Mounting pressure #D-verse Haibun Monday

My body aches. It betrays me. I feel an intense pressure all over my body. My chest hurts. My legs ache. My heart beats fast. My stomach clenches, my arms ache, my head spins. This pressure is intense, and I can’t escape from it. I am lost, and afraid. I don’t want to give in, but then, neither do I want to fail. Living with PTSD is hard. I am very often overwhelmed by memories, memories I don’t want to experience, ever again.

Wild wind blows

The pressure intense

A storm is brewing

Haibun Monday 3-27-23: Pressure | dVerse (

Author: Carol anne

I am 40 years young. I'm blind and I have dissociative identity disorder, I also have complex PTSD. I blog about my life with these disorders. I live in Ireland.

16 thoughts on “Mounting pressure #D-verse Haibun Monday”

  1. Breathe. It’s panic, and you need to calm yourself. Get an orange or something squishy but round and big. Put it in your freezer. When your heart goes too fast, your breathing becomes quick and too shallow, and you feel like you’re going to freak out and lose it, get it from the freezer. But it in both hands. Try to wrap your hands all the way around it. Keep contact with it. Don’t break the contact even when your hands get freezing. Keep contact. The feeling breaks the building panic attack, so at least you can avoid that.

    Sit in a straight back chair, like a dining room chair. Take off your shoes. Put your feet flat against the floor and your back straight up against the back of the chair. Breathe in through your nose, put through your mouth. Mentally picture a square by your head. Breathe in while you’re going up one side. Hold it while you mentally travel the top. Breathe slowly out through your mouth, hold it along the bottom. Rinse and repeat. You will feel light headed because you haven’t taken in that much oxygen since the start of the shallow breathing. It’s ok. Just keep breathing. It will help you regain control of your lungs.

    You really do have this. It just doesn’t feel like it right now, but you do. I promise.


      1. I’m glad it could help.

        It’s something you need to realize: when PTSD memories come up, they bring with it the feelings we associate with those memories, including fear. Our bodies then react like it’s happening right now rather than back then. What happens is that your fight/flight/freeze is triggered, but because you’re now mentally back there, you freeze as you did then. Also, since there’s no actual danger, the same confused senses are telling you there’s nothing to fight or flee so you freeze, confused.

        What happens when you’re frozen to a spot you’re terrified of, and it doesn’t make sense why you’re stuck? You freak out worse. You’ve now hit panic attack zone.

        Panic attacks have very specific physiological markers: shallow breathing, gasping for air, heart racing, sweaty palms and pits, feeling like you’re about to die, etc. They’re all markers of a panic attack.

        Now, your mind has gone through this a few times, as has your body. Now, the memory comes up and it’s worse now than it ever was then. Why? Because the second you have that first moment of recollection, you flip right over into complete panic attack mode. That wasn’t there when the trauma was actually happening to you because you didn’t have the luxury of being able to have a complete meltdown. As a lovely side benefit to being free of the trauma, you now have the freedom to have a complete meltdown at just the memory of it.

        You need to prepare. Train yourself to do certain things. That mental box breathing is a good thing to do every day. Do it for 30 seconds a day. Then slowly increase to a minute. You want to hit about 3 minutes a day. One minute three times a day or three minutes once a day, or any mix and match of your choice. Three is the magic number. It’s only three minutes a day, but it can alleviate so much of your stress that you can find there is an extended amount of time between attacks of the past. Also, 3 minute is not too long or too short. Most panic attacks can be breathed through in three minutes. If it’s the first time in the last 12 months that you’ve breathed that deeply, it will cause discomfort, so train yourself to breathe like that daily for three minutes a day. The increase in oxygen won’t make you light headed so you reduce that potential to cause panic too. Also, the practice will mean that the box just pops up when you’re ready and you don’t have to wrestle with panic to get it when you need it.

        The orange or squishy sphere in the freezer stays there until it’s needed. Then use it. Panic attacks only.

        But go through and see if there’s any other remedies for panic attacks that appeal to you. Make it something you can rely on even in a complete panic. In a complete and utter panic, you can find a dining room chair. You can find the ice ball in your freezer. Simple and easy like that. If there are more than two or three steps to make it happen, it’s too complicated. Dining room chair is 4 steps, kind of. 1) sit, 2) bare feet, 3) breathe, 4) imagine box. If you practice it every day, steps three and four happen automatically as soon as 1&2 do. So like that. You may need practice for one of the steps to be automatic, but so what? You have the time and deserve to make time for it.

        But no matter what, just remember that your trauma is not what is making your body feel this way. It’s making your mind remember it, yes. It is not causing the physiological reactions you are feeling now. It didn’t even cause it at the time you were living your trauma. You are going through this because of GOOD things.
        1) It’s a panic attack. That’s it. Just a panic attack. Simple as can be. It’s not so complicated there isn’t something you can do to help yourself – there is! Lots of stuff. Just recognize it for what it is. Instead of googling how to avoid PTSD flashback, Google how to break a panic attack. The results will be more helpful, and more accurate (and quacks won’t be telling you to just smile through your trauma).
        2) panic attacks can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. You are not more damaged than that woman to your right or left. You’re NORMAL and no amount of trauma makes you “broken” or anything of the sort. It’s a simple panic attack. They suck, and they’re not simple to tolerate, but your panic isn’t any worse than anyone else’s. The memories that triggered it are just different.
        3) there are actual things you can do to alleviate it when you’re in the middle of it. I gave you two. I can give more if you’d prefer.
        4) it sucks, but you’re going through this because you CAN. You couldn’t them. You were actively being hurt. Now, you are safe. YOU. ARE. SAFE. that’s why it’s happening. You don’t have to actually be frightened anymore, that part of your trauma is gone. All that remains is the memories and a panic attack. If I had to choose which I’d prefer, I’d prefer being safe at home rather than terrified at home. I’d prefer a panic attack over getting re-traumatized over and over again. But that’s me. But it’s also worth recognizing that this couldn’t be happening if you weren’t currently SAFE. You’re built different than most people – you get freaked out when you’re safe because you can, they get freaked out and freeze when they shouldn’t. If there was a child stuck somewhere, I’d bet you odds that everyone else could freeze in that moment and you wouldn’t be able to for all of the riches in the world. You’d completely melt down when the child was safe and there was no more danger, when everyone else is moving around again like normal folks, and that’s what you see. You see yourself frozen while everyone else keeps going. What you don’t see is the fact that you, because of your trauma, couldn’t even begin to freeze. You kept going despite all odds, despite exhaustion, despite anything and everything. When the coast was clear, you finally collapse in tears and shake uncontrollably. But before that, for insanely long periods before that, you were Super Woman. No one else could be of any use, but you moved mountains. That’s a strength you can’t even begin to understand or recognize because you’ve never known to pay attention to it. You are a world of strength when it matters. When the danger is past, you let yourself feel what you “should have” felt during the dangerous bits. You’re strong in ways you can’t imagine, and you are soft when you need to be. It’s not weakness. Even Batman has moments of safe downtime. That’s what you have now: safety. Those ghosts can’t hurt you. YOU ARE SAFE.

        Treat the panic attack like a panic attack. Understand that your PTSD is a fact of having survived. Understand that both pop up because you are truly safe. No one can ever take that away from you again. Safety is yours, and you’ve earned it.



      2. I know you didn’t ask for all of that. But at least it gave you some long and boring to read and you didn’t have to worry about anything else for the 72 hours it took to read 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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