I have to wonder if anyone other than me has ever had this experience. When I an placed into incapacitating anxiety by a demanding situation, my brain completely ceases to function. Even my eyes don’t see properly. I can’t even read what is right in front of me.
It happens to me in a situation where someone tells me to do something and when I attempt to do it, i don’t understand how to do it or it turns out that I realize that I made some mistake. So the thing is right in front of me but I lack the ability to do it.
Then the person is saying. It’s right there , just do it. When I try to explain to them that I WANT to do it but I don’t know how , they keep saying , it’s there and you should know how to do it. You were already told how, you have done it before, I gave you the tools in the past etc.
If I knew how to do it then I would. Why would I want to do anything that would cause me the extreme anxiety that the fact that they are so upset with me would cause? The more upset they get with me, the more I wish I could just do what they want , so I can stop feeling this way.
I want so badly to do the thing that they want me to do. I want so badly to not feel so extremely stupid.
I want to stop them from telling me how I am being uncooperative because I don’t know how to do it.
I keep hoping they will say “oh you forgot. I will show you again. I will guide you to do it.”
But they say that I already know how and I should not have lost it or forgotten it. I feel so bad and so embarrassed.
And then i go into this super stupid kind of trauma. I do not mean the trauma is stupid. I mean I go into this trauma that makes me stupid. I feel paralyzed by fear of disappointing them. I become paralyzed to think , to read or to speak clearly.
I go into this post traumatic stress from when I was in a violent domestic situation. If I ever forgot something or did something wrong (by wrong I mean doing something differently than he wanted it done) then retaliation would follow.
If I made a mistake with cooking the dinner then I would have the food I cooked thrown all over the floor and I would have to crawl on my hands and knees in front of him to clean it up. And then I would be mocked and made fun of for cleaning it up the wrong way (not his way).
If I bought the wrong bread at the grocery store, I would have the bread thrown at me and be accused of trying to starve him to death.
I was always in danger of making a mistake, of not doing something the way he wanted it done. I then was called names , told I was stupid and otherwise punishes with being humiliated.
I was threatened with violence, I was threatened with retaliation against my children.I was sent into a whirlwind of fear and threats.
So when someone expects me to do something that I cannot understand how to do, I become afraid.
I am afraid because I really don’t know how to do it. No matter how hard I try I can’t figure out how to do it. My brain melts more and more as the person keeps insisting that I have to do it and that I know how to do it.
At this point I am about to cry and my brain is becoming shut down. The more they become impatient with me, the more afraid I become. The more humiliation I feel.
I feel like I am on my hands and knees on the floor again cleaning up broken glass that was thrown at my head, while someone stands over top of me and insults me verbally. Verbal insults sometimes turned into physical insults and humiliations like kicking me or wiping their feet on me.
I go into this past trauma and my brain cannot tell the difference. It is completely terrifying.
I try to tell the person that I feel upset now that I know I can’t do what they want. I try to explain to them that I am having trouble thinking now because I am upset and my brain is not thinking as well as usual.
But people who have not been in domestic abuse traumas do not understand. They do not understand that once your brain thinks you are back there again that you have a memory that becomes your feelings in the present time. The feelings of fear you had back then suddenly come back and you feel those same feelings in the present moment.
Once I am in that state of utter fear and trauma, I cannot think and I cannot do what they want. I just continue to frustrate them and I continue to anger them (at least I feel like they are angry at me)
I have such a horrible fear of anyone becoming angry at me. I fear anyone becoming frustrated at me because in my past situation of domestic abuse, the person’s frustration turned to anger and contempt at me very quickly, before I could do anything about it.
Once my brain goes into post traumatic stress, I get stupider and stupider. My brain just sees lights and no thoughts. Just panic and fear. Fear of their thinking I am so stupid. Fear of them thinking I do not want to cooperate.
The saddest part of all is that I would do nearly anything to make these feelings of terror go away. I certainly would be happy to do the thing they want me to do.
I do not have any desire to be uncooperative. Their perception of my trying to be uncooperative is wrong and unfair.
People with post traumatic stress are misunderstood and have so much trouble relating to people. It is lonely and sad.
My being uncooperative is going to make them angrier. Them getting angrier causes my pain and fear to get worse and worse.
People can’t be patient with someone is post traumatic stress.
If people would be more patient maybe I could think better.
I have no brain function. I want to cry and cry and cry because I can’t do things that other people can do.
The trauma keeps me from remembering how to do basic things. If they would just walk me through it again then maybe I could help them and get it done.
Why is everything about placing blame and declaring whose fault something is.
Can’t we just go on and find a solution to the situation without having to make sure the other person is at fault?