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  1. #11
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    Apr 2011
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    Re: Flinching and Panic

    Welcome to the forum!

    I think I agree with you telling your husband that, logically, you know he won't harm you. But emotions are far more, shall we say, "deep" and primal... That part of the brain is harder to change (not impossible, though). Think of it as your wheels go back to that well-worn trail when your brain suddenly feels (not thinks) a threat is imminent, such as someone coming toward you and trying to grab you. Your brain gets your body into that fight or flight mode, hence the freezing/flinching.

    Maybe you could sit down with your husband and let him know that you are aware he is trying to help, but it's been proven time and again that when he does that (reaches out to try to control you) it doesn't do anything to help you calm down.

    Maybe you two could come up with a way for him to communicate better with you without coming toward you or touching you. Perhaps if he just uses his voice. I've noticed if someone is yelling, if another person says something lower-toned, the yeller has to stop yelling to hear what the speaker is saying. If that works, your husband could then just speak to you in low, calm tones... And at some point when you are feeling more calm, he can ask for permission to hug you or touch your hand... Mind you, it shouldn't be him who has to calm you. Perhaps you can figure out (Google, read self-help) a way to help you use a strategy to use to prevent yourself from this spiral of emotions...

    When you are getting frustrated or angry, could you could train yourself to Stop... Catch yourself... Do you need to walk away for a moment? Do you need to say, "Dear, I'm starting to get fired up here. I need a little distance so I can process what we are talking about. Please don't talk about this yet, but in a few minutes I will let you know when I can talk about it again."

    The goal would be that you'd let off a little steam at a time, instead of saving it all inside and the top flying off when you've finally hit that point of no return. If you can become more mindful, somehow, of when your physical symptoms occur: tightening muscles, clenching, fists, fast breathing, stomping, etc, then you could start loosening those muscles, unclench, stretch out, slow your breathing, etc... It's possible that even if you are very angry, your excitation may come down and you could discuss your concerns and frustrations with less enthusiasm and with a little more self control... It won't be easy at first... But practice, practice!

    Hope this helps!
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

  2. #12
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    Apr 2011
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    Re: Flinching and Panic

    FYI: I used to have a temper, but this has worked for me...

    It also takes time, and I've been a substitute teacher for children with special emotional/developmental needs (ie some are just not socialized, or have been abused, etc - wide variety of issues)... Some of these children have anger/temper issues... The teachers try to get the children in touch with how they are feeling, so they can catch themselves before they get angry.

    They listen to their bodies. They learn to ask themselves why they feel a certain way. Sometimes just asking themselves questions or looking at what makes them upset can help them calm down.

    It's hard for them, but they're learning. I can imagine how difficult it would be to stop if one never had any guidance or had parents who weren't the best role models... It has to be much harder to deal with as an adult...
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

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