Another name for numbing, dissociation, loosing heart, deep depression, void…..similar to physical pain a person can only take so much emotional pain than the emotional heart shuts down. One of the distressful symptoms of PTSD is this emotional shutting down. The mind still works. I felt aware of other people I just felt so shutout or disconnected from them. I tired to explain to my counselor. I felt like I was a little kid that couldn’t reach the handle of a candy store. I could see all the people inside laughing, hugging, and enjoying each other but I couldn’t reach the handle to let me in. It was a sense of isolation that told my counselor the quickest how badly damaged I was emotionally. There is an upside. When I worked at a university during finals everyone would be emotionally stressed out and I wasn’t. I worked around the room helping people feeling no connection to their distress. Some people complimented me on how I was so calm in a crisis. What they didn’t understand is I felt no sympathy for those stressed out. My emotions were not engaged. One person expressed envy. I knew the man had teenage daughters. I asked him, “Would you still want to be numb on your daughters wedding day and you wanted to share with her how happy you are for her but all you can do is say I’m happy for you but your voice is void of emotion?” When my emotions are numb…..all the emotions are numb. There is the advantage I don’t get angry either…nothingness….void….
I shared this before so you can skip it if it sounds familiar.
I’ve worked too long to be afraid now. Fear has taken too much of my life. I am afraid. Being hurt is my word for “normal.” This time I feel the pain as it happens. I cry but no one sees the tears. I hurt but no one knows. Why must there be more? I hide the wounds but that doesn’t stop the bleeding. The pain pours in and no one sees the scars. When you bleed internally as long as you smile no one knows you are dying. I have prayed for death I have begged for death but dying would bring no relief to a battered soul. I prayed for oblivion body and soul and there was only the oblivion of passing out and knowing you will wake up and do it all again. My heartaches for the child I never was. I cry for what can not be. No one can undo my past and give me back my childhood. No one wants to enter my pain. I change to become acceptable to monsters or those that I want their love. I change until I can’t even recognize myself. I change and it is still not enough. I am tired but fear grips my sleep. I am awake and fear drives my every action. I work but it is still not enough. Lost, i feel so lost. i don’t want to play any more but like a crazed puppet the strings jerk me around.
No control. No hope. such sadness. such pain. let me sleep without dreams. let the noise in my head stop. let me rest. just let me rest. let me slip into the grayness of the void.
I labeled this under coping….please, understand that this numbness is an extreme survival tool. It just isn’t very helpful everyday. Imagine walking around all day with a full suit of body armor. My counselor discussed several tools to help me connect to others.
5/50 project…..given as an assignment by my first counselor.
Rules of the project:
1. You may not take more than 5 minutes….
2. You may not spend more than 50 cents. (That is less money than a candy bar.)
Everyday do something for someone else that doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes or cost more than 50 cents. Write down what I did at the end of the day and how I felt about it. Do this for one month….report back my findings.
Greet on the street…..watched my Father-in-law do this….
Greet everybody you meet.
Dominoes of kindness
Do something for a someone then ask them to help out someone else…Ever seen the move Pay it Forward. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=pay+it+forward+movie&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004
Sitting with your emotions is a whole other post. Allowing myself to experience emotion helped me become comfortable with feelings that used to terrify me.
Remember that reconnecting with emotions is a slow painful business. The reward is happiness, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, and peace. Take the risk.