Author Topic: Trouble controlling my reactions in stressful situations  (Read 4612 times)

Mei Mei

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Trouble controlling my reactions in stressful situations
« on: July 06, 2011, 07:50:41 pm »
Hi All,
I am writing for advice.   I had a car accident, minor but now it's trouble.   The story goes... on June 29th I was coming home with my friend Mary Jane and at the intersection of my street and the cross street, a girl was blocking the intersection and waving to me to drive around her which was a very weird thing.    A few minutes later I was to find out that she was on a learner's permit and her boyfriend was teaching her to drive a stick shift.   She also lost her learners permit.   She was cute, 19, cleavage and a short skirt.   I had seen her the week before across the street at my community center where she was blocking the road and waving me to pass so I had to manoever to the next lane and then she jumped out of the car and the passenger ran to the driver's seat to take over and she sat in the driver's seat.   

Fast Forward and I passed her at the intersection and after one house, I pulled next to my father's car and began parallel parking moving the wheel to the right and I stopped so that I could move the wheel to the other direction to complete this parallel park.   Just as I was doing this, this girl hit the front of my VW Passat and was sitting next to me in the narrow street.  She didn't even give me the chance to finish parallel parking and wanted to squeeze by me on a narrow one way street.   He boyfriend in the passenger seat said it was my fault because I was backing up and looking in the rear view mirror.   Isn't that what you do when you parallel park.  I've lived in this house since 1981 and have parallel parked in front of it without problems several times a day.   It was this girl's lack of common driver courtesy to not wait 5 seconds so I could complete my park and how I longed for the polite drivers of Bar Harbor, Maine and  Honolulu, Hawaii.  No, she is the instant gratification unlicensed driver that lets no one in her way.  I asked the police to give her a ticket for failure to yield right of way and not have a learner's permit on him and he wouldn't.   He said let the insurance companies handle it.   The witness, a swimming pool contractor said it was my fault for backing up in a parallel park.   Am I crazy?   Isn't that what people do in a parallel.  I was in her view in front of her.   Why didn't she just stop for a few seconds like people do in more civilized communities like Bar Harbor, Maine and Honolulu, HI?   So Nationwide has this swimming pool contractor saying I was doing the wrong thing.   They won't listen to my witness who said I had my signals on.   I also had my license on me.

I was so excited to hear that Geico adjuster ruled in my favor.  I started getting accupuncture for my neck and back which is now killing me and I'm starting a vacation in Boston and NH, Maine tomorrow.   Nationwide called me today and undid all the good the accupuncture did.   I tensed up, got short of breath and started trembling at 2 pm today and am still trembling.   I don't know why I react this way and how at age 62 I can change this reaction to confrontational situations.   I get like this on the phone with Cleveland Clinic arguing about the $10,000 bill when a doctor almost killed me and I almost didn't have Christmas with my family.   I want to understand what is making me tremble and shake.   There are lawyers who represent people in trials and are as cool as a cucumber, but no not me.  I start shaking and can't stop for a couple of days.   Why can't I control my reactions to all the stress I am negotiating for myself for my health, my father's care and my own life situations.   
Any comments or suggestions would be deeply appreciated.
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Jim Scott

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Re: Trouble controlling my reactions in stressful situations
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 02:03:00 pm »
Mei Mei ~

I'm so sorry to learn about the auto accident hassle and, more to the point, your difficulty in dealing with stressful situations.  Obviously, I'm not a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist  or councilor.  Just a fellow who has been around awhile and tends to have a lot of opinions.   

I have long believed that most normal people do not like confrontations and will avoid them, whenever possible.  When forced into a confrontation, as you were, the situation is definitely stressful and that stress, in your case, is manifested in shaking, nausea, etc. that is very unhealthy.  Unfortunately, try as we might, we cannot always avoid confrontational situations.  We all deal with them in our own way but in your case, they appear to have a physical effect on you that is not good.  One solution is to avoid confrontations.  (insert 'duh!' here)  When that isn't possible, I try to breate slowly and deeply, stay focused on the point at hand and be as calm as I can manage.  Granted, this doesn't always work, but I try - and I'm usually successful.  Frankly, feeling stressed after a confrontation of any sort doesn't seem to be abnormal.  Like many of us, your parents may have taught you that confronting people is 'unacceptable', so when you do have to deal with a confrontation, part of you feels as if you're doing something 'wrong' and that produces stress and the physical effects you mentioned in your post (shaking, etc).  I may be dead wrong here but I don't think that women generally have the same kind of ego as men so they are not generally as anxious to 'win' a confrontation and will capitulate easier, to 'keep the peace'. 

My only real advice is, when faced with a confrontation, to remain focused on the issue (a bill, an insurance claim), refuse to allow yourself to be intimidated by anyone (assuming you're in the right) and take deep breaths as often as is feasible.  I don't have all the answers (or I'd be rich, I suppose) but I believe that many of our problems can be surmounted with a determination to be in control of what we do and how we do it.  In the auto accident case, I would appeal the insurance company decision and go to the state insurance commissioner with a complaint.  I had a similar auto accident insurance hassle many years ago.  I wrote a letter of complaint to the state insurance commissioner and got a reversal of the original decision., absolving me of any liability in the accident (which was fair and just).  As for the lack of manners and patience in people today, it is clearly disturbing.  However, I hate to sound like an old poop whining about the 'good old days' - so I won't go there.  I'll just offer my hope that the insurance business is resolved in your favor and that you'll be able to handle confrontational stress a bit better in the future.  I hope I've helped a bit.  If not, I hope others can and will.  :)

4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.


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Re: Trouble controlling my reactions in stressful situations
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 04:17:29 pm »
Mei Mei,
You have asked the question most of us have had at one time or another. Especially with the AN thing. Why do bad things happen to good people? One answer is, life is full of bad people taking advantage, one way or another, of good people. Don't let one careless and insensitive person steal your joy. You are better than that and seem to bring joy wherever you go. Too bad that girl did not open herself up to some of your happiness. On a legal note, Virginia has what is known as contributory negligence law. In other words if I am speeding, and it can be proven, and someone runs a red light or stop sign, I can be judged as guilty as them. You would have to check with a lawyer to find out if this is the case in your state. Even if you were in the wrong (which it does not sound like you were) and this other driver struck you due to her lack of paying attention or impatience, she would be at least 50% in the wrong. People have different reactions to stressful situations and I am a little like you. When a situation occurs my adrenaline start to flow and I have to calm myself down. Two things I do, say a quick prayer for myself and the other person, if there is one, and squeeze the flesh between my thumb and first finger. The latter is a Chinese acupressure point for headaches. And stress can cause a headache so I squeeze`hard and it seems to help. I also do this for headaches.   I am sorry for your predicament. Stand fast and things will work out fine.

Self diagnosed 11/17/2010 (love the internet)
MRI 12/2010 Official diagnosis 1/3/2011 RT AN 7x6x4mm's
MRI 6/17/2011 no change still 7X6X4
MRI 7/20/2012 growth spurt to 14mm
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Proton Therapy @ Hampton Proton Institute,       done on 11/20/12


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Re: Trouble controlling my reactions in stressful situations
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 02:29:57 pm »
Mei Mei -

you've got a lot on your plate. 

Have you thought about therapy?  It's helped me in a lot of "life situations" and I highly recommend it.  Sometimes just having an outside party to discuss things with can be a big help in controlling troubling reactions and stress; it puts a new perspective on life.


Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways