PTSD

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Believe

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PTSD
« on: October 21, 2020, 04:55:57 PM »
If I'm being honest with myself, even after almost 5 years of not having contact with my uN M, I have a hard time when I come across a person who I have to deal with who reminds me of them and/or displays potential PD behaviors. I get so tense and can't think straight. I feel depressed. I lose my appetite. I feel threatened. I don't want to be abused (emotionally is what I'm referring to).

I'm interacting with a client who is a bit toxic but she can also be nice. I don't want to be a baby about it. Not every client I work with needs to be my best friend. But my anxiety is through the roof and this feeling of being so out of sync with feeling good all because of one bitchy client makes me feel that I just can't handle real life and it's my fault. I don't want to fight with her. But everything is an issue. Honestly, I don't like her. And now it seems I'm stuck working with her unless I can figure out a way to get out of it that doesn't involve any breach of contract.

I am spending too much time thinking about it and trying to analyze how I can disarm the toxicity. I want to be ahead of the ball but the effort that it takes is making me so unhappy. It affects my decision making and my attitude. I feel manipulated and not respected or appreciated. And I'm mad at myself for not listening to my instincts when I first got involved with this person. There were red flags all over the place but I wanted to be a big girl and prove I could do it.

I've worked so hard to stay away from toxic people. I get that same ache in my gut that I had when I was in contact with my uN M and I'd feel like a small incapable child. I'm ruminating and I just don't like this feeling.  :sadno:
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill

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blacksheep7

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 12:01:40 PM »
If I'm being honest with myself, even after almost 5 years of not having contact with my uN M, I have a hard time when I come across a person who I have to deal with who reminds me of them and/or displays potential PD behaviors. I get so tense and can't think straight. I feel depressed. I lose my appetite. I feel threatened. I don't want to be abused (emotionally is what I'm referring to).

I'm interacting with a client who is a bit toxic but she can also be nice. I don't want to be a baby about it. Not every client I work with needs to be my best friend. But my anxiety is through the roof and this feeling of being so out of sync with feeling good all because of one bitchy client makes me feel that I just can't handle real life and it's my fault. I don't want to fight with her. But everything is an issue. Honestly, I don't like her. And now it seems I'm stuck working with her unless I can figure out a way to get out of it that doesn't involve any breach of contract.

I am spending too much time thinking about it and trying to analyze how I can disarm the toxicity. I want to be ahead of the ball but the effort that it takes is making me so unhappy. It affects my decision making and my attitude. I feel manipulated and not respected or appreciated. And I'm mad at myself for not listening to my instincts when I first got involved with this person. There were red flags all over the place but I wanted to be a big girl and prove I could do it.

I've worked so hard to stay away from toxic people. I get that same ache in my gut that I had when I was in contact with my uN M and I'd feel like a small incapable child. I'm ruminating and I just don't like this feeling.  :sadno:

Hi Believe

When you say you got involved with that client, do you mean on a personal level? 

What you are feeling is exactly what you wrote, she makes you feel like your uNM wanted you to feel, small. Yes PTSD.  This is a client, I don't know the exact relationship you have with her but as a client you should not take this personally.  ;)

The fact that you didn't follow your instincts could happen to anyone. I got caught up in a codependent friendship way too deep and I had the instinct at first but let it pass me by thinking that I was just having a very close friendship, bff.
Don't be hard on yourself.

I know.... easier said than done.  I have pds in my family and had to learn how to responsd instead of react, observe instead of absorb.
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

"When people show you who they are, believe them."
 Maya Angelou

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Believe

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2020, 09:27:44 PM »
Hi blacksheep7. I work with clients on a somewhat personal level but I absolutely make every effort to maintain professional boundaries and I think I'm doing that with this client. Thank you for asking. Fortunately I've had a reprieve for about a week from dealing with the client. What's interesting about that is how I noticed how much better I felt each day without that interaction. It's possible I'm associating feelings unrealistically toward this person but I do know for sure that this person can turn very nasty in a second. I appreciate your validation and I guess just having an awareness will keep me steady. I don't take her attitude personally but it's like my body has memory and I find myself going down a dark hole after interacting with this person. I'm strong enough to handle it, but I'd rather not, ya know?

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill

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guitarman

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 04:27:36 PM »
Mental health professionals have regular supervision with their colleagues as part of their self care. They recognise that they all need support from each other through some very stressful times. It is their model of working in order to keep themselves detached and emotionally uninvolved.

Are there colleagues that you can get some support from? If not it doesn't seem that you and your colleagues are being well supported at work. I know that it's not always possible and you maybe working on your own.

The client maybe projecting all their problems onto you and you could be transferring all your issues with your mother onto them. They aren't your mother but they remind you so much about her. You may feel that you want to rescue them or change them. You may feel that you want to fix them, but you can't.

It must be very difficult to stay non judgemental, neutral and unbiased. It can't be easy for you as you have a professional relationship with them. Whatever happens please remain calm. The client maybe trying to push all your buttons to get the reaction that they crave from you. Be aware about not feeding their narcissistic supply. Sorry but lots of red flags have been raised for me by what you have posted.

I know that I can be triggered by people who remind me of my uBPD/NPD sister. I now call her my abuser. Abusers are all about power and control. We need to trust our gut as it doesn't lie, unlike our head or our heart. So it maybe that your gut is telling you that you need to be very wary of this person in case they cause you harm, like your mother did.  You already feel very uneasy in their company or just even thinking about them. It sounds like your inner child is saying to you to be aware of this person and that they want to protect you from them. It could be that you are reminded about the time in your childhood when the abuse began, so you revert back to that time and feel childish and helpless. But you are now an adult and can make choices and can ask for help. You do not need to tolerate any abuse, even from a client.

There are Grey Rock and Medium Chill techniques to use to help you become more detached. You can find out about them in the "Toolbox" section.

It would seem wise to decline this person as your client, if that is at all possible. They are causing you so much pain and anguish. You need to take care of yourself as no one else will.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 04:35:33 PM by guitarman »
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author

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Believe

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2020, 06:08:26 PM »
Thank you guitarman. I really appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. I'm a sole proprietor business owner so, no, there is no one to turn to in my work environment but I do have family members who are a sounding board at times like this. I am definitely proceeding with caution and will look out for myself above all else. Thanks again. Your comments are so helpful.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2020, 11:02:03 AM »
Certain personalities are stressful to deal with.

Coming Out of the FOG is a process and it is a process of knowing yourself too. Knowing this client stresses you out is part of your self awareness.

A lot of people who get stressed out don't know why... and assume a lot... because they don't think about FOG when they feel it.

So if you try to workshop or vent or debrief with people and they start to talk about themselves and how 'oh I just brush that stuff off'. And say something about how they "don't let people get to them"... don't despair. They are talking about themselves and assume everyone is as they are.

If I were to tell a friend about a colleague that stresses me out what can happen is that the friend says 'oh that stuff doesn't stress me out.'

This has happened a lot actually. Be wary if you do try to debrief with people in your life and they brush it off and make you question your reaction. Yeah they brush off a lot - and that's how they are.

Ideally if you know people who have also come Out of the FOG, talking to them can help more than talking to someone who is "good" at "brushing things off".

Trees

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D.

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2020, 12:12:58 PM »
Believe,

The only idea I might add here is that of opportunity.  Over the past few years healing one thing I discuss with my therapist itís the opportunity to heal through exposure.  So I try to look at triggering situations usually as an opportunity to practice, heal and feel better around said trigger.   That might mean practicing boundaries, asserting, reducing ruminating, etc.  And sometimes it can mean eliminating the trigger in some way, like ending a contract...

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Believe

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Re: PTSD
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2020, 05:04:42 PM »
Hello and thank you to all. Well, guess what. I received a call from the client this morning that they will not continue working with me for "personal reasons". I asked if they could elaborate and they said no. Although it's disappointing to lose a client, I'm content with this development. She chose to not site any reason of any wrongdoing on my part and I do think continuing would have been extremely challenging to say the least. In over a decade of doing the work that I do, I've only had one other falling out with a client and it was circumstances, not any bad feelings.

I'm following up with a packet of information to hold up to the contractual arrangement and then leaving this one in the past.

I did definitely learn from the experience and will continue to pay attention to my gut feelings in the future. I'm so grateful to have been able to share this here safely - it has been so helpful.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill