Why I Didn’t Know how I Felt about Anything

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I don't know my own feelingsOn the blog post about the feelings of loneliness in recovery a commenter wrote about “going blank” when she is asked how she ‘feels’ or what she “thinks” about something.  This is something that used to happen to me as well and it is another one of those pretty common reactions that people have.  The reaction of going blank or freezing at the question of “how do you feel” has an origin; it comes from somewhere and like all reactions it was something that I learned to do in order to deal with people.  Freezing or going blank for me became a coping method and a way to survive but there is a reason that my mind learned to shut off and react like that.

 

I didn’t know how I ‘felt’ about anything either.  I didn’t know why I had trouble expressing my feelings, I just did.  And I had learned to ignore myself at such a young age that I didn’t know I was ignoring myself anymore. It was just how I lived and how I learned to survive or get by. Sometimes I could think in my own mind that I felt happy, or I felt blue or down, but I could not tell anyone else about my feelings.  I would freeze at the question.  The question was “unsafe” to answer.

 

In my post “Stop Crying or I will give you something to cry about” I talked about the message that we got as children when were told “to stop crying or else.” My feelings were invalidated. In being told that I didn’t hurt or that I didn’t have a reason to cry I was being told that I was wrong to have those feelings and I concluded that my feelings were wrong and therefore invalid and that I did not have a right to my own emotions so I shut them down and turned them off and that was how I learned to invalidate and then ignore my own feelings.

 

I also learned to be afraid of the consequences of my feelings; being told that they were “wrong” and having the threat of more punishment or more pain if I don’t stop “feeling” those feelings, I became afraid of my feelings too.  I was afraid to feel anger because there might be a negative consequence so I shut that feeling down.  SO I became afraid that the feelings were wrong AND that there might be consequences to having those wrong feelings. THAT resulted in being afraid to FEEL ANYTHING and it also made me doubt my own feelings when I did feel them.

 

SO when someone asked me “how do you feel about that” or “how are you feeling?” I didn’t realize it but my first reaction was FEAR.  Without realizing it consciously, I was afraid that my feelings were wrong, that I had no right to them and that having them might lead to a negative consequence.  All that fear was operating under the surface because of my childhood history and the fear dictated my reaction and my response.  Deep down I was thinking “what do you want me to say? Instead of knowing and acknowledging my feelings, I was wondering what the “right answer” was to the question and I was considering what the safest response would be.  I didn’t wonder how I actually felt about very many things anymore because years earlier my feelings had been defined as wrong and I had been defined as unworthy of having them.

 

This is what happens to children who have been invalidated or who have had their feelings invalidated. It wasn’t just that I didn’t know what I was feeling; I was also afraid to acknowledge my feelings in case they were wrong.  Survival for me had become about making sure that I didn’t do or say the wrong thing.

 

Looking back at my life through that grid of understanding, it is no wonder that I struggled with such deep depression and dissociative identity issues.  It wasn’t safe to be alive! It wasn’t safe to be me.  It wasn’t safe to feel OR to acknowledge my feelings.

 

Getting my feelings back had a lot to do with realizing why I had shut them down and how they were controlled by others in the first place.

 

In my next post I will talk about the way I processed the question “what do you think?”

 

The Emerging from Broken bookThe Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Darlene Ouimet

Related Posts: Taught to think or taught not to think?

Loneliness in Recovery and Emotional Healing

Stop that crying or I will give you something to cry about

Learning to feel feelings isn’t always easy ~ by Lynn Tolson

 

78 response to "Why I Didn’t Know how I Felt about Anything"

  1. By: Joan H Posted: 4th February

    Wow I would never cry and certainly not in front of people. Now I know why , I am trying to understand dissociation
    I see now that I freeze. My sister just time howi need to just put up boundaries and not cross the wish it was that easy. My sisters always think I’m a screw up because I am always digging to find answers to surviving my anxiety Depressions from abuse. The say get over it . There is more in me, repressed I just don’t wanna go there

  2. By: milly Posted: 19th September

    Really a bad day.I wish I could go to meetings to talk & God knows hugs,that would help me at this point. All my childhood life to go threw to be quit or you are not behaving the way you should be,& so on & so.To go on to married life the same is absolutly crazy .It has know effected my health. I will be going to a councler, then again I will freeze up.I can imagine this makes no sense.In my 50 .

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th September

      Hi Milly
      It makes perfect sense to me, this was exactly how I felt. I hope that you read some more of this website; you may find comfort and understanding here and you will certainly find that you are not alone,
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Elaine Posted: 17th September

    I am so glad I found this blog .I thought there was something wrong with me. I actually cried reading this,a relief I am not alone. Thank you all.For so many years I always wanted to express to someone & I came to this .

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th September

      Hi Elaine
      Welcome to EFB! Glad that you are here and that you like what you are reading! You are certainly NOT alone! This is a quickly growing community. Please feel free to share often.
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: louise Posted: 21st August

    This post is amazing for me. It’s one of the hardest things for me identifying what exactly it is that I’m feeling and you naming that first reaction to someone asking how you feel as ‘fear’ is really helpful. Also this bit ‘I was wondering what the “right answer” was to the question and I was considering what the safest response would be’ is exactly what I have been doing for a long time. Now in knowing that my feelings are valuable and its ok to have them I’m getting all sorts coming up and though I’m unable to name them exactly its ok. Someone I upset said that I was ‘having a front’ and ‘acting little’ when actually I’m more congruent than I have been my whole life. Someone else told me a story about a patient they had looked after when they were a nurse who had been through so many operations and his wife had come in and said he’d ‘always been sickly and weak’ the nurse looked at her a bit shocked and said ‘can’t you see how strong he is having survived all of these things?’ and my friend then told me to think of myself like that. Also I realised its ok to cry if you get hurt emotionally as this is the same as if you got bit by an animal and it draws blood, emotional abuse and behaviour is equally painful and damaging. Thank you

  5. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th August

    Hi Kelly
    There are several options; you can go to the archives and start at the beginning.. or you can click on the category buttons above on a topic that interests you, OR you can look at the key words on the tag cloud in the right hand sidebar!
    Depends on what you are interested in reading about, but this whole site is about seeing things in a different way, and healing.
    Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Kelly Posted: 8th August

    I thank you for responding and for the hug.. i look forward to reading more of your writing, which do you think i should read next?

  7. By: Kelly Posted: 8th August

    I stumbled a cross this, Oh my….. No matter how many years i have lived, or what my experiences, it never occured to me that others freeze at the question. How are you feeling? what do you think?.. i have gotten better at masking, but not of getting away from the fear i feel when asked that question or any other for that matter.. and when i am, at times, unable to find an answer,(and people look at you wierdly).. i feel so stupid.. and beat myself up for being stupid and for showing this person how stupid i am.. so i run away.. as i don’t have any other option.. then as i am alone i go over and over in my mind how stupid i looked, how stupid i am.. for certainly, any other person on this planet could answer the question.. “how are you feeling?” Thank you for letting me see, that i not the only one…

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th August

      Hi Kelly,
      Glad you found the blog post! (and the rest of the blog might be of interest to you also. ) You are not alone!!
      I am looking forward to some of your reactions to some of the other topics!
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Veronica Posted: 4th August

    I am new here and just found this wonderful blog. Thank you Darlene, and thanks to everyone who posts their thoughts and experiences.

    I just found out the struggles I’ve had all my life are a result of having a narcissistic mother, and I am so thankful to have found this blog and this community. This post in particular struck a deep chord with me, and the comments have provided more aha moments for me. Especially Carolyn’s comment about needs not being spoken of and barely beign recognized, and post #51, about these coping mechanisms not working anymore. I was damaging my marriage by unconsciously placing my husband in my mother’s role of oppressor and controller, but he didn’t want to be there, and I must have felt I needed him to play the part, otherwise how was I supposed to know what I was supposed to feel or think? It’s so twisted…

    For me the hardest part about knowing what I was feeling or thinking is the fact that my mother used my feelings and any expressions of them as a guilt trip for her pain and physical discomfort in name of love. So very quickly I learned to stuff them, or intellectualize what I was supposed to feel according to her needs or wants. So I learned how to lie to say what people wanted to hear. I got praise and positive reinforcement, and that translated to ‘love’ for me. In the process I lost myself and any idea of what I wanted or needed or thought. No wonder I went blank at the simple question of what I wanted, when that someone didn’t give me anything to work with as far as figuring out what they wanted me to say.

    Also, I’ve been journaling and haven’t written for a while, so when I picked it up again last night, everything I need to do is written there, in my own hand, but I didn’t remember writing it, and it didn’t sink in. It’s a form of disassociation for me probably, but reading it there, written in black and white, months before reading this blog, serves to validate my inner wisdom that I know I need to recognize the coping mechanisms and not use them anymore.

    Thanks for being here, Darlene, and thanks to everyone for posting. It helps tremendously, and I hope I can contribute something helpful in return.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th August

      Welcome Veronica
      Glad you are here! I can relate to going blank at the simple question too. That is exactly what happens when we have been raised not to think or to think our “thinking” is wrong.
      Each comment contributes to the progress of others ~ sometimes with sharing information, sometimes just the realization that we are not “crazy” or imagining this, and that we are not alone in this. It is so validating in an otherwise lifetime of invalidation.
      Thank you so much for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Chloe Posted: 26th July

    Thank you for this post Darlene. It is so good to know that it’s normal to struggle with this type of thing. It is also interesting that ALL emotions are stifled or numbed away. I feel like it was a coping mechanism of mine that worked quite well for a while – if I don’t show emotion then they won’t know how to hurt me. But it doesn’t work anymore because the good relationships in my life require openness and emotional expression. So although it helped me survive the toxic situation I was in, it holds me back from thriving in the good place I live now.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th July

      Hi Everyone
      I just published another blog post about another aspect of how we can get shut down and stay that way. This new one is about how our thinking can get shut down.
      Please visit the following link to read the new post;

      TAUGHT to think or taught NOT to think?
      Hope you enjoy it!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Mel @ Trailing After God Posted: 26th July

    Hit the nail on the head! I was told the same thing and was NEVER allowed to “talk back” or ever have my own opinions once a decision was given. And then I took classes as a new parent that taught us the same things. First time obedience, no arguing etc and I started out being more hard nosed than I ever wanted to be but it came naturally. It was what I learned. We’ve since moved away from that but it’s still lying under the surface and I have to FIGHT to not say those things to my kids and I have 🙁 To me, a child who talks back is disrespectful and I don’t know where the line is. I’ve seen others in my family NOT do this and they have great kids. It’s a tough lesson to learn.

    I sometimes fear saying how I’m feeling because I don’t want to sound like a whiner. There are people who are emotionally draining and I know that they need to work out their feelings etc but sometimes they take more than I have to give. I always fear being that person to someone. And I am certain it stems from these lessons as a child.

    Blessings,
    Mel – author of How I Forgave My Molester
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th July

      Hi Mel,
      I can relate to this ~ it was part of how I was brainwashed. I realized when I was about 14 or 15 that I didn’t want to be like my mother so I started reading books when I got pregnant with my first child and I was lucky enough to be directed to books that talked about the way that things affected kids. Like having to cry themselves to sleep etc. I learned a new definition of respect then and I learned another new definition of respect when I went through this process. (the one I write about in this site) I had to bite my tongue too because so much of what almost came out of my mouth was so deeply ingrained in me by the ways that I was raised. I had a funky belief system and it needed re-wiring.
      About having great kids or not ~ it is a pretty tough thing to judge. Some kids are too scared to be anything but great. But they might be hurting more then anyone could imagine. And they might be so controlled that they don’t even know how they feel or what they think. It is really hard to judge. There is so much to this whole thing.
      Hugs and thanks for sharing!
      Darlene

      Hi Chloe
      Exactly! What used to work is now in the way. That is the truth about all coping methods. Thank you for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Helena Posted: 26th July

    Hi,
    I’m new to your site and have been reading here for barely a few weeks, and just quickly wanted to say thank you. I feel really blessed I found this place I think, in so many posts and comments, these ones too, you deeply touch things that I wasn’t even aware of but that are so true for myself.
    At only 20 and with the abuse that damaged me so much only lying five years in the past, I know how much I’m still at the very beginning of recovery, but finding out that there is such a thing as getting better and there is actually something I have to get better from (hello denial, over and over of course) is a great thing to see, and I’m puzzled.

    So there’s a ton of work ahead to be done by me I guess ^^ Thank you all so so much for providing this great kind of help here!!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th July

      Hi Jasmine,
      Great to hear from you! I hear you! It was easier for me once I realized the reason why I had such a hard time acknowledging my feelings although I realized that AFTER I realized that I didn’t know my feelings… and YES if that is what it takes to fully recover, then YES to the hard work.
      Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Helena
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
      Thank you for your comments; when people tell me that I write things that they never thought about before, I feel like I have accomplished my goal. It was the things that I write about that were the keys for me. I sought the answers to healing for over 20 solid years and still struggled. When I found “these things” the things I write about now, I healed and overcame very quickly compared to the 20 plus years of seeking and not finding the whole answer.
      I am so glad that you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: Jasmine Posted: 26th July

    I’ve been away from EFB for a good while as I was caught up with some other stuff, but this post just caught my attention.

    When I first entered therapy and my clinical psychologist asked me to “name” my feelings, I looked at her like she was talking alien language. I mean, how do I put words to what is going on inside? I have no problems crying, but I don’t know what emotions let to the crying. All I knew was that I felt messed up inside but I don’t know what is it.

    Once during a class activity my lecturer tried to make me angry during a psychodrama session. When she tried provoking me (so I would yell at her), I went completely blank. She tried for a good 10 minutes and gave up. I tried defending myself instead of getting angry at the person I should be angry with.

    I, too, was afraid of showing my emotions. Growing up anger and tears precede wrath, rejection and guilt trips. I had no choice but to suck it all up. Anger and tears were only permissible for my sister, and it seemed as if she took up all my quota. My mum could verbally abuse me and I should have taken it as “teasing”, just “for fun”.

    Gee, there was plenty of work to do in therapy. First, I had to acknowledge my own feelings and OWN them. If I’m sad, I’m sad. Period. What is so bad about that? If I’m angry at some form of injustice, is it my fault?

    Repressed anger and depression has taken an irreversible toll on my health. It’s hard work to acknowledge what is going on within me, but if that is what it takes to fully recover, then so be it. It doesn’t matter anymore whether people can accept my feelings.

  13. By: Pam Posted: 26th July

    Fi,
    I’ve read how difficult it is for people who have been blind from birth to cope with suddenly having sight returned to them. Nothing is as it was before and nothing like what they imagined. It is as hard for them to go from blindness to sight as it is for us to suddenly lose our sight. I have had periods of numbness and of intense emotion but my biggest problem was misplaced response and reaction. I’m really happy to hear that you are beginning to feel. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you learn to deal with feeling.

  14. By: Pam Posted: 26th July

    Kate,
    I know exactly what you are referencing in #20. The thing is with people of that bent, one is better off remaining at a distance. Its when they draw you up close that you get hurt.

    I posted another piece on spiritual abuse from a more personal perspective. I’m really sad that you are having to go through this. I know how it feels when your love for God is twisted into something ugly and used against you. I know for sure that your life will be better when you are away from these people. I know that because my life is so much better without those who want to use God so that they can rule over me.

    Love,
    Pam

  15. By: Fi MacLeod Posted: 26th July

    I always wonder “what is the right answer” when asked and feverishly try to find something to say while my mind goes completely blank out of fear.

    I’ve gone through my entire life not feeling. It’s only during the last few months that I’ve rediscovered feelings and realised that. My problem with feelings is that they are so intense. I think if must be a bit like when a deaf person is suddenly able to hear and everything is deafeningly loud. When my feelings become overwhelming I still switch off and dissociate to that numb place. The difference is now I know that’s happening.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th July

      Hi Char
      Thank you! I am glad that you are here too! One of the things that I kept in mind on this journey is that even though the awareness stings a bit, awareness is better then oblivious. I didn’t know that I didn’t feel before so I wasn’t trying to feel. I was just oblivious. I didn’t know that there was a root to any of my depressions, so I wasn’t looking for one, and it was in finding the root of it that set me free. SO.. awareness is really a wonderful thing… its like a starting point for all emerging!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Fi
      Oh I love your analogy that this would be like a deaf person suddenly able to hear and everything is too loud! Yes, it is so intense. I had to be aware of dissociating before I stopped doing it too. And I learned to stop being upset about it. Eventually I disconnected less and less and for at least a year or two I would crawl into bed as an alternative. Like conscious disconnection from the world but not so much from myself. Learning to stay present was a HUGE process and learning to be gentle with me, and to just let the process unfold without a time frame, was very powerful.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Heather Lyn
      Welcome to emerging from broken!
      Yes, that is exactly what I am talking about. The moods of people “in charge” were so unpredictable that the way we survived was to “guess” what they wanted us to say, and how they wanted us to act. This is true for emotional abuseive family situations too. It was through learning and realizing that the way I was shut down came from these situations, that I was able to recover my identity and my true feelings.
      Glad you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: Heather Lyn Posted: 26th July

    Darlene,

    In the 2nd paragraph, you touched on something that immediately got my attention. “The question was ‘unsafe’ to answer”. Unsafe. As a child that grew up watching severe domestic violence, everything became “unsafe”. Dinner could be unsafe because my father could have an episode and fling his plate across the room. You made me think about my reactions to the world in a different way.

    What is a ‘safe’ question? I honestly don’t have an answer.

  17. By: Char Posted: 25th July

    I swear you read my mind Darlene I have never had “real ” feelings except sadness that was a feeling that never left I could also get happy occasionally but only while caring for my children. Every once in a while I would cry but not often at all . I am taking college classes and in my communication class one of the things we need to do this week is tell how we were feeling I couldn’t think of 1 thing yet I know there are feelings in there somewhere hiding I was thinking I was “cured ” until today now I am back to being sad I really have no feelings I am going to have to think about this and I will figure it out ! I am determined , I am also glad you all are here It nice to read everyone’s comments I don’t feel so alone now ! Warm blessings to each and everyone of us as we emerge from broken thanks to Darlene!!!

  18. By: shanyn Posted: 25th July

    Darlene, I think you may be on to something there. I think there is this attitude ‘well I made it through okay, so you can to’ that totally disregards the actual pain, disconnect and utter devaluing they went through. This strange trip down the river Denial where we all have to either row like beggers or ride the bridge like they own the ship. How strange, that they think that passing it along is good enough when we can choose better, we can choose more!

  19. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

    Hi Shanyn
    It really stuns me that these same adults how discount children were once children themselves! Like what happens?? They forget how discounted they felt? or they think they turned out pretty well?? or is it about having a turn at being the “kind of the castle” and making others feel like nothing now?
    I mean really!
    Hugs, Darlene

    Carol,
    I have talked to people that I told things to also that I did not remember telling. but I know that I had dissociative identity disorder so explain it to myself that way. The way that I found to join up these old conversations is just to realize some of the ways that I avoid remembering. Ways that I escape even. Other then that, the memories come when they are ready and when YOU are ready for them to come. I blocked out almost everything when I got married ~ but I didn’t realize it till my first born was about 12 years old and some stuff started to come back. Some of it I remembered that i already knew but forgot (blocked out) again.
    It is complicated. I have never heard of anyone forcing a memory, but not fighting a bit different.
    Hope that helps
    Hugs,!! Darlene

  20. By: carol Posted: 25th July

    wow
    i really struggl ewith this. i have several conversations with people who mentioned them soemtime afterwards and i had no recollection of them or the topic, so you would imagine my surprise when i was about 20 and a ex asked ho wi was doing with my grandfather and what he did to me, wow i freaked out. it was not something i would have spoken about ever especcially with a partner, hell i didnt know so how did he know. apparently we had laid in bed one nitgh and something triggered me and he asked and i told him everything. to this day i still do not remember this conversation and he wouldnt really give me details incase i freaked anymore than i was. then there was anther one with a consultant physcharist, whic i only remember the hello and the conclusion, was strange as i was there for over 2 hrs.
    it is this that leads me to believ alot of what i have used to heal, outlines and shadows of the reality as i havent been strong enough to cope with how bad it must of been. how do i join up these old conversations so i can gain more freedom from my childhood?

  21. By: Shanyn Posted: 25th July

    Darlene, a great post! Really puts it into perspective how little our feelings were valued as children that as adults they are foreign to us. Sometimes even frightening (yeah that’s me!)…and my responses to my stronger feelings are those which I’m working on.

    Great to see the support through the comments as well…!!

  22. By: Pam Posted: 25th July

    Darlene,
    Since you are so brave, I will try to be brave also.:0)

    Love,
    Pam

  23. By: Carolyn Posted: 25th July

    “The question was “unsafe” to answer.”

    I wouldn’t just go blank, but like you and other commenters, also learned to lie – to the point where I didn’t even realise I was lying. I learned what were and weren’t acceptable or safe answers to questions like this and delivered those answers with smiling precision.

    It has thrown a spanner into the works as far as therapy is concerned because I often tell the therapist I’m doing a lot better than I am. Or I avoid talking about certain emotions.

    I was seeing a therapist for three years and never spoke to him about how angry I always felt. It wasn’t because I was consciosly afraid of this, or even unaware that I was angry – it just didn’t occur to me to bring it up because I knew on some level it was inappropriate/unsafe/unreasonable/invalid for me to feel that rage. The mind can filter out the most obvious things, or not put two and two together when it feels afraid. It never occured to me until later that my intense mood swings were a symptom, and not just some ‘mistake’ I kept making.

    As some people have touched on in the comments above, genuine ‘needs’ are also hard for abused people to express. I find my needs just as baffling to work out as my feelings, because how my needs affect other people and what the concequences might be is more important. I’m 37 years old and still terrified of asking someone if I can use their bathroom. I’m surprised I haven’t died of a kidney infection lol.

    And the physical injury and illness! i would get a smack in the head if i dared to want to take a day off school for being sick, unless I was on death’s door. Or not being hungry, i would be forced to eat food anyway. I remember my father hitting me because I didn’t want to eat breakfast once, or sitting over me for hours in the evening until i had finished every last scrap on my dinner plate.

    What motivates a person to force feed a child? What was I being punished for exactly? Something I had absolutely no control over. Punished for not feeling physically and emotionally the way someone else thought I should feel. It’s so crazy!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

      Pam,
      It is kind of “eerie” that you are talking about this today. I just realized yesterday that something is trying to come back to my memory and I have been shutting it down. I became aware of having these mini flashbacks for about 6 months that I have successfully pushed away until now. I know I am on the verge of more. I know what you mean about choosing to go back and explore it. Last night I decided that I am going to dive in though. I am sure that over time it will show up here on my blog!
      Hugs, and cheers to the process. At least we are not going through anything alone!
      Darlene

      Hi Susan
      I am really glad that you are here too!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Carolyn
      Yes, you highlight another part of this whole thing. Learning to lie and not even realizing that we were doing it, and not even knowing that we didn’t know HOW we felt! Dang complicated! LOL
      Another really good point is that clients often don’t take these things to therapists because the client really does not know that those kinds of things might be important or that they hold clues! More complicated!
      Thank you so much for sharing! Great comments!
      Hugs, Darlene

      • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th July

        Just a note to Susan
        you replied to a comment on this thread but you replied to it via email. I sent you an email about it, it may have gone into your junk folder ~ in any event, the comment that you sent will not been seen by anyone but me unless you publish it through the blog. If you can’t find it (the copy of your comment that I emailed back to you) I will publish it for you, just let me know.
        Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Susan Posted: 25th July

    Dear Darlene – your WELCOME brings tears to my eyes! I’m almost crying – but it’s a GOOD FEELING even tho a little teary. I guess no matter how much “WORK” we do – there will be times like this. I haven’t been in therapy for almost a year & before that it was a very bad therapist. I had known from my previous “work” that we-the-hurt-&-abused need to be treated in a different way from CONFRONTATIONAL therapy & this last therapist told me that was OLD hat. The new approach to everyone – as if we were all made from a cookie cutter mold – was/is – we look at your junk & then listen to her (the therapist). As that therapist would say – “i’m going to tell you like it is.” – but lots of times she was wrong, herself, and I KNEW it. Oh, on top of everything else – I was never given credit for having insights & knowledge. Gee- where have I experienced THAT before? Yet I stayed w/this therapist thinking maybe THIS was the newest & BEST way to recover from being pushed around & compressed into a tiny ball who dissociated, at the least little trigger. THANK you, Darlene, too – for using the word “TRIGGER” – it helps to use the “lingo” because that will remind me to look for the trigger(s) – because THAT is just what they are & that is just what “they” do – trigger a behavior or a response – usually involving NOT-CONNECTED/NUMB/FROZEN/OUT-to-LUNCH – & even to becoming full-blown dissociated. One bit of progress tho – is that I tend to dissociate less. That didn’t come from this latest therapist I’ve been mentioning but from “working” & “working” at learning about the whole subject & I’m pretty sure my meds. They tend to keep me much calmer than I would usually be – so it frees me up to think more clearly! I KNOW I’m at/in the CORRECT PLACE by coming HERE to you all. I will be reading you ALL from now on! Love & virtual hugs to everyone . . . . : )

  25. By: Pam Posted: 25th July

    Darlene,
    Yep,that’s what I think too. You talk about having a connection to the character in Oliver. Well, that’s the way I’ve always been with the book and the movie Sybill. Even when I wrote my last blog post for you, when I read online about being raped, I felt myself split inside. I felt that when I said it to my sister, also. I noticed later that I didn’t write it in first person. I still haven’t said it outloud in first person. When I told my sister, it was the first time I said it at all. I think there are quite a few, Pam’s inside of me that remember things that I don’t remember and that I don’t really want to remember. I don’t want to fall into those memories the way I did when I went through chemo either. I’m at this point where I feel really happy and connected to myself but I’m also on the edge of something else that I’m not sure I really want to poke into.I spent a few years in a pretty terrifying place. Its hard to choose to go back there and explore it.

    Thanks for being here, Darlene.

    Pam

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