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Fallen out with DH, I think he might be right

(119 Posts)
stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:27:23

One of my ways of coping if I get really stressed or overwhelmed is to strike myself across the face. It just makes me feel calmer and then I can deal with the situation objectively.

DH has told me I have got to stop it but the problem is, I'm not generally calm enough to agree with him at this point.

So AIBU to ask people, what their coping strategies are when you feel you're about to lose it?

GeillisTheWitch Sun 27-Nov-16 14:28:37

Punch a cushion instead?

sparechange Sun 27-Nov-16 14:29:58

You slap yourself when you are stressed?

have you tried mindfulness, deep breathing, counting to 10?

Could you look into CBT to give you some better coping strategies? Hurting yourself isn't a good strategy...

YelloDraw Sun 27-Nov-16 14:29:59

Have an electric band on your wrist and flick that? Painful but not as damaging as hitting yourself in the face. Or as obvious.

stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:29:59

It's not the punching it's the fact it's me. If that makes sense. It just seems literally to strike sense into me.

Scarydinosaurs Sun 27-Nov-16 14:30:07

He is absolutely right, this is not a technique that would be recommended and it must be dreadful to witness.

At what points do you find yourself doing this? What triggers such a violent reaction?

How does the strike resolve your feelings of panic? What is it that makes you feel calmer?

What techniques have you already tried?

Scarydinosaurs Sun 27-Nov-16 14:30:50

When did you first start doing this?

stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:30:50

Thanks, Yello, this is the kind of stuff I need. Ways I can give myself a stinging shock without frightening the life out of the children.

stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:31:58

Scary I remember doing it for the first time when I was 12 or 13. It's not massively frequent. But I've been doing it a LOT more recently. Before then it was maybe twice a year now it's more like twice a month. And I've been losing it in public as well.

whaaaaat Sun 27-Nov-16 14:33:39

I kind of understand this, but you really can't keep doing it.

How stressed\upset do you need to be before doing it? How often?

Tbh, with me, a good cry tends to help. It kind of releases a lot of my pent up emotions and I very quickly feel less stressed or overwhelmed. Having said that, that's not always practical. Your method, however, should be knocked on the head (no pun intended!) completely.

Do you try the good old fashioned, slow, deep breaths?

Fibbertigibbet Sun 27-Nov-16 14:35:19

Please listen to your DH. My DH used to do this when very stressed and it was so upsetting to watch, I can't imagine how nasty it is for a child to see their parent do it. DH now paces or goes for quiet time instead of hitting himself, and that has stopped it. Good luck. x

VeryBitchyRestingFace Sun 27-Nov-16 14:36:07

If you must do that - and I would be suggesting you seek ways to help you stop doing that - I suggest you leave the room in order to do it.

It must be absolutely horrendous to witness and no doubt, stops the observer dead in their tracks from whatever they were arguing about.

WorraLiberty Sun 27-Nov-16 14:37:43

You actually punch yourself in the face?

stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:37:45

It's not usually mid argument, to be honest, although it has been known. It's usually when I can't find something. Or when I've got frustrated beyond belief with something. I'm not excusing myself I'm just trying to explain when and how it happens.

stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:38:15

No. I slap myself, really hard, but with an open hand not a closed fist.

Scribblegirl Sun 27-Nov-16 14:38:28

I do something similar - ex self harmer (cutting) but it still comes out in its own way, I find it hard to focus until I've taken it out on myself. Personally I find the 5-4-3-2-1 method helps m.reddit.com/r/Anxiety/comments/2w4jl0/54321_exercise/ - it grounds me and calms me down, stops me from cycling into hysterics.

flowers it's hard. My DP hates it too.

stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:39:17

Thanks, Scribble, I'll have a look at that link now.

Crispsheets Sun 27-Nov-16 14:40:14

You need some sort of help. I'm not surprised your DH is saying this has to stop. Especially in public. It's not normal behaviour.

OhtoblazeswithElvira Sun 27-Nov-16 14:43:38

I have witnessed a very distressed, vulnerable person doing this at a difficult time. It was horrible to see, but of course it was a lot worse for this person sad.

There are 2 issues here and you need to tackle both of them:

-the way you deal with pressure/ anger/ stress. It really is a form if self harm. It's not very constructive and it's not a good example for your DC. It probably makes your DH feel bewildered and powerless.

-the fact that stress seems to be building up (so you are hitting yourself more often).

I think the fact that you are aware of both the issues is positive, it's a first step in the right direction.

stormsandwaves Sun 27-Nov-16 14:47:02

No, I do know that Crisp, that's one reason I am asking on here, for help with alternative strategies. When I'm calm I'm able to see I've behaved awfully, but in the moment I feel completely panicked and furious with myself. Even if I haven't done anything wrong.

JellyBelli Sun 27-Nov-16 14:49:14

Clap your hands hard, or snap an elastic on your wrist. If you cant change it yourself you must seek CBT.

emmanuelcant Sun 27-Nov-16 14:53:38

Exercise or, at least, something that involves concentration as well as a physical aspect.

Bicycles, skateboard, punchbag, yo-yo...

I'm mildly bi-polar* and it helps me. I've never hit myself but have punched walls, doors etc. I was able to stop when my therapist pointed out I always did this in private. I had the time to remove myself from a situation before lashing out so had the time to do one of the above activities.



*diagnosed but unmedicated for the last decade or so and mild compared to other people I have met with it.

JoeyJoeJoeJuniorShabadu Sun 27-Nov-16 14:54:02

You need counselling.
you're being very hard on yourself and you need someone to help you cope.

PterodactylToenails Sun 27-Nov-16 14:59:02

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Euphemia Sun 27-Nov-16 14:59:21

DH used to do this when he couldn't get to sleep at night. hmm

He'd toss and turn, sit up, slap himself on the face, get up to the loo, come back, repeat the above until I got really pissed off!

I told him this was completely unacceptable behaviour. It turned out that work was stressing him out. He made some changes at work, read some self-help books and thankfully stopped it.

It was really scary to witness, especially as I was about to fall asleep.

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