Notes: abusive parents, suicidal ideation

Date: 2017-02-14 09:02 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (0)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
It's not actually a cognitive distortion if you're reacting like you could die, and one of the strong risks of what you're doing is in fact death! But it can be used to shift the blame back where it belongs.

My internet daughter (who was raised by an abuser and an enabler) viewed difficult homework assignments as an existential threat. That was because she had realized that she would probably in fact attempt or complete suicide if she had to go through college with her abusive mother in direct control of her education. Her best route to independence at college was a full scholarship, which depended on academic performance. Which meant that difficult homework assignments that could affect her grades were an indirect existential threat.

So we worked to try and get her to college in a way that her mother had no control over, and meanwhile she continued to panic over difficult homework because it could decrease her chances of escape. But identifying the distortions and re-framing them meant that she was panicking with an increased awareness that she wasn't having a hard time because she was stupid, it was because her mother was an abusive snotrag.

And now that she is in college as an independent student (thank you, youth shelter and technical homelessness), it's safe for her to take anxiolytics when she panics around tough homework, because we know where the panic is coming from, it's no longer a concern, and there's no reason for her to suffer through it and give it more of a hold on her.

Anxiolytics would probably also have helped her spend more time on what she wanted to do in high school (which was mostly studying and reading, rather than panicking and crying and struggling to find time to study or do anything fun), but the gatekeepers there were not going to be inclined to help out. Unfortunately.
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