Why did I react so strongly?

I didn’t love my therapy appointment this week. I felt absent. I didn’t talk about what was bothering me except in the most sideways of fashions. I got there after discussing everything and everything else. A side note as I was leaving.

“By the way, I think my depression is getting worse.”

Except, I think I was mistaken. I’m depressed, it’s true, but that’s not the big problem. The big problem is that I’m lit. Fully triggered and ready to rumble. It’s amazing how that can happen without you realizing it. It’d be nice if we changed colours, like a biological mood ring. I’d know to pay attention to what I’m doing and not doing if PTSD red started showing up around the edges.

I probably should’ve noticed last week. That’s when I started thinking maybe I should stop talking to people. At all. This would be in addition to staying home. Not only am I not fun to be around, I take offence at the drop of a hat.

Now’s not the time to cut me off in traffic. Now’s not the time to ask me about how this project or that one is going. If I’m being honest, now’s mostly the time to leave me alone.

Especially when I make that ask explicit.

Am I responsible for the hurt feelings that follow if I ask to be left alone and people persist in poking the beast? Is it my fault when I snap at those who refuse to listen?

What’s it going to take to drive those boundary lessons home? Sledgehammers?

A sledgehammers is probably excessive. There are other ways to enforce our boundaries. Cattle prods, for instance.

People don’t respect boundaries for various reasons. They don’t know about them – you weren’t clear. They don’t want to respect them – the boundary will stop them from doing what they want. They’re sure if they push, you’ll cave. They think they know better.

“I’m just trying to help.” Really? How? By not listening or by deciding you know best? Perhaps by offering up comparisons to situations you once faced? Nothing like a little one-upmanship when someone is struggling with despair.

Speak clearly and hold the line. Maintain the boundaries with dignity. Even when you feel like shrieking with spittle aplenty.

“Keeping it classy” is harder for me when PTSD takes over. Holding the line and my temper involves both executive functioning and higher-level thinking. That’s not where I’m at when I’m triggered. If you’re looking for someone whose temper control is paper thin and who’s hovering at the edge of despair, however, I’m your gal.

My glass is full, and my resources are depleted. Self-care is no damn good after the fact. Make it a priority when things are challenging. Maintenance is always easier than repair. Self-care has to be part of the process. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

But if people could start listening to me, I’d be grateful.


It was an especially bad day yesterday. I’m just not in a good place mentally. I don’t like the way I behave when my PTSD is lit. I’m angry inside, all the time. My brain manufactures horrible scenarios, tells me lies about friends and family, and amps the dissociations up. I also start to experience suicidal ideation again. It can make me feel like giving up. This, again?

Late in the day, I stumbled across this series on a social media account I follow. The serendipity brought a smile to my face.


13 thoughts on “Why did I react so strongly?

Add yours

  1. This line was brilliant, Ms. Michelle: A sledgehammers is probably excessive. There are other ways to enforce our boundaries. Cattle prods, for instance. I love when someone is able to make me laugh so hard that I cry… and the fact that you can do that in the depths of your situation is nothing short of amazing.

    I’m exactly where you are at this moment in time… but I know that we’ll both make it back. Much love, my beautiful, funny friend! 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I ask to be left alone and they don’t listen, I take no responsibility for my words or actions towards them. The people closest to us should know better. There are people who – when they say they want you to leave them alone actually want you NOT to leave them alone. That’s what confuses people. It’s hard to know who means what they say and those that don’t.

    This reminded me of when I was trying to befriend my partner sibling. I was more flexible with them just to make some sort of a bond. And in the end, they called out how I was easily peer pressured and often went back on my ‘boundaries.’ Well, lesson learned. So, I became an unmovable object. That didn’t go well. Relationship dead.

    I completely agree with the bits you shared from the social media account you follow and am glad that it helped you.

    I’m sorry you are feeling this way… I hope it gets better tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

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