Name that emotion

One of the challenges I experienced was dissociation.  I separated myself so completely from my emotions that I could not name what I felt at any given time.  Much of the time I felt gray…..I spent months taking pictures of gray trying to find the one the exemplified how I felt. After hundreds and hundreds…

Layers of hiding

Early on in my counseling, I explained that one of my medical doctors told me that I was depressed and didn’t know it.  I felt like “DUH” I would know if I was depressed.  My therapist looked fairly amused while I recounted this experience.  (I learned to be very cautious if my counselor was amused…

Sad and continued sad

Sadness and sorrow and grieving are no longer accepted in society.  Feeling these emotions is now taboo.  The assault on sadness is long time story.  I remember at the earliest age the concept of a British stiff upper lip, enduring without showing any emotion for great losses.  As a child I was punished for being…

Shame and Toxic Shame

Is there a difference? Some people treat all shame as if it is toxic shame.  I tried multiple times to read a book on shame.  I was so confused within a few pages at it batted back and forth between shame and toxic shame. Dictionary result for shame – Google dictionary /SHām/ noun 1. a…

Hyper-vigilance is rewarded

Every time I get on the freeway my enhanced hyper-vigilance is rewarded.  I am super aware of cars changing lanes, speed demons racing up from behind and near misses that keeps my hyper-vigilance on alert.  It is exhausting being super aware all the time of every person around.  I didn’t know it was unusual.  I…

Unruly emotions

A minor annoying experience suddenly goes haywire with emotions that are over-the-top extreme flashback.  I am no longer a confident adult but a cringing terrified/angry/helpless child. I know logically that the event did not warrant the level of emotion that washed over me like tsunami.  Several of these stood out in my memory.  When I…

Emotion Regulation is not

Stopping or cutting off emotions.  Dissociation/cutting off emotions is like freezing frogs….as soon as you thaw them they are hopping all over just the same.  Why do I know this?  I used dissociation to obliterate anger and other negative emotions.  Sadly it did the same thing to love and happiness…only the emotions didn’t go away,…