My partner just had a big panic attack and self-harmed. They told me everything is not okay and that its trauma related. When I asked what trauma, they told me it was from the car accident I was in back in March. They said since I got hurt then that whenever I feel sick or not well physically that it makes them really anxious and that they can’t take it. This makes me scared to tell them when I’m not feeling well or nauseous. I struggle with nausea pretty frequently so this will be a big problem I feel, because if I don’t tell them they get upset, but if I do they still get upset. I’m not really sure what to do. I asked for a break from the conversation because I started getting overwhelmed and they started crying so I felt like I had to stay. Eventually they let me leave and take a break, I needed one or I would start getting grumpy because of me being overwhelmed (this is especially common for me since I’m on the spectrum). I don’t know what to do.
THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:
- Great job having the courage and strength to reach out for support. We definitely can see how scary it could be to navigate situations where it feels like no matter which choice you make, it’s not the best decision. First – take a breath and try your best to do your best. Seems like you already did well with asking to take a break when you became overwhelmed. That’s a good start.
- Next, it sounds like both of you may benefit from learning a bit more about things like trauma, self-harm, and anxiety. On the TeenCentral site, we have a lot of resources related to these topics. Under our “Learn” tab, you can find helpful info on both self-harm and anxiety. In our “Tools” tab there are support plans for when individuals are struggling or even suggestions on coping skills. We encourage you and your partner to check them out.
- Lastly, it’s great that you reached out to us, but finding connections and support in your daily environment is really helpful too. People around you have a better idea of who you are and the different ways to support you. It’s also nice to talk to a person in real life because it helps us not feel alone as we go through tough times. It may be difficult to talk to your partner about these things at first, so is there another positive adult in your life that you could talk to about this?
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE:
- We do feel like having a conversation with your partner eventually is an important part to gaining understanding and figuring out how to handle these situations in the future. But doing that right away could be tough. Perhaps doing some journaling to organize your thoughts could be helpful. You could even use writing as a way to help you communicate by writing your partner a letter.
- Navigating situations like these can be tough on a person as you experienced. It can cause you to have your own anxiety, fear, or other negative emotions. This makes it very important that you have good ways to manage those feelings. Being able to tell people when you need a break is great! What are some things you do when you are taking that break, to help you calm down? If you don’t have a list of things in your mind that help you cope, you should really think about that and make a mental (or written) list.
- Having coping skills for when you are upset is great, but you should also have positive and fun things to do regularly as part of your daily routine. What are some hobbies and interests that bring you happiness? We encourage you to try and set aside at least 10 minutes a day for fun things that make you smile. And if your partner is up for it, maybe you can do some of these things together to help you both!