PTSD: Avoidance

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This symptom is hard to avoid, avoidance that is.

Both PTSD and Childhood (Complex) PTSD share the avoidance symptom.

Avoidance is my dominant symptom while dissociation is a close second.

Avoidance impacts desires, or we desire safety over all else.

Does childhood abuse cause more avoidance, more intense fear around people?

Covid quarantine impacted my avoidance tendencies.

Being told people were dangerous, to wear a mask and keep a six-foot distance changed something in me.

Avoidance was a way of life for two years, old, buried traumas burst into my consciousness.

My PTSD has grown more powerful since quarantine.

My therapist said quarantine intensified all his trauma clients negatively.

How powerful is your avoidance symptom? Has it grown?

If you do engage socially, what is it like preparing to go out?
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10 responses to this post.

  1. Many of us do not enjoy crowds, social functions, or similar get-togethers, we suffer greatly when we need to attend

    It is not something we look forward to.

    It is something we suffer preparing for, enduring then getting back home to safety

    I know many abused kids feel the same as I do.

    We worry and suffer when we have to attend certain events

    We are anxious almost in panic as we prepare. Our mind plays all the disastrous scenarios that we may face.

    Our defenses are up, our nervous system ready to tilt, we sense imminent danger as others prepare in glee.

    This is our life

    It is an emotional rollercoaster and we yearn for it to be over.

    Not easy navigating life

    Then again when desire outweighs safety, I was the hitting coach for the grandkids babe Ruth team

    Went to all games and practices

    I do enjoy watching and being part of that group

    It has it’s challenges also

  2. Definitely worse for me since quarantine and all of the assorted threats that went along with that. Not only did I avoid going most places and still prefer that, I also avoided talking to anyone anywhere, even online about my opinions about basically anything because i couldn’t tolerate the potential for a disagreement or verbal confrontation. So my avoidance began to include all humans. The effects of the resulting isolation is indescribable. Something it doesn’t feel I’ll ever recover from. Whatever trust had remained in me, is gone.
    I have to balance this with meeting the needs of my child. I want to avoid. He needs to develop normal social healthy interactions and habits. He went to the pool last week. He is a teenager but I get too worried so I wait in my car or in the park. I found a picnic table and sat at it. Everything was find for awhile but then groups of daycare or something like that showed up and one of the teachers decided to use the picnic table that was 5 feet away from where I was reading. There were others further away but it felt like they didn’t want me there and sat uncomfortably close, 20 plus kids next to a grown up who is reading, and without any form of acknowlegement that I was even there. I have those kinds of experiences often. Twice at this particular park. So I went and sat in my car, overheating and triggered. Because I don’t feel like the world wants me either. It is avoidance, but it is also rejection. The childhood wounds feel huge and like a neon sign for everyone else. I never feel safe. That feeling of never being safe is turning my heart bitter. The only escape from the bitter, and anger, is constantly being alone.

  3. Thanks for sharing

    It is challenging

    I do much better depending on my mood or if my PTSD is active

    I can also be an extrovert in the right situation

    It is crazy and a trigger can change any mood instantly.

    When I write how I feel, it seems also silly that my life is this compromised

    But I avoid at an alarming rate

    My avoidance has intensified as yours with covid

    It is difficult to roll it back to pre covid days for me.

  4. Posted by rudid96 on July 25, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    I like the idea of people, but probably not as much as the reality. Long chats and togetherness are exceptionally trying. Meetings were horrid. The older I get, the more difficult socializing becomes. I even hide from neighbors & the postal worker to reduce the chatting. And yet, I can be, at times, very outgoing. COVID lockdown wasn’t a problem. I was thrilled to feel ‘normal.’ I enjoy watching people and catching bits of conversations, but it is only a select few with which I feel at ease.

  5. A dichotomy of a life

    Introverted extrovert is who I am

  6. Posted by rudid96 on July 25, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    It can be confusing to others and to oneself. Do you ever wish you’d simply fit nicely into one category?

  7. I know normal by watching others

    I am sure confused myself

    Who am i
    Is a conundrum

    We will never fit in a simple category

    Our ego is not whole, damaged as it developed so no never a simple category

  8. Posted by rudid96 on July 25, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    Your words speak the truth. It’s not what I want to hear, but nonetheless, it is the truth.

  9. Your words hit home for so many young people today – with or without PTSD. Isolation can be reinforcing because it is protective, but as you shared, being on the sidelines can be so lonely. I encourage my students to step back into the ‘social arena’ in increments after the pandemic lockdowns (we had so many in Canada). Posts like yours help Marty. More than you know.

  10. We never went thru school on zoom

    My grandkids hated it

    Avoidance is not a prescription for happiness in my opinion

    What do you do when social situations make me worse

    More pain and suffering

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