of a trigger being so bothersome that one avoids and panics over situations that may or may not happen in the future (but to the person seem imminent).

I am finally able to say that I am rid of my anticipatory anxiety. How do I know this? Because this is what used to happen…

Prior to this year, each time the calendar would flip to February, I would begin to obsessively fret over the upcoming anniversary of the birth trauma.  March 12, my daughter’s birthday AND my worst nightmare.  March 12…the build up was agonizingly terrifying.  Extreme nightmares, numerous panic attacks, involuntary facial tics, uncontrollable emotions, just to name a few of the PTSD symptoms exacerbated with anticipatory anxiety.

Prior to this year, my daughter’s birthday was a time for me to be internally fighting for control of my triggers (and losing) while trying to put on a happy face for my family.

Prior to this year, my daughter’s birthday was a time for me to cry all morning, grieving my loss, wallowing in my situation, and then trying to act functional when she blew out her candles later in the day.

Prior to this year, my daughter’s birthday was a time for me to remember how far I had to go to get back to “normal” and reflect on the fact that I was not where I want to be.

This year-it’s time to celebrate.  My daughter will be 4.  I am well.  Let’s blow out those candles and make a wish!

Thanks for reading,

Lauren