Grief and happiness coexists

Dissociation from my emotions is a symptom of PTSD/CPTSD.  I was numb.  I didn’t feel pain but I didn’t feel happiness either.  I was so completely detached from my feelings that I couldn’t tell you at any given moment what I felt.  I knew I had feelings….sometimes I was happy and sometimes I felt bone crushing sorrow but not usually.  When my therapist first started probing what I felt about things, I would look at him puzzled and try to figure out what answer he wanted me to give.  I spent a good portion of my childhood perfecting the skill of giving adults exactly what they wanted from me.  They wanted me happy I could be happy.  They wanted me sad I could do that too.  But feeling my own feelings was down right dangerous.

One of the most surprising things I learned when I reconnected with my emotions is that grief and happiness coexists.  I could mourn losses and feel happy all in the same day, sometimes simultaneously. Emotions were scary to me.  They seemed to come and go with little warning or completely confusing.  I think I should feel happy and I would feel terribly sad.  Or I would start laughing at times that were totally inappropriate.  I am thankful my counselor persisted and helped me navigate getting acquainted with my own emotions.  I still find them pesky from time to time but it takes my world and colors it with hope.

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