I spent yesterday in a six hour PTSD workshop, then last night at 2am one of the work kids woke up and it took 45min to get him back to sleep, so right now I’m tired, moody, and also analyzing myself for any signs of PTSD. I’m not sure if this blog will ever see the light of day; my editor usually protects me from making a total fool of myself on my blog.- If this is too much info, she’ll protect me from myself yet again.
One of the things the presenter talked about was people with PTSD aren’t afraid of what happened, they are afraid of what will happen in the future. This is an issue I have. Years ago hubby started his own business, and we discovered a fatal flaw in our marriage: both of us suck in money management. Things went badly, and I apparently have money/fear issues because I freaked out and became horribly depressed as we went through that period.
The experience was traumatic enough for me that even today I react to money issues. Going online to check the bank account makes my stomach tight, I breathe shallowly, and get light headed. It’s the not knowing, the what ifs that wreak havoc in my body.
One of my dreams of being a rich and famous author is having enough money that I pay someone else to manage it and I never have to see a bill or balance my bank account again. Sad isn’t it?
Hubby wonders if I’ll ever feel secure, even if I had a million dollars. I’m not sure, but I’m willing to have millions and give it a shot 🙂
Another thing the presenter talked about is that once you feel the trigger for your trauma begin, to take slow deep breaths and consciously change what you’re thinking. Create a ‘safe place’ or new reality.
So this is what I am going to try to do. Whenever I am about to deal with money issues I will take slow deep breaths and imagine myself on a tropical island relaxing in a hammock and a beautiful young man bringing me a drink. Of course I might never get around to doing the paperwork, but at least I’ll be happy and my cortisol levels will be lower. This is good, apparently.
Any advice on overcoming old ingrained trauma? Do you have something that still affects you?
every single time i use my debit card i worry it will not be accepted. no matter how much money i know i have in the account, i freak out inside. i feel myself get red, my palms get sweaty, and sometimes i feel really sick to my stomach. bleck
It’s crazy isn’t it. I try and breath and remind myself that the money is there- but after someone stole my card info I feel like it just might not be any since the last time I checked.
I got your back, Alica!
The only thing I think you can do is be aware of all the times the situation arises, and everything turns out okay. When you check the account, and everything is cool, make a mental note of it. Hopefully, in time, the positive reinforcement will replace the negative trauma. But it does take time, and sometimes you go backwards. Just be gentle with yourself.
Great advice Bill- and being gentle with myself is definitely something I need to work on!
I have/had what is called “anticipatory anxiety” which I have been dealing with for years. I’m much better now, but essentially I get stressed out over the unknown of the future – which of course I can’t control the future ANYWAY – so I’ve learned to try to live in the present. I don’t ignore the future. It’s always there looming ahead of me; but I am learning not to get freaked out by it. I used to (and sometimes still do) obsess about something that’s coming up and make myself sick over it. Bad for my physical being and bad for my emotional well-being. It’s a struggle but I’m so much better that I’m happy over the success I’ve had so far.
Patti I freak out over stuff coming up all the time! Some days my mind is what if hell. One thing I have learned is it’s scarier wondering what will happen then actually doing it, so now when I feel like that I make myself take steps to dealing with whatever it is. Not so much living in the present but making the future happen sooner LOL! Most of my stuff revolves around money or my kids.
I’m glad you’ve found a way to stay focused on the here and now, congratulations on your success!
OMG…I do exactly the same thing that Heather does with the debit card. Even though I know there’s enough money in there, I’m always afraid it’ll be rejected – almost to the point of hyperventilating. I wonder why that is? I also stress myself about events. I’m pretty shy. Much better than I use to be, but it’s still a big issue for me. I worry myself sick over whether I’ll be dressed appropriately, whether I’ll find anyone to talk to, whether I’ll make a fool of myself, etc. I hope you reach your dreams of making enough money with your writing that you don’t have to worry about money again!
Debit card fear is a big one I prefer to work with cash. Of course when I go into the bank to get the cash it’s just as bad LOL- but the shopping is nicer 🙂 I also spend less when I have cash- it’s more real then the card.
You need a party buddy to go with you, maybe that would help? I’m not shy, but I do worry if I’ll be able to edit what I say properly- foot in mouth happens a lot around me.
Hi Alica, I can certainly understand stress over money issues. Can’t we all! The advice to take a deep breath and create a new reality is good–but sometimes a real struggle. Our minds love to dwell like misers on those traumatic events. Several years ago my daughter and I were crossing the street (in the crosswalk!) when we were hit by a motorcycle. Broke my collarbone, but fortunately my daughter was OK, just shaken up. But I still have trouble crossing the street. My head is on this constant swivel when I step off the curb. Good thing I don’t live in a city, I would have given myself whiplash by now. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I think it helps to know that we’re not the only ones going through anxiety.
How awful! I’m glad you’re okay now, but O think I would be scared around cross walks too. As I teen I got into a car accident and I’m still a very nervous passenger, and drive cautiously enough that other people go a bit crazy riding with me.
You’re not alone anxiety seems to be the norm instead of the exception!
I’ve found therapy, pursuing relationships and a career I adore and learning to sleep well extremely helpful in combatting stress, anxiety and panic. Your anxiety about money is so common, Alica. Thanks for giving it a voice! I hope you find ample respite soon and that your peace stays, regardless of what’s in your back account. 😉
Sleeping well is huge and one of the ones I have difficulty with. But when I sleep well, eat well, and exercise I am definitely much more able to handle what comes my way. Thanks August, I’m working towards peace 🙂
PTSD really takes some time to heal and a good family support is also needed. :
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