Post # 1
So bees, here is my deal. We left work last night around 10 pm. It was “Snizzling” as the weather channel said that it would and the roads were icy. The last time this happened we got stuck on the small hill next to my house and we had to push the car up the hill. This happened because Fiance did not have enough speed going down the small bump to get us up the hill.
We were on our way home last night and we got half way to my house and he started freaking out. Saying that he is scared and that we will get stuck again. I told him to pull over at the gas station and let me drive since I do this all the time and Promised we wouldn’t get stuck. He told me “no no… I can do it.” We turn on to my road and he losses his damn mind. Just saying ” I can’t I cant I need to get out of the car” And he starts to try to open the car door while he is driving. I yell at him to stop the car and he does, and he jumps out of the car. I hit the 4 ways, and I tell him to come back. I told him i would drive us home, and we are littereally less than 1/12 of a mile from my house… I can see my house from where we were and he told me that I could take the car and he would walk. I tried to give him a hug to calm him down and he ran away from me, yelling please don’t make me get back in the car. I tried explaining to him that what we were doing was dangerous, My road is a busy road, we cant have the car parked in the road, its icy, what if someone slides in to you while you are walking…There are cyotes around…it is really freaking cold. He told me to take the car home, so i gave him my scarf and gloves and took the car home .
I was going to get my dad’s jeep to come get him, but he had made it most of the way to my house, by the time i came back with the keys
Here is the thing bees, he scared me. I did not know what to do to calm him down, and the situation we were in was more dangerous than going home in the car…
I don’t do scared, I get angry when I get scared. I don’t know why, and while I did not yell at him, other than “get in the car!” When he got to my house I did say some mean things to him like, ” look I made it ok? Do you feel dumb now?” And I told him I was not happy.
I apollogized after I calmed down and talked to my mom… Then Fiance and I sat down and talked about what happened. He said he was sorry and that he dosen’t know why that happened… he just paniced and that had never happened before.
Now I do not know what to do bees… I feel bad for not being supportive during that event, but he scared me. And while i was waiting for him to get to me, In my head i was thinking, what happens when we have kids, and something like that happens? What then?
What is the best way to deal with something like this? I feel like I was wrong for getting upset…
Post # 3
I think you should apologize to him for reacting badly, acknowledge that you were harsh, but ask him to rationally explain why he freaked out. I have had panic attacks and they are no joke! It’s like- I know I’m being unreasonable but I can’t do a damn thing about it. It’s frustrating to be in one, and I’m sure it’s frustrating to witness one as well.
Explain that you want to be supportive and understanding, but your concern for his safety was first and foremost in your mind. I’m sure he’ll see where you’re coming from.
I may also suggest he see someone- it can help him recognize that he is escalating before he is in a full blown panic. There are always litte stresses that build up and if he can identify his stresses ahead of time he can lessen or even avoid the panic attack alltogether. It takes time and practice, but it CAN get better over time. I haven’t had one in years but I am aware of my reactions enough that if I start to feel that palm sweat, knot in my stomach, tingling hands, tight chest, etc… I can remove myself from the situation and calm myself down before there is a crisis. Good luck 🙂
Post # 4
i can’t offer much advice because i’m just like you- i get mad & frustrated after a few minutes of trying to rationalize. this kind of behavior seems almost immature. what if you hadn’t been in the car to be the adult in the situation?
i believe strongly that he is supposed to be protecting you and he instead put you in danger. i’m not judging- there have been situations where i felt that my SO could have shouldered more of a questionable situation. (driving the 405 in LA comes to mind)
i’m curious what other people say.
Post # 5
@DaneLady I have applogized to him and explained why I was upset, but I still feel bad. I am wondering what I could have done differently in that situation…
Post # 6
@imalittlebirdie: GAH! Reading fail, sorry. Is he upset with you? If he understands where you were coming from and he’s not mad that you were a little harsh, I don’t think there’s a big issue. I think that you genuinely were concerned for his safety at that moment, and he should be able to identify with that. I still reccommend counseling/therapy for him, not because I think he’s nuts, but because when I had some anxiety issues it was very helpful for me to learn some tools to better deal with my anxiety.
Post # 7
I would suggest that both of you go to a support group for people who suffer from anxiety disorders. I think you would both benefit from being around people dealing with similar situations and learning how best to communicate with each other if something like this happens again. His eventual instinct to just get out of the car and walk was a good one, but before that he did put you both in danger by insisting he keep driving even though he was starting to panic. And while it’s very common to feel anger and frustration when someone is acting like that, you will need to learn to rein it in a little and be patient and supportive while remaining rational and firm.
Post # 8
Wow you know what? I was with you up until you asked if he felt stupid now, but that being said- I can TOTALLY sympathize with you and why that came out of you after that crap he pulled. He tried to get out of the car, while driving, with you in the passenger seat. That is so dangerous and you have every right to feel like that is absolutely ridiculous.
I think that you need to think about it like that. He could have hurt not only himself but you too. If that bothers you, I would have a conversation about the necessary help he needs to seek to discuss why that happened and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
One other thing – when it happened last time, did you get overly angry at him for not picking up momentum and getting you guys stuck? Guys have a lot of pride sometimes, and maybe he flashed back to when that happened and how miserable it was? I dunno just thinking out loud.
Post # 9
DaneLady: No he’s not upset with me, He’s actually very apollogetic, I am more upset with me. 🙂
I like the idea of councling and I will bring it up to him, we’re both psych people, so I understand the value of the counciling. I hope he will go for it, he’s very sensitive and his self esteem gets squished easily, ( parents are not the most supportive people in the world) so I hope by bringing it up I don’t hurt his feelings. 🙁
Post # 10
while i know for fact (i have suffered them before) that panic attacks are real i also know that its the responsibility of the person with anxiety to find a way to manage their condition. sometimes it is almost impossible to do that but there are ways to recognize it earlier and ways to manage yourself through it to where the reactions and damage done are not nearly as bad as it could be. i think that while it was unneccessary to say the things you said after the fact that i too would have been very frustrated. of course i would feel bad too about him having a panic attack but i would also need him to get a better handle on himself and understand himself better for me to be ok. thats dangerous. what if you would have been on a highway or an even more dangerous situation and he just stopped driving and panicked enough to try and jump out a moving car that he is in control of? that is not ok. So i would apologize for the things said after the fact but would not hold back my frustration at being put into a situation where he let his panic attack put the two of you in danger. I understand he cant make it go away. thats not how it works. but again there are ways to understand yourself better and learn to recognize triggers and symptoms and also things that can contribute to it going away sooner.
ETA: i see you said you have already apologized. at this point its on him to get a better understanding of why he reacted the way he did and figure out a better way to manage his panic attacks. counseling might be a good idea and at some point since you will be a main support they can give you ideas and tips on how to best handle him. it is not fair to you or safe for either of you for him to just not address this. its up to him to make the first move and help you understand how to better help him when things like this happen. all of this is of course IMO 🙂
Post # 11
dashwoodgirl: Yea… like i said i reacted badly. :/
The first time we got stuck , No I did NOT get upset. He was scared so I kinda joked about it, and I asked him if he wanted ME to get out and Push ( I am 5’0 I am not gonna be able to push anything anywhere) and told him it would be ok, if we couldnt get out my dad would come get us. Litterally, we could see my house from where we were both times.
Post # 12
I am a psych nurse so we have some pretty big “freak outs” at work, and I have had anxiety attacks and been to behavioral therapy for it. IMO, he needs to learn and practice coping skills like belly breathing, meditation etc. while he’s calm so when he’s having a panic attack he can use the behaviors he’s learned to calm himself down before it escalates out of control like this. Also, don’t try to touch someone who is having a panic attack, their body is shifting blood from their intenstines and skin to their lungs, brain and legs (think of your body getting ready to run away from a threat) this causes a “crawling” feeling in the skin for a lot of people and touch is actually not calming for a lot of people who experience panic. It sounds like it was scary for you, but think of how scared he must have been :
I think it’s worth asking him if he felt threatened before you got into the car. It sounds like he must have been worrying about the weather and built up to this, because that sounds like a pretty intense attack to have completely spontaneously. It’s basically useless to try to stop a panic attack once it gets that out of control, he’ll need to learn his warning signs and try to nip it in the bud. He can also tell you when one is coming on and you can help him through it before it gets too bad. Just be supportive from now on, you can only beat yourself up so much. You said you were sorry and now it’s time to work on preventing this from happening again. It’s definitely worth talking to a doctor if this is an ongoing problem. I hope he’s feeling better today.
Post # 13
When you bring up counseling… it isn’t like you’re telling him he can’t do this on his own. For example, if you guys had a leaky faucet at home, and he didn’t know how to fix it or have the right tools to fix it, he would probably read up on it and go to Lowe’s and buy the right tools, right? Well, with anxiety, you just need the right tools to manage it and a good knowledge base to deal with it. I think you’re being really supportive & I think he can (in a rational state) see why you reacted the way you did. He just needs the right tools for the job 🙂
Post # 14
I’ve read about people who panic on planes and try to “get out” by forcing the plane door open. They aren’t rational. I’d be worried too. Not being able to depend on a partner in a bad situation is a big deal for me. I’d also worry if he’d freak out with a baby in the car or something.
I dunno, counceling is good, seeing a doctor is good. I probably would never let him drive again though, but I have trust issues.
Post # 15
Honeslty I cant believe he would leave you to drive by yourself when he knew there was a possibility you might get stuck and might need to push the car. I do understand that people get panic attacks and all but to me I wouldnt be able to deal with a guy who can just bail on me in a scary situation. I need my man to be able to be a man and push through his fears when our safety is at risk
Post # 16
Well, I have the same issue as him. I got in a major car accident (my fault) as a teenager and have huge mental blocks and panic attacks while trying to make left turns. It doesn’t happen all the time, it mainly gets triggered on super sunny days or when I have a total blind spot. There have been times where I have gotten myself stuck in an intersection, mid turn.
My Fiance has been very understanding towards it. But he’s also acted like you did. It’s hard to understand and deal with. Try to remain patient and calm. And if he does something that may harm you or another, take control of the situation with any means possible. And if he doesn’t feel comfortable driving or in a car, insist on taking over for him.
Also, therapy is the ONLY way I have seen improvements in myself. This is obviously a major issue for him and something triggered it (like the weather). If he was alone and driving, he could have killed himself or others. Insist that he see someone.