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Facing Major Trigger on Tues- Please help


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Dear Friends,

 

I have to go to court on Tuesday and will probably come face to face with a person that traumatized me.  Haven't seen this person in over 15 years.  I am worried that this will be a trigger.  I have spoken to my pdoc and was given some Valium, but I'm wondering if there are any techniques that you can suggest to help me.  I particularly need help dealing with the time between now and Tuesday.  This is difficult to me and I appreciate anything you guys can teach me.  Thanks.

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That sounds really stressful. I'm sorry you're having to deal with it.

 

What particular symptoms/reactions are you most worried about? I know I dissociate heavily when triggered, I can give you my tips on dealing with that if you think that would be helpful.

 

In terms of dealing with anxiety until Tuesday, that's a tough one. I, personally, would likely use a combination of avoidance/escapism (grab a really good book or TV show, dive in, and don't come out unless I really have to) and meditation, although your mileage may vary. There are a few guided mindfulness and relaxation meditations that I find helpful. I can link them if you're interested.

 

Do you have a tdoc you can talk to at all about this?

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Before a particularly stressful period I like to try and set up nice things for myself, like day trips or meeting friends or going for a walk. If nothing else it gives me something to do other than think about it all day. I really hope Tuesday goes as well as possible for you.

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ObRobot,

 

When I'm stressed like this I become jumpy and very irritable.  But I seem to only be able to tolerate those feelings for a short time and then it's just full blown anger.  I am all the way on the other side of the country so even if I had a tdoc they wouldn't do me any good until I go back home.

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So you don't want to go explody...

Gawd, I cut my evil dad out of my life 21 years ago, and I doubt I could stand to speak to him today.  Maybe scream at him, if I didn't attack him on sight.

 

The only idea I can think of is to work out to the point of muscular exhaustion prior to going to court, like hard enough where you find you're shaking a little afterward?

And then eat some heavy protein, maybe take a benadryl if that's allowed and advised by your doc, and go to court.

Hopefully your body will be too tired, too benadrylled, and too busy digesting the protein to give you a ginormous adrenaline dump? 

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There's some good suggestions in the book "The PTSD Workbook" by Marybeth Williams and Soili Poijula.  Specifically in the chapter "How Trauma Impacts how the way you view yourself" they have a section called Facing a Difficult Situation which gives you the  example of having to see your abusive father at a wedding and asks how you would prepare for this situation -including things you can have around you to cope - like affirmations or little symbols.  If you can think about the situation beforehand and visualize yourself coping, or what you would need to help cope - whether its family members, or even like a small pad of paper to write stuff down on.  I'm not really sure what would work best but if you've got a relative around you can they help you work it out?  Maybe you could write out all the things you would want to say to this person, or write down all your emotions and talk about it with your relative or call a friend beforehand so when you see them you know you have your feelings written down and can come back to it after the court appointment is over.

 

Just spitballing, I hope that doesn't make things worse.  Good luck

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Not looking forward to this at all, but I know I can do it.  I had hoped to never see or hear from this person again.  But the only way I can get my life back is to go to court and face it.  I was wrongfully accused of assault and sexual assault by an ex girlfriend years ago.  I ended up spending a few months in the county jail despite the fact that there was no evidence AND the so-called victim did not report it until years after the alleged incident.  For years I walked around angry and jumpy and always afraid of being accused again.  I didn't think there was anything I could do about it until earlier this year.  I hired a lawyer and found out that the proceedings by which I was convicted were illegal and the case was overturned.  In response, the prosecutor has threatened to pick up the charges again and start over from scratch.  I found out last week that the prosecutor's office destroyed my file and all evidence (which was basically just a statement from her), so I doubt there will be a new trial.  I have to go to this hearing to tell the court that I understand that since the case was overturned, I can possibly face the same thing again, blah blah.  Most states have laws that every time there is a court date the "victim" has the right to attend, and so that is why she will be there.  Can you imagine how you would feel if someone fucked up your life like that and then you have to look at them in court???

 

I have decided to just tough it out.  I have my meds and I have myself.  This is just the way it has to be.  I'm trying not to take this personally.  These things happen to lots of people.  But I can't let her get away with this bullshit.  I have to fight.  The only real concern is that I might start fighting myself (get depressed, start skipping meds, become full of rage, etc).  That's the part that sucks.

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