Numb Emotions

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Magpie
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Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Numb Emotions

Post by Magpie » Mon May 20, 2019 1:46 pm

Hi all, was just wondering if anyone has had or is having the same experiences as me?

In the last couple of years I’ve felt numb to emotion. Looking back this started after I confronted my mum about some bullying behaviours of hers, and at the same time finally coming to terms with the abuse from childhood.

Very hard to explain, like I feel happy and things make me laugh, like banter with friends, and playing games with my son. But, connecting to people emotionally-family, friends, work colleagues I feel numb-like the emotion starts and then stops somehow. I’ll give you an example, I went to a wedding at the weekend and my family were there (awkward) and they had Scottish dancing which we all had fun doing, but holding hands with family members, it was just like holding a strangers hand. And one of my best friends who I confide in, I just feel numb at the moment talking to them, like we laugh and joke or I’ll get sad sometimes about my mental health at the moment, but anything else-just numb, like I’m watching it from somewhere else, sorry it’s really hard to explain and even harder to experience.

It might be because currently I’m suffering from anxiety and depression, but it just feels like I shutdown sometimes. Like I can’t find joy in anything (and no I’m
Not taking medication) otherwise I could have attributed it to that, as in the past I’ve found medication to make you feel a little out of sorts.

Thanks for listening x

dancingfish
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Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:39 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by dancingfish » Mon May 20, 2019 2:04 pm

Hey there Magpie. :) I think your experience is far from unusual, although sorry to hear you're experiencing it. Being disconnected from the world around us can be a bit discombobulating.

I've found my mind, I guess, can kind of drop a wall down when things don't seem safe. By being slightly numbed to the outer world, I also can't let things in which might harm me. It was also a time when I had kind of heavier depression - I thought I was still able to join in with merriment, but it was a long while later I realised I just hadn't properly laughed in a long time. (No medication to cause any dampenings or similar, either.)

There's a quote about how you can't "selectively numb" your emotions - so sometimes I think we can think we're shutting down just one thing, but it can take much more with it.

That's my thoughts, anyhow. :) I found mine lifted as I worked on recovery, and also making myself safer and more distant from unsafe people. (And these are whoever don't make you feel safe, even if it doesn't seem "logical".) Of course now I seem to get a whole dumping of anxiety because I'm more reconnected with everything, but so it goes. :lol: Found it overall much better to be connected, now I'm in a slightly better space than I was.

Hope this helps you a bit with your journey, I certainly understand where you're coming from. :) Makes perfect sense to me, too! Best of luck with ongoing recovery, and well done for standing up to bullying behaviour! It's difficult when we're "told" our parents/guardians are protectors, but sometimes they're far from that. I think you've been pretty brave too, if you don't mind me saying. :)

Magpie
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Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by Magpie » Mon May 20, 2019 4:54 pm

Thank you very much for the reply, all helpful stuff and yes I have read that too, about you can not selectively numb an emotion such as fear for example, everything else numbs too. Some days I coast through and are more numb than other days.

It is very reassuring to hear someone else say that, as sometimes standing up to the bullying behaviour makes me feel incredibly guilty and sad. But it needed to be done, and I feel my healing process started at that time Even tho it has been hard, it’s essential.

Members of my family don’t agree, and I feel quite isolated at times along with the numbness, but I understand it’s part of the process.

Thanks again x

dancingfish
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Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:39 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by dancingfish » Tue May 21, 2019 8:27 am

Very much essential, as you say. :) You just keep doing you!

It's taken me a few years to re-establish contact with one member of my FOO, and I have no contact with anyone else - no-one's reached out to me, and I'm not entirely sure what was relayed to them. Probably not anything approaching the truth, because everyone's hiding from that.

And in this denial (people just can't accept they didn't see a bad thing, or missed it, or often that it exists) we're the ones who end up unheard, isolated. But fortunately there's a whole world of kinder, lovelier people out there who will understand and cherish every last little bit of you. :) And you deserve that, you really do.

Cheering you on! With warmth and caring sending out over the airwaves to you. :)

Magpie
Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by Magpie » Tue May 21, 2019 9:38 am

Thank you, and nice to hear at a very unsure and unstable time in my life where mostly I’m not being heard from my own family. It’s not easy, I knew it wouldn’t be, but rather this than living a life in denial and continuing self sabotage patterns. I’m free, we are free, and awake. We are the ones who choose to stand, often alone, often, unheard and unloved.

Questioning a regime, and changing everything about you and how you know yourself was never going to be easy. And the numb I understand is my own way of protection.

Love & Light to you all x

Kenazandisaz
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Posts: 478
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:09 am

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by Kenazandisaz » Tue May 21, 2019 6:13 pm

Your feeling that the numbing is protective sounds spot on. As you start to feel safer and less embattled you will need less protection. It's a perfectly normal response. Getting some distance, however much and for however long you need, will help. You matter and it's important for you to do the things you need to to find that safety and do the healing thing.

K
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Magpie
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Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by Magpie » Wed May 22, 2019 8:10 am

And I think some of the reasons linking to the numbness are a result of me not opening up to people. I find this subject so hard to deal with at the moment. With family, I don’t because the risk is they will all turn on me. With friends, it’s that I won’t be believed as from an outsider things within the family dynamic appear loving and functional, in reality it’s not the case and trying to talk about things where you are telling someone that the people who seem lovely sometimes aren’t.

And with my partner, he would believe me, but I just know that the anger that he would understandably feel that would be directed at my family, and him being able to cope with it all, I’m just not ready for.

I find it a sad fact that as survivors we all have to fight so hard to be understood and to be heard, and we didn’t ask for this, it wasn’t our fault.

I think that’s why I push people away and feel numb x

dancingfish
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Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:39 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by dancingfish » Wed May 22, 2019 9:07 am

Sad fact indeed, Magpie. :) And interesting thought, that the numbness comes from not opening up! I guess it could be reciprocal - I've always thought it just a one way thing, of not opening up out of fear and then numbness descends. But I guess that in turn makes the numbness more. Hm, food for thought. :)

One thing I thought of as reading your post - so disregard if not welcome or useful! Is that you say you know how people will react if you tell them certain things. I've sometimes found my assumptions were not correct - people not reacting as I'd expected. Sometimes this was disbelief when I'd expected belief, but with people I'm closest to there was more consideration and kindness than I'd anticipated. Even responding to my wish of their not reacting strongly in front of me, because that would be too much.

Also (with the help of a t ;) ) I learnt that maybe I didn't have to tell everything - I could tell a tiny bit of something, so that the effect of it was likely to be less. But! If I did this, I was no longer isolated entirely, with this huge thing hidden away. Instead I could say I was having some issues with something - or that I'm finding things a bit difficult, because of some old issues or concerns. Something that was right for me, and then that took away some of the power and shame of this secret I felt/feel I had/have to carry. It's not our fault, as you rightly say. It seems hard to see that clearly sometimes.

Just a thought, there might be a way to reach out a little bit that's right for you - and help ease that numbness a bit, if you want to do that. Wishing you well though, it's hard times and you deserve absolutely to look after yourself as *you* feel best. It can be helpful to try different ways sometimes, but only if that feels totally right for you. Sometimes we need the space, the time, and the quiet of being by ourselves with all that's going on. It's a great thing to be able to see, respect and respond to our own needs.

With love and caring, and hoping you're feeling just a touch less on your own by being here. :)

Magpie
Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:51 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by Magpie » Wed May 22, 2019 1:46 pm

Agreed and yes all things I will take on board so thank you, I really do appreciate any advice, even if that means stepping out of my comfort zone. And yes, I agree possibly only giving a little of the information I need to and not telling everything might help.

I guess I am anticipating reaction, based on past reactions to me confronting my family on bullying behaviour towards my son and the result of that from the family was denial, disbelief and turning it around on me. That’s why I guess I feel so guarded in not saying a thing to family, and limited to friends. I’m
Just scared I guess. And I understand I can’t control anyone’s reaction, just tell my truth. All part of the healing process.

Part of me wants to just lay all my cards on the table, tell my truth. I’m just scared of the consequences to that.

Thanks again x

dancingfish
Member
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:39 pm

Re: Numb Emotions

Post by dancingfish » Wed May 22, 2019 2:56 pm

Yes indeed. :) Another wise thing I learnt from a t is that you are the only expert on you! You know what's right for you. It sounds like it was pretty difficult when you confronted them before, too.

Best wishes with all the healing things. :)

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