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#414389 - 10/26/12 05:22 PM Fear of Feeling?
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
My new T recommended that I get a book to help with the anxiety. I brought it to session yesterday. There's a chapter in it called "Stop Catastrophizing." When I first saw that, I thought, "That doesn't apply to me." But when I brought the book to session, that was one of the first chapters he wanted to talk to me about.

I thought it was about people with phobias, irrational fears. My T said, "The difference with you is, a catastrophe really did happen to you."

And when he said that, the BIG SCARY NEGATIVE EMOTION that I keep bottled up inside me got uncorked and poured out inside of me and my body balled up and I started weeping.

This was the 2nd session in a row when I just cried for minutes on end.

He made an analogy that people with phobias have an unreasonable fear of something, and that my fear is of feeling.

OK, but is it such an unreasonable fear? If I don't keep that BSNE bottled up, I will get crippled by it. It incapacitates me. When my relationship ended in 2005, it gripped me for about as long as I think I could survive it.

So here's my question -- Is my fear of this negative emotion irrational? Or, am I right to be worried that I won't be able to handle it?

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#414392 - 10/26/12 05:44 PM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
Blue1966 Offline


Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
That's a tough one. I don't know you well enough to say how much I think you can handle nor do I know what kind of support you have beyond a T.

I do think that there are some emotions that, not because of the emotion but because of the reasons and memories that come with those emotions, that we can't or at least shouldn't try to handle alone.

Yes, as we heal we get better at handling such things but, that depends on where you are personally. If you feel you can't do it alone and, don't have the support you need to do it, then tell that to your T.

My special someone is dealing with some hard things right now, and, basically had become a clinging vine over emotional as well as physical things going on. Not easy on me but, I know this too will pass as he works through the newest bucket load of crud.

Just be honest with your T, they are there to help and, they can do that best if you are honest.

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#414394 - 10/26/12 05:45 PM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1390
Loc: California
Hey Can't,

My understanding about this recovery process is that only when we're ready to feel the feelings, will they make themselves known to you, and not a moment sooner.

The fact that you're feeling them indicates to me that you're prepared or are preparing to deal with them. Sure, fear is there, but the natural order of healing from trauma is that the body/mind feels safe enough to begin processing the trauma it held locked away in the unconscious.

Hope that made sense.

D
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#414396 - 10/26/12 05:55 PM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
Hi Magellan,

Yeah, that makes sense. I can feel myself being willing to deal with it. Just don't know if I'm ready.

To answer Blue's question: I'm pretty much alone because I don't have a wife, partner, anything, and my parents are in denial. So that concerns me because when I leave the T's office, I'm all alone.

I once thought that if I felt it, dealt with it, it would leave and I would be peaceful inside, but every time I uncork it, it feels like a bottomless pit of pain. Like there's no end, and if I keep uncorking it, maybe I won't be able to put it away again and then I'll be crippled by it.

So, I'm scared.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#414400 - 10/26/12 06:09 PM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Magellan,

What was the book title? Thank you. Glad you got something out of it. smile
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#414401 - 10/26/12 06:20 PM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1390
Loc: California
Hi Phoenix,

I didn't quote any specific book. But much recovery related literature refers to that type of process, where we begin to feel things when we're ready to feel them.

D
_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#414433 - 10/27/12 03:24 AM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Cant

To me your fear is rational, and nothing is forever. Our minds are the most amazing things if we just let them, and all your fears and emotions can be conquered.

I gotta tell you that from what I have read, I love your T, wow he is really getting into it with you, DONT ever let go of this dude.

I Love where he is taking you, keep going Cant.

Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#414437 - 10/27/12 03:56 AM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1490
Loc: New England
I can't resist, please forgive me: Feelings....Nothing more than feelings....Trying to forget my feelings of love....Teardrops, Rolling down on, my face....Trying to forget my, feelings of love.....Feelings, Wo-o-o feelings, Wo-o-o feelings...Again in my heart...

Seriously, back to your original question: "Is my fear of this negative emotion irrational? Or, am I right to be worried that I won't be able to handle it?"

If, like me, you've spent a lifetime stuffing your feelings, or numbing them with drugs, alcohol, and sex...of COURSE you will be afraid of them. Nothing irrational about that. Prepare to FEEL depressed, anxious, afraid, confused, angry, hopeless, and more! Can you handle it? YES! You can. You are a SURVIVOR and you can do this. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Which reminds me of another song, but I won't get into that.

Jude
_________________________
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "
Joni Mitchell

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#414442 - 10/27/12 06:54 AM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Dunno if your T would agree with this Cant, but one thing that's helped me over the years is not to assign a value judgment to emotions, "positive" or "negative", or "good" or "bad". They just are. It took some of the potential anxiety out of dealing with 'em.

It's a kinda fine point, but it's worked for me. I'll deal with them as "pleasant" or "unpleasant", or something of that ilk.

I suppose I'm saying the same thing Jude is saying in first lines of his song. But, by way of full disclosure, he's paying me big bucks to be his translator.

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#414459 - 10/27/12 11:43 AM Re: Fear of Feeling? [Re: cant_remember]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
I wish I was in a laughing mood, guys.

At least today, it seems like its under control. The feeling isn't front-and-center right now. But I feel it swimming inside me, ready to come up and get me whenever it wants to.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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