Shooting at my therapy center... talk me down

I am seriously freaking out.

I’m under treatment for some fairly severe anxiety issues that prevent me from leaving the house most of the time unless I’m in the company of my husband or parents or certain other individuals with whom I feel “safe,” and even then, I do not stay long. It took me quite some time to feel comfortable with the therapist and center where I’m being treated, and even there I still have a trusted person drive me there and wait for me to get out.

This morning, three people were shot in the parking lot.

Now, apparently it was a personal confrontation and was over quickly enough that the chance of bystanders being involved was small, but still, I’m seriously panicking. I have therapy scheduled there tomorrow morning and just the idea of going to it is freaking me out - which of course is exactly when I NEED my therapist. Who is probably not have a great day of her own.

I had trouble sleeping last night, thinking about how freaking unsafe the world is when a random guy just walks into a kindergarten and starts shooting babies with a rifle. Now I’m just completely losing it.

Your fear is unrational, but that doesn’t make it unreal.

Could it be therapeutic just to sit with the fear in a safe place for right now?

I’d call getting freaked out by a shooting in the parking lot of a place I visit on a regular basic a very rational fear.

It’s rational, but I don’t think it’s likely that that particular bolt of lightning will strike that exact spot again.

How often have you heard of two shooting incidents happening at the same location two days in a row?

Any chance you could call your therapist and arrange for a appointment over the phone rather than at the office just this once?

Because I think your freak out is understandable if not necessarily proportionate, and talking with someone who can give you some reality checks right before the holidays might be a good idea, but if you can avoid adding the stressors of dealing with the actual location it might not hurt.

That’s not that point. It’s the “I could’ve been there”/“This shit is real”/“It happens at places I go to” feeling moreso then “I’m worried it’s going to happen tomorrow when I go back, while I’m there”.

My store got held up about a year ago by a guy that probably didn’t even have a real gun. A year ago. I’m still a bit jumpy after dark when the store is empty and someone walks in too quickly or seems a bit off.

Would it make you feel safer if you make a plan with your husband as to what you will do if shooting starts? I have one with my sons- they are to immediately throw their bodies over mine. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think it’s really cool that you’ve realised your therapist is probably freaking about this too.

Do you have any breathing exercises? Practice them today (or whatever calming routine works best for you), as much as you can while you are in a safe place, then use them to get through the carpark tomorrow.

Best of luck.

Very good point, Joey P. I’ve been through that myself, several times.

But I think what helped me is having to go back there anyway. Falling off of a horse and all that. If I’d have avoided those places, it might have grown the fear. That was my experience, anyway.

I am obviously not a mental health professional, so I apologize if I’m way off base here.

I feel like the thing to take away from this is that this particular fear is ok. This is rational fear. I’d be scared too! I’d want to take somebody with me, and I’d probably give the parking lot a good long once-over before I got out of my car.

You’ve been spending a lot of time struggling with irrational fears, and you’ve been making progress. This particular fear, though, is healthy fear. Your brain is trying to protect you right now. You’re being perfectly normal.

So I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that you should focus not on quelling your anxiety over this, so much focus on responding appropriately to your healthy reaction to this situation.

Maybe you can have a session or two with your therapist via phone, and he can help you with that reaction?

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Johnny Bravo.

Well said, Mr Bravo.

A lot of people are shaky right now, and it would be very disturbing to have violence occur some place you routinely go. There’s never been violence at my work place, but today employees were discussing how easy it would be for someone to bypass the security.

Would it help if your driver drops you off right in front of the door tomorrow?

Thanks a lot guys, seriously. Especially Johnny Bravo for pointing out this is actually a healthy reaction - it doesn’t even occur to me that I have those anymore! :wink:

Breathing exercises have been done, a quick check-in with my therapist has been done (I’d be a basket-case if I was her, but I guess that’s why I’m in therapy and she’s a therapist!) and tomorrow I’m gonna go in. My husband’s taking me, and I’m insisting that he wait INSIDE the waiting room for me instead of reading a book in the car. It’s silly, but I don’t want him in the parking lot, because he’s one of those people who goes TOWARD trouble to see if he can help.

And I’m staying away from the news tonight. I swear, I’m so unimpressed with the media lately. They really want to make things as big a deal as they can possibly swing. It makes me mad.

Well, that’s gotta be a nice feeling! :slight_smile:

I think that’s a solid plan. Good luck!

It’s a completely understandable reaction, and I’m glad you’ve found a workaround (husband in the waiting room as opposed to in the car).

Have you considered a therapy animal? I’ve struggled with depression and some anxiety, and if there was one thing that kept me centered and calm, it was my mom’s sweet, small dog cuddled in my arms. Since I moved away from my parents, I get my dog fix at a friends. Their dog is about 10 times larger than my mom’s, but the affection and comfort is the same.

If you went to the appointment, you succeeded at a difficult task. If having your husband in the waiting room made you feel less nervous (for you or for him), then having him in the waiting room was the right choice.

So would I.

The only valid reason to watch the news is to learn who advertises on it, then not buy their product.