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Lack of Emotion

Open Discussions About Child Abuse

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Lack of Emotion

Postby Terry E. » Fri May 03, 2019 4:03 am

One of our issues is that we have a base point that is out of step with general society. Much of my uncomfortable issues stem from this.

I don't do counseling and avoid Psyches. (the old "tell me how that made you feel" - made me feel like getting a baseball bat so that they could feel it themselves).

In the last 18 months I have met two wonderful friends. One online and one local who both had horror childhoods. Although their abuse is very different, it stems from early childhood and mothers who should never have been. Although both have been married several times and one still is very happily married they both have confided the doubt over whether they ever loved their husbands. Whether they know what it is. I had never really thought about it. After a while I wondered if what I had felt for my wife was simply a reaction to her kindness and affection. That I don't know what love is.

Around this time my wife went overseas and joined my oldest son on holidays. She was gone for seven weeks. I realised when she was gone I was very happy. Happier than when she is at home. So much time to do so many things. So much time to be alone. I really enjoyed it. I love being alone.

In a discussion recently with her,which lead to "why can't you get over this", I answered what was the worst memory of her life. She answered "the night our son almost died in a car crash" and we attended hospital at 1.30pm while they worked to save his life. I told her it was not even close. I remember the night very well but at the time I felt nothing and in remembering still don't.

As a child I learned not to be happy as I realised that the come down, from being happy - to being terrorized and terribly physically abused was much worse than if I was emotionally flat. It was better to never be happy than be happy and have it taken away.I lived each day working on making my tomorrow okay. I still do. The concept of being in the moment I do not actually understand. At a recent Comic Con I made sure I could photo doc the experience so that I can sit down and enjoy it. At the time it was mostly hard work. Will I do it again, sure. (kind of funny how you can be wonderfully alone in a venue full of 42,000 people if you know how to do it. )

I now wonder if as a young child I learned to suppress my emotions. It reduced the emotional pain. About the only emotion I think I had was one of hope, no, knowledge that my tomorrows must be better than my today's. I think sometimes people may take this as dissociation. It is not it is different. If your emotions are not exercised as a child, do they stay stunted for life.

As an adult about the only emotion I will admit to is a feeling of underlying anger at society. Years ago that spilled out into rage (the explosive survivor rage you may have heard about) It has not appeared now in maybe 15 years. It is still there if my mind wanders. The anger part, not the rage.

Having learned to suppress our emotions, do we ever develop them. If they are not exercised at the right ages do they wither and die.

I wonder.

I have started to try and pull memories from my childhood. For decades they have been locked away. I would avoid thinking of them as the horror memories would always surface straight away. Funny how you can remember the feeling of terror after all these years.It has been hard but I have been slowly picking through those horror memories. Trying to remember my school. My friends (found they were actually very, very few, but lots of subtle bullying and isolation - which at the time did not matter to me ). A slow process, but in its ways rewarding. Helps me understand a lot of whys in my life.
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Re: Lack of Emotion

Postby realityhere » Tue May 07, 2019 5:19 am

Terry,

I've been sifting thru childhood memories I've suppressed for many years til recently. It's depressing to realize how as a little child you have so few defenses against what omnipotent parents do and how their actions influence how your life turns out. Numbness is what I feel sometimes, anger at other times. Yes, I think one can develop emotions over time when you realize how much you've suppressed in order not to feel emotion. Emotion can come out in other ways, either physically via illness or mentally, thru one's moods, general ennui or restlessness.

I'm often happiest when alone, even though my husband is a loving man. I can't explain it, but maybe it has to do with escaping control from others when I couldn't as a child. And all hell lets loose. :)

Hope this helps.

rh
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Re: Lack of Emotion

Postby Terry E. » Thu May 09, 2019 3:58 am

realityhere wrote:Terry,


Numbness is what I feel sometimes, anger at other times. ....


either physically via illness or mentally, thru one's moods, general ennui or restlessness.

I'm often happiest when alone, even though my husband is a loving man. I can't explain it, but maybe it has to do with escaping control from others when I couldn't as a child. And all hell lets loose. :)





Yeah numbness best describes my mental state or I would call it flat. Not much up but also very little down. I think you build that as a defense. (as I said it was better not to be happy and have it taken away, then be happy and loose it)

I am looking at winding down my business. The last few years have been extremely kind to us and we go out with no stress having bought one son a house and the other a 50% deposit in one of the worlds most expensive cities. What may be what you refer to restlessness has been worrying me. As a workaholic I could suppress this stuff. One of the reasons I am trying to sort through it so I can sleep better at night.

As these last few years have rolled away my wife's family issues have surfaced more and more. Their lives were not early as bad as mine, but bad enough to wreck them all. Somewhere along I had a huge resilience factor just not sure where it was.
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Re: Lack of Emotion

Postby realityhere » Thu May 09, 2019 10:39 pm

I'm dealing with two elderly parents-in-law atm, who have mental/physical and emotional issues, one more so than the other. I rarely have time to reflect on my own issues, and whether that is a good/bad thing, I dunno. But when I do some rare reflection, it's about what I'd do with my time left.

I'd love to be free of family obligations for once and I still have good health, better than my siblings. The FIL has had prolonged health and long-term care issues, as he's been in a wheelchair for nearly 20 years now. The MIL is now frail, almost tottering, and has major emotional issues due to a dysfunctional upbringing. All this has caused me to put aside some dreams, as I have so little free time now to pursue them. I suppose that's where my restlessness lies.

You've gone thru a lot of things in your life, I'd say it's time to think of yourself and what you'd like to do from here on. Don't get tangled up with the problems other ppl have created for themselves.
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Re: Lack of Emotion

Postby quietgirl2538 » Sun May 19, 2019 9:53 am

Terry, I've read that emotions can be felt and allowed to exist at any age. I know this is true from experience. I remember as an 18 year old girl, I felt like I was 'just there.' Just existing. Not happy and not sad. Once I escaped my mom's grip on me through running away/being kicked out of the home, I started to sort of "blossom." It was described as coming from a cocoon of a butterfly. That's kinda what happened. I became very happy to be free. I felt happier being homeless and living in a shelter than living under my mom's roof. No, I don't recommend anyone to live a homeless life. It's horrible in many ways. But my point is that 'anywhere but there.' I love independence. I feel as I'm in control. In my marriage I fight my way to independence. I don't like to feel as if I still live under my mom's roof. No way! I am like this feminist in many way, fighting for women's rights. Fighting for my rights as a human being. I've read that if you suppress one emotion, naturally it follows that all emotions are suppressed. Both the sad and the happy ones as well. I could not feel anything. But now I do. I've allowed myself to feel things and I allow my heart and my mind to process feelings. I feel heartbreak but I am feeling healing through allowing me to feel all my emotions. Even the sad and painful ones. I am on a path to healing. Many hugs sent out to you...
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