Stress Reaction

Do you ever feel so stressed when people are pressing you for answers that you’ll agree to or say almost anything just to get them to back off? This happens to me all the time.

Even in therapy, where you’d think I’d feel safe enough, comfortable enough, or whatever the word is, to say “hey, slow down, quit dogging me, let me process this, I can’t give you an answer right now, I don’t know what I feel right now–I’m too stressed to figure it out, I don’t have words for this right now …” But no. I just accept whatever label, feeling, etc. they want to throw at me, anything to get off the hot seat.

I used to be able to handle amazing amounts of stress exceptionally well when I was younger. Maybe it’s the Post Traumatic Stress. Maybe it’s from having too much stress for too long, but now I can’t seem to handle much stress well at all.

The thing is, when I’m in the situation I’m barely aware of what’s going on with me. I’m in survivor mode. I’m just reacting. It’s not until later, when the stress is gone and I’m processing what happened and why it feels wrong to me, that I get that I once again gave someone what they wanted (or agreed to something, or with someone) just to get them to back off stressing me. And it’s usually that someone has used manipulation to get me to do something I really don’t want to do, or I’ve agreed to do something that I’ve felt pressured to do because of friendship, or I’ve given in to pressure from very aggressive and persistent sales people, or situations like the above scenario.

I’m getting better at catching this. But too many times it still catches me unawares. To make it worse I have a serious memory problem. (I’ve been told it’s because of my PTS.) Particularly with words. I often find myself using the wrong word to describe something, but I can’t think of the right word. Sometimes they may start with the same letter but have completely different meanings. When I’m stressed my memory issues are worse, especially around words and their meanings. A helluva problem for a writer to have, yeah?

Somehow I’ve got to find a way to become aware of what’s happening when I first feel the stress, and develop a method for handling not only the stress, but the stressor. Meaning the person (or jerk) pressuring me.

Anyone else deal with this? Thoughts on this, oh wise blogosphere? All helpful suggestions appreciated.

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