A Journey from Victim to Survivor…to Living Freely

Spidey Sense

on November 3, 2015

Very early in the “World According to PTSD”, I began to describe a body sensation as my “spidey sense”…the skin crawling, hair up on the back of my neck, super heightened senses, fear in my gut feeling.  Spidey sense often occurs with sudden sounds, certain smells or sounds…and it sometimes is an early warning to flashbacks or actual “right now” danger.

Lately, J and I have been working on what to do when I am spidey (coming on the tails of the “cologne incident”).  It encompasses DBT skills and is something I am beginning to use with less support.

1-Notice spidey sense

2-Check situation/surroundings for actual danger

3-If real-time danger–REACT!

4-If the danger is not current, tell myself I am safe (“You are safe, you are safe, you are safe”.

5-Breathe…breathe…breathe again.

6-Get outside, mindful movement, reach out

7-Repeat steps as needed.

In the last week, there have been 2 times of actual danger where I needed to act (I have a neighbor who is not neighborly–putting it very lightly).  Honestly, I don’t remember if I felt spidey…I knew I needed to act (police involvement was unfortunately needed in both circumstances).

However, there have been other times that I’ve gone through the steps…feeling spidey, check for danger, tell yourself you are safe, breathe, get outside/mindful movement/reach out.  It works…It’s helping me put hypervigilance in check and keep tabs on what I am feeling at any given time.  It’s helped me have a solid “this, next, then” list.  And, maybe most helpful, is that the frenetic, frantic worry (and fear) that had been accompanying spidey sense for a while.  Not because of actual “real time” danger, but because my body would be triggered and my mind would flash…and I am beginning to see that flashbacks do not go hand-in-hand with spidey sense anymore….and, it’s allowing me to separate them out.  They are still connected…and, asking “Am I in danger right now?” allows me to respond differently…to use skills that help with PTSD symptoms or to react to danger…Maybe this is the next step in healing.


2 responses to “Spidey Sense

  1. Such a great post! Its awesome to see you using this and being logical and healthy in how you respond.

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