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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Physical Feelings From Relationships

Martha's question: I'm 24 & have been dating my boyfriend for about 5 months & every time he can't reach me he lashes out so hard. I noticed recently when he says he is coming I start choking, running out of breath, my heart starts pounding sometimes I just detach from myself. Does it mean I have a Panic disorder even if its just with him & how do I get help? thanks!


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Martha,

Sometimes our bodies tell us when something is not right before our brains do. It sounds like your physical reaction to how your boyfriend communicates with you is a possible warning sign. When you write "lashes out," does that mean he yells or does that mean he hits you? When he starts to "lash out," and you begin to have the symptoms you describe...shortness of breath, panic, anxiety, it sounds as if you are having a panic attack. It only happens when this pattern of behavior begins. Perhaps how he interacts with you reminds you of someone from your past? Someone who ignited this same physical reaction within you. Sometimes without knowing, we pick partners who are like people from our past. Can you think of someone in your life who lashed out at you in a similar way? We tend to repeat patterns of communication. We pick things that are familiar even though they may be dysfunctional. It's a comfort thing...even though our brains tell us it's negative. Also, it sounds like he is controlling you. If he doesn't know where you are, he "lashes out." This is not a normal reaction at the 5 month mark of a relationship. The good news is, you have choices. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, "I am in control of my life and I am in control of my body." Believe that statement. Now, you can attempt to discuss with him how uncomfortable his lashing out is for you. If the discussion ignites more rage, then he is not the man for you. If he apologies and honestly says he will work on this, consider giving him another few weeks to prove it. If things don't get better, and you continue to have anxiety attacks, you must put yourself first and end the relationship. Sometimes, this kind of controlling is the first sign that a man will abuse you physically. Look in the mirror again, tell yourself, "I am a strong woman, and I will protect myself." Your body is telling you that this is a potentially dangerous situation, and the origins of panic involve the "fight or flight" concept. An adrenaline rush telling you to run or get ready for a fight. If this doesn't change after you discuss it with him...I think you should run. Let us know what happens.