Coping Challenge: Too Much Information

Another Interview Style Post

Have you ever had a week or a month when all you get is scary, triggering, difficult, or sad news about people and events from the past?

Yes.  This week has been exactly like that.  First time was my choice.  The alters supported it.  We all wanted to have fun and enjoy the party.  Didn’t matter who was there.  Then found out about the unexpected death of a co-worker on Monday.  Then Tuesday found out the relative we saw on Sunday lied and said she did not see us when asked by the hostess.  Wednesday found out the sperm donor had been sick in the hospital and was out now.  Thursday was making choices and coping with more flashbacks.  Today is dealing with rude people who stare and then give the cut when I turn to find out who is staring – happened 4 times in one store as I did errands on my way home.

If yes, how did you cope?  Or in my therapist’s words: “How did you navigate through the experience?

First by accepting the feeling running through me.  Then by doing a self check to make sure I was able to work.  Shock kept me/us numb through most of Monday; followed by calls to hotline.  Stay home and process/sleep/self-soothe on Tuesday.  Chat with friends via text and phone or in person on Wednesday; more calls to hotline; books, music, grounding, food.  Counseling session; problem-solving; exploring all options; making a choice that feels right for everyone; focus on rest and comfort coping strategies; do the opposite; help others; smile; focus on work and meeting deadlines; call hotline to help process; accept that the issue was about the other person; make a plan to talk with store manager if negative encounters keep happening at store.  Make a plan to be safe and get away from triggering experiences.

What can you learn from this week?  Any positive events happen to remind yourself of?

Yes.  Feel a lot safer and more confident so that first response to unexpected, unwanted, or aggressive verbal and physical contact is an assertive verbal response to back off instead of a verbal or physical punch/slap/kick to remove contact.  Be polite and professional in spite of mean comments and bullying.  Get some rest; continue to work; be nice to self in spite of feeling shame or guilt from not feeling shame or guilt about choices.  Being friendly and polite to outsiders in spite of the chaos going on inside instead of snarling at people.

How would you describe your biggest challenge this weekend?

My biggest challenge this weekend will be to not let today’s or the past week’s experiences stop me and my alters from following through with our weekend plans.