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PTSD from previous assaults - September 19th 2018, 04:31 AM

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Hi Everyone,

I know we're not professionals, however, I am looking for opinions.

Since I started my job about a year ago, I've been having trouble with the 3-11 pm shifts. It's normally between 11:00 and 11:30 pm by the time I leave work. The parking lot at my work is a parking garage, and I have to park on the 4th level which is about 3 flights of stairs. I've always noticed I have a lot of anxiety going to my car, at times I feel very light headed and like my body goes numb and my vision goes a bit fuzzy.

I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago due to some abuse (sexually/emotional/physically). I'm wondering if how I'm feeling now when I'm walking to my car at 11:30 pm has anything to do with me being afraid that someone is up there? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to feel better when walking through the parking garage? i try and park as close to the stairwell as I can and always have my hand on the key ready to unlock my car and as soon as I get in I immediately lock it.

Some nights I have to stay late (until 1 or 2 am) and when that happens I actually have to call security to have them walk me to my car. This isn't something I can do every shift unfortunately.

Thanks for listening
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Re: PTSD from previous assaults - September 19th 2018, 02:24 PM

It seems like your PTSD could be related to fearing walking out to your car at night and given what you've been through it is completely understandable. It is good that you park as close to the stairwell as you can and you're ready to unlock your car when you get close.

Would it help to get something you could use if someone is up there? Someone being up there may be unlikely, but having something you can use, like pepper spray, might help you feel more secure.

You could also try carrying a grounding or a safe item with you so you can get a little bit of comfort. Something small like a stress ball or a worry stone you can keep in your pocket would do.

Something else you could try is self-talk. You could talk to yourself, either out loud or in your head, and tell yourself that you're safe, you'll be at your car soon and you can do it; that you'll be okay. Self-talk along with some affection (like rubbing your arms with your fingers or patting yourself) can help sometimes.

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Re: PTSD from previous assaults - September 19th 2018, 08:05 PM

It might be possible that you are on edge and feeling worried about something when you are walking to your car, especially if you have PTSD as it can cause you to be on alert.

Since you are having physical symptoms, I'd also like to suggest doing some breathing exercises. My personal favourite at the moment is breathing in for 3 seconds, holding for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds and repeating until you feel a bit calmer.

If you feel safe doing so, you might want to try slowing down a bit. Sometimes when we are anxious, we might rush but then rushing can also feed the anxiety. That said, it's okay if you don't feel safe doing this and prefer to get to your car as quickly as possible.

When you are in the car, you might also want to reassure yourself that you are safe and nothing bad has happened to you. Just a bit of extra self-care

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assaults, previous, ptsd

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