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  • Writer's pictureJessie Huang

Handling Friendship Conflict with PTSD

I've never been good with conflict. I think a lot of my perfectionism is partly a result of this gross aversion.

I just hate the feeling. Conflict nags away at me as a person. I lose sleep over it. I can't stop thinking about how things could've played out differently. Ways I could've done things differently. All the reasons why I'm a FAILURE for letting conflict happen AT ALL.

But logically, I know conflict is unavoidable. Still, I've always hated the process of conflict and reconciliation. It makes me uncomfortable. I hate being sentimental. It's hard for me to talk sincerely without crying and I get embarrassed.

I've always admired people who don't seem afraid of conflict. Who speak up instead of letting things simmer and eventually blow up (totally me). Many a friendships have ended because I couldn't bring myself to speak up earlier and held negative feelings in until I unleashed absolute fury.

I'm working on it.

After a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, and subsequent conflict with the law and a handful of authority figures, I've noticed I handle conflict differently.

I can't "logic" my way out of the agonizing feelings anymore.

It's like my Reptilian Brain is on super-saiyan mode and whatever cranial areas are meant to help mediate can't handle it.

Anyway -- all this is a long winded and sort of abstract way of trying to deal with a current conflict I'm in with someone I love and care about (while trying to protect privacy).

I know they are the polar opposite of abusive, and I know they are thoughtful, caring, and loving. The Logical Me knows that... but the Body / Emotional me won't accept it.

Clinically speaking, what I'm experiencing are "flashbacks" and "re-experiencing" of trauma -- common symptoms of PTSD. But to describe it in those terms feels so lacking.

Every day that goes by I feel myself regressing and re-experiencing this deep fear and dark pit in my stomach that absolutely DOES NOT complement what is actually happening. I.e., I am for sure "over-reacting."

I can't wait to see my therapist tomorrow, hopefully learn some new tools / skills, and start working on this all.

Wishing me luck~~

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