Content note: emotional flashback, self-blame, self-harm.
Last week I got to observe an emotional flashback. It started on Monday and lasted until Wednesday. On Monday I did my grounding exercise but I didn’t take motherwort before a department event. Although I knew the department event may be challenging, I was in my “I don’t have PTSD” mode beforehand. After the event “I don’t have PTSD” morphed into “I have PTSD because I am weak”. The morph happened with a growing sense of depression. When I was at the event I was thinking that an appeal I recently submitted wouldn’t go thru because others wouldn’t think I’m competent. Knowing that some of the people in the room could be judging me, and that my shit is laid bare but I have no sense of acknowledgment of what I’ve shared also played into it. I found myself thinking that my needs are too big for my program to accommodate and not appropriate in the setting/department. This led to invisibility too which triggered my self-blame. [On the plus side I was able to realize that this didn’t feel like a more concrete fragment but just like an emotional flashback.]
Here is some of what I journaled during the emotional flashback:
When I get into self blame is when I start thinking about self harm. I know I’m not where I was before when I was planning all or nothing. Also, unlike before I recognize my internalizing and realize that grounding in the support I have helps me. But I’m afraid to let people know what’s going on or ask for help because I don’t think I deserve it, I don’t want to intrude, and because of the stigma of mental health. Also maybe I don’t think my asking for help would be taken seriously, and having an ask fall on deaf ears would be devastating. I fear people would treat me with derision because they would think I’m needy of their time and am doing it to get attention like an energy vampire. I know what I’m saying is that having human needs and making that be know is unaccepted but in my life it has been. With my parents for sure. But I feel that when I’ve asked for help before I haven’t gotten it or even been acknowledged. Maybe that’s because I don’t know how to ask for help. I guess this goes back to fear of being labeled and that awkwardness when people don’t know how to respond or feel uncomfortable by what you say. Yeah this is something to look at and work on.