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Accidentally *screamed* at the BF.

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my depression has been ((knock on wood)) pretty lifted for the past few weeks and I've been enjoying it so so so much. I've been pretty stable. My boss came up behind me at work that day and went "HI MEGGG!!!!!" really loud and I jumped hard and was able to rationally tell him that I "don't scare well" and to "please never do that again, I know it was meant in fun but it really throws me off" and I *think* (he's a bit of a moron sometimes..) that he'll think twice before doing it again. I was proud of myself for being so together. go me, I thought.

so anyway. getting ready for bed with my back to the open doorway (a rarity, but I'm so comfortable and safe feeling at my boyfriend's place), the lights are all off so it was pretty dark except for some streetlight through the window and I thought my bf was in the bathroom..I'm just folding my jeans or something and TOTALLY SUDDEN there's this huge shadow in the doorway out of the corner of my eye "BOO."

sounds harmless, right?

I whipped around could feel my freaking heart trying to jump out of my chest and almost fell over from just my physical panic defensive reaction to being so suddenly scared and a split second later when I realize it was him I find myself starting with a loud voice and ending in an livid panicked scream: "please.. Don't. DO THATTTTT!!!!"

and I clapped my hand over my mouth.

it was *completely* involuntary. I was so embarrassed that I screamed at him like that, and on a late sunday night in an apartment building? what the heck. I don't yell. I barely even scold and here I was, shaking like I'm about to knock myself over and yelling before I even realize that I'm talking at all. I apologized profusely because of the shocked sad look on his face and tried to explain that it was totally involuntary and I didn't mean to yell but please please don't DO that. I think I looked so scared and startled that he totally realized his mistake as well. he thought I knew that he was 'the only one here' (he apparently still doesn't understand that there is NO rational thought a part of this). he did a good job of calming me down, giving me a nice gentle hug and holding me and saying 'shh, shh, it's okay, it's just me, it's just me' --but holy sh*t, it took a long time for my heart rate to get back to normal.


thats just the first time really that I haven't had any control AT ALL over my reaction when someone scares me like that. I'm usually pretty f-ing angry and stern since they all know not to do it, but never has my body 100% been in charge with no mind there AT ALL. it's scary. I'm afraid it will happen again in a place less forgiving and with someone less understanding.

anyone know what to DO with this? It's been three years since the event that started all this and *now* is when I start losing control? any comments/commisserating/advice/anything? I'm so lost again.


ps- (skip reading this if you want, it's not necessary to read and the post is already looooong, I'm just adding background if anyone is bored.) ;):)

the reason *why* I am so f-ed up when it comes to innocent 'boo.' and little surprises coming from anywhere but especially behind me is that :cussing: I was attacked and raped when I was 17. I was working in a color darkroom (it's like a small closet, you work by yourself in pitch black) at a summer college program in the evening and feeling really confidant and grown-up being away from home for a month in boston. my friend katie was working in another darkroom at the way other end of the hallway but we were popping in and out of eachother's rooms to see how it was going and so when I was standing with my back to the partly open door and heard it open and shut I thought it was her (I was about to switch the lights off and print anyway, but it was a little weird that she'd closed the door, it was a teeny closet) :wtf: . the lights got switched off and the door locked and before I even turned around I was grabbed around the waist from behind and had what felt like a knife pressed against my neck. "shut up. just shut up you bitch. I'll cut you into little peices, you make noise. so shut up." . I'm not going to go into it more, that's another post probably a loooong way off from now, but that's the first time I've told anyone the first thing he said even though I the whole thing plays perfectly in my head. it's ridiculous how well you remember your other senses when it's pitch black and your sight is taken away. cruel joke. anyway,

I don't like it when people sneak up behind me.

ahh, I didn't even mean to type this whole thing, sorry, just came out and I'm going to post it while I have the guts even if nobody reads it or responds. my bf was my bf at the time (but a whole state away that month) and he KNOWS about this. it took me 6months to tell *anyone* but he was the first one I told. I still can't kinda belive that he would surprise me like that. I thought he KNEW me, you know? there is no Fucking rational thought involved. my heart is pounding just thinking about being scared by him the other night. it's crazy. but still. I thought I was getting farther from it and maybe escaping without any 'real' ptsd kind of stuff...but losing control of what you say and do? that's real. I could shrug off feeling on edge and like crap for a day if someone scared me and pretend it wasn't a big deal and I was in charge, but I can't shrug this off. I'm just babbling now. goodnight. congrats and thanks if anyone made it to the end of this, even if you didn't, I'm glad I can just post it I guess.


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I do the "hanging from the ceiling" thing. Last week, my very sweet, gentle, lovable mutt came up to me and very gently licked my arm. I about had a heart attack. I think I hurt her feelings. If there are sudden, loud noises, that also gives me a heart attack. Sudden movement. I remember when I was at work once. I went into the teacher's lounge to get a soda from the fridge, closed the door and screamed because there was someone trying to sleep on the chair next to the fridge(a very sweet woman who was battling breast cancer and on liquid morphine). I apologized profusely. luckily, she didn't seem to notice.

I've never been dx'd w/ PTSD, but i think I must have it. i have had a lot of traumas in my life. I hate being touched unexpectedly. It took a long time for my dh to get this. He would come up behind me and grab my butt while I was cooking and the spatula went flying across the kitchen. After a few years, he mostly doesn't touch me by surprise. He's a touchy-feely person. He tries. I told him( and he's the only one I've ever told) that I lost my virginity to "date rape". I still feel like it's my fault for being drunk and stoned and going to his house. Of course, that was almost 20 years ago. More recently, my daughter who is now 5, almost died when she was 2 from a head injury. She had to get "bayflighted"-Helicopter ride (BTW- it cost $7214!). The paramedics were in my living room and her vitals starting dropping and the paramedics started looking freaked. She was unconscious. It was the scariest thing I've ever been through. The next day, in the hospital, I was chasing her down the halls in the hospital with her little hospital gown and diaper peeking out.

Sorry for going on and on. But the whole rape thing was in my consciousness because I am in the middle of a book where there is a lot of content about rape. (Dean Koontz). I was up all night.

I also had a somewhat traumatic childhood, but I won't go into that. Just wanted to let you know, you're not alone.

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  • 2 months later...

Yup. Experienced this same constant (severely) on edge-ness for like 18 years or so until I got on a med. I was probably pre disposed to the PTSD aspects you all describe genetically (anxiety/depression etc. in family); in addition to the resulting early childhood trauma of my brother being killed.

Maybe its something some people can 'come out of', but I know that this kind of severe anxiety you all describe is something that never got much if at all better for me until I got on meds 10 years after my brother was killed.

Sometimes talking about a traumatic event and your feelings surrounding it can really help. Especially (I would guess) if its something thats not 'reinforced' with genetic anxiety/depression thats there to begin with. For me nothing came even remotely close to removing the extreme "noise" of this kind of anxiety, which blocks you from being yourself, as medication has.

Im absolutely amazed, and damn proud, that I was able to survive the everyday hell I lived through for all those years, and if I have to be on a med the rest of my life to keep that hell from returning than I could care less.

I was never even able to be myself for all those years because of all the mental noise. I still have depression and all kinds of other issues, but for me the feeling of being so socially and emotionally disconnected due to my extreme anxiousness was probably the worst aspect of the torture I endured all those years.

Anyhow, that kind of amplified panic response, in addition to the lift in depressive symptoms, is exactly what I experienced on wellbutrin.

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i'm really touchy like that too- every noise sets me off. that was bad in my profession. i used to be a help desk analyst, and the phone rang all the time. i tried to get them to get a light up phone, but to no avail.


you've got a lot to recover from. now, i've read that topamax is being TESTED AND TRIED right now in clinical trials as help for PTSD patients. i don't know how successful it will be, however my PTSD did (i believe) go into a remission when i was on topa. it just didn't come to mind anymore. the flashbacks were gone. i don't believe it was the placebo effect, but you never know. it could be that topa makes you stupid in general, so you may not remember anything at all ;)

therapy is the only known (as far as i am aware) help for us with PTSD at the moment. make sure you have a good tdoc who can handle it with you. my tdoc just lets me talk about it. she's not a specialist in any one thing, so i don't know if she exactly knows what to do, but it helps anyway.

and don't worry about being touchy. a lot of people get scared when surprised. i'm sorry you were triggered. halloween must be a difficult day!

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  • 2 months later...

I know, I hate the feeling of losing control... I have been dealing with it for 3 years now, and it is impossible to remain in a functional realtionship. Anytime I feel rejected in any way- and again there is no logical thought process here, I completely wig out- and turn into the exorcist girl. This happens a few times a week... what the hell!!!

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know what you mean. heart goes out to you

don't be so hard on yourself. people need to respect your space and other's histories.

one of my professors was talking to the class when something on the desk fell and she JUMPED while the sentence still poured out, only after did she realize how she had jumped and then why. in that moment i knew she had either been raped or hit at a very young age, oh it was awful. my sense was she had repressed that from people very well, and for it to affect her 20 some years later in the professional setting, ugh and for a student to giggle. i just don't know what to say...

then a month or so later it happened to me. first day at the job, being introduced to the team i would work with (1 other female). the comment was innocent, but there was a second "mind in the gutter" meaning which my face flushed and heart went ca-thunk to, before i consciously realized why my face was red and a few guys were gaffaing. it became a re-occuring wound that i never stood up and defended my space on. i was ;) abducted, drugged on top of psychosis, and gang raped :) . The intro incident two years later was "funny" to anyone who doesn't know those reactions. in the company i became known as the tag-team intro girl after my mentor's slip-up, that was more to harass him and overall the incident did established a line that removed me from a sexual view into solely professional in a way i haven't experienced before. still people would use it as a way to talk to me and i pushed it away as whatever right, but each re-hashing brought back that feeling of fear that you can do nothing about. i suffered silently cuz the truth would make people feel bad

why do we defend those stories in our history from people who need to know and immediately would respect space if they knew the truth?

how could i have said anything though? rape stories are just about the worst conversation ever, very private, very personal and yet so common and so obvious in its corpral reaction. i want to see a movie or a video made that would educate people in a real way about PTSD triggers. our women (1/4) and our soldiers deserve that, but who wants to talk about it afterwards..not me.

i am so proud of you for being stern with people when you are in control. likeness to the situation is going to cause trouble unfortunately.It is good your bf knows, that's about how long it took me to tell mine. your bf probably inattentive and new to this, he sounds like he will understand the unrational nature of it and be more careful in the future. but for you to recover from yesterday, ithink it's important to acknowledge that your bf was momentarily linked to a _____*@! and that is the worst on so many levels. that happened for me when my SO and i became more intimate. it was hard, but i can say now that my bf has in his goodness erased that memory or association. it took some time/patience/discomfort, but when you can anticipate the reaction's feeling and edge up to it, just enough to push the border and be completely reassured that the next memory after those events is not horror, but love respect and intimacy, it fundamentally changes the reaction to trama. this does not have to rule your life! more hugs

if you need to talk....

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Username, I was trying to figure out what to say here, but couldn't have constructed a better reply. What you wrote was amazing.

Meg, I hope you're feeling better today - I read your whole post and what you went through is really horrible. I don't think you did anything wrong to your BF - as a matter of fact, I can't believe you said Please! I'm glad that he was able to comfort you and be understanding. Hugs to you.

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i can't add anything either that hasn't already been said. you're defintely not alone.

when i am unwell (depressed or anxious), i jump right out of my skin at the wrong noise, being touched unexpectedly, and having to look up from a chair to a person "looming" over me.

when i am not depressed or anxious, i just get hypervigilant. part of my brain is expecting those things constantly so i don't jump at all when they happen.

just an observation, maybe you've got a pattern going on there too.

and i'm really sorry you went through that. i mean it. it's a special kind of hell.


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  • 1 year later...

One time hubby tickled me and I said "stop" and he didn't and I snapped "Stop or I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!"


I was apologising for it for ages afterward. I didn't mean to say that...I'd never hurt him...but he KNOWS that tickling is a trigger, for fuck's sake...

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I know how you all feel, but dont feel bad until you call your bf a sick son of a bitch and tell him you hate him. I do that at least once a week, he isn't as sensitive to my feelings about stuff, and he thinks things are funny, but what maybe funny to him isnt so much to me. I go nuts, the only thing that calms me is putting on my Ipod, blasting it and doing some serious cleaning in a locked room alone for hours. Then I sleep. I dont know how to cope, I mean I do but I dont.

You guys should feel good, you can live normal or at least semi-normal lives. YOu can cope and you know when you may have hurt some ones feelings, I havent been able to do this yet. [patting every one one the back]

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