I’ve been having a lot of trauma flashbacks recently. Most of the time I go into a panic attack and people don’t know what to do. Most of the time they don’t really notice. But I’ve been getting super shaky and remembering things. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, but is there anything else that can help other than therapy? Literally I feel like everything has been triggering me and my dad, who used to abuse me, hasn’t been respecting my triggers. When he makes loud noises like slamming the door or something,(loud noises are one of my triggers) my mom tells him to stop, but he just yells at me to deal with it. I don’t know what to do and I don’t feel comfortable talking to someone about it because they’ll probably think I’m weird, and my mom won’t let me go to the guidance office other than lunch or break. I don’t have time then, and the counselor’s only here 3 days a week. Also, I’m not allowed to skip class like I used to. It helped me calm down because I’m not supposed to be alone at school because last month I was in the mental hospital and am going to intensive outpatient soon, but all the teachers were told I’m a threat to myself and if I’m not in class they have to go searching for me because I am probably in danger. I have to take 10 minute showers with the door open because once I tried to drown myself and that’s one of the reasons I was in the hospital. I mean I understand that they’re just trying to keep me safe but I just want time to myself because it helps me to relax… I feel like I don’t have that much freedom anymore, but I guess that’s my fault. I don’t know. I just want someone who will listen to me, that’s all, because most people leave.
- My sense is that you are still very fragile from everything that has happened, not just recently but also from the past. It seems that you’ve never really healed from these things that have happened even though you’ve been to the hospital and other places to get treatment. This is why you’re still having panic attacks, and anxiety, and stress in school. We are grateful that you reached back out to TeenCentral to continue to process what’s going on with you. It’s brave to share your story especially when it’s so difficult and complex as you shared.
- How are you doing with keeping yourself safe? That’s the first priority. You’ve brought up some times in your past that you’ve struggled with maintaining your safety. Are you using your positive coping skills now? You may want to revisit those and keep them fresh in your mind while you work through this situation. Everyone’s way of keeping them safe themselves safe is different. What works for one person is different than what works for another. So think back to the different treatments that you have had and try to remember the ones that really work for you. Maybe retry some of those ones that were really helpful. Write them down and keep them maybe in a journal or notebook. Make notes and remind yourself whether they’re working for you now are not. Keep track of what’s working and what’s not working.
- You said you didn’t want to talk to a therapist or anyone else about it, but you did indicate that you want someone to listen to you. Maybe try talking with someone that you haven’t tried talking to before who will be able to properly support you. Who else is there in your life that you trust?
- If at any point you do feel unsafe again, please don’t hesitate to call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Hotline listed below
National Suicide Hotline
Helps individuals in suicidal crisis with support
- Have you ever considered journaling? It’s a great place to tell your story where you don’t have to worry about judgement from anyone. It also gives you a chance to look back on the things you’re going through and how you worked through it. In our “What’s New” tab we have a story specifically about journaling that may interest you. Journaling is one of those strategies that we often recommend to people who write into TeenCentral. You’re already writing to us so, that lends us to believe that you might be a good writer outside of writing on a website. You could do this on a computer, phone or in a journal by hand. Sometimes it helps just get all of the emotions out on paper. You could even write in the form of a letter if you needed to. And if necessary you could send that letter to a guidance counselor to your parents if you feel like they’re not really listening to what you’re saying. The good thing about doing that is that they have to read the whole thing without responding. This means they really listening to what you’re saying.
- Have you tried involving the people who are trying to keep you safe in your day to day activities? This may be difficult with teachers, but you may be able to involve family members and friends in things like playing games, going for walks, cooking, etc. so it doesn’t seem like they’re simply watching you. This would make them an active part things, and you may find conversations flow easier when everyone is more relaxed.
- Have you tried having a discussion with your parents about how you’re feeling? You may want to write down what you want to say first, and practice how you’d like to say it before you meet with your parents. It helps to practice important things so that you can go into the conversation fully prepared and able to express yourself calmly and clearly.
- I think probably one of the most painful parts of what you’re going through is feeling out of control. Nobody likes to feel that way with their emotions, but that is why we are making so many different recommendations to help you to learn to cope with them. If you haven’t already, please take a look at the tools section of our website. Think about any of the things that are listed there and if and see if anything jumps out at you that would be interesting. If not there, look at the “what’s new” section of the website because they are also is some ideas for things to do to cope with stress. The situation that you’re in is going to continue to cause anxiety and panic if you’re not able to work on relaxation skills and mindfulness to help yourself de-escalate. We want to see if any of our skills on the website can help you bring yourself back to baseline so you don’t feel so out of control.