Newest Members
JLB, MrsC, wraphd, blufish, JPmc
12437 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
carperson (26), Daryoush (59), Gary31 (48), Overburdened78 (33), scaredcrappie (29), ThomasO (63), Wornoutsoul (38), WRR (34), zakwilde005 (45)
Who's Online
7 registered (Dave PNW, aniceguy, reynel5, pete1973, 3 invisible), 22 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12437 Members
74 Forums
63847 Topics
445821 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#74446 - 02/05/03 04:44 PM Psychic Numbing
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
This is taken from the outstanding book, "Adult Children of Abusive Parents," by Steven Farmer, Ballantine, 1989:

"...as an Adult Child of Abusive Parents, you still treat emotions as something to be feared. Anger, sadness, even happiness, are to be avoided.
You try to control your feelings and even try to control the feelings of others. You have learned to shut down your emotions if they get too intense, for in the past any intensity was punished in some way." (P 37)

"Another symptom of PTSD is unresponsiveness or lack of involvement in the world, evidenced by an inability to feel emotions, feelings of detachment from others, and a lack of interest in any significant activities. You're generally shut down, removed from your own feelings, and emotionally distant from others. This psychic numbing is similar to the reaction soldeirs experience during combat. Tim Cermak, M.D., describes this reaction in Diagnosing and Treating Codependence:

'...Until an active process of healing takes place, the individual continues to experience a constriction of feelings, a deverased ability to recognize which feelings are present, and a persistent sense of being cut off from one's surroundings (depersonalization). These add up to a condition known as psychic numbing.'" (Pp 47,48)

Some questions--and these are not rhetorical, your
insights, experiences, further questions, and other feedback would be appreciated and for the benefit of all:

Have you been psychically, "comfortably" numb?

What brought on this numbness, and what made it so comfortable for you?

Are you still numb, or has it now become uncomfortable enuf for you that you want to feel, are trying to feel, are looking for ways to get your "feeling," or feelings, back?

What are you trying to do to get back your feelings, your ability to feel your own feelings and not merely emote the feelings of others or the feelings others want you to express?

What hasn't or isn't working for you? What is working, helping you to feel again?

This has been and continues to be a struggle for me (see the threads "Emotions without Feeling" in Male Survivors forum and "Comfortably Numb" in Music forum). Any feedback will be appreciated by me and doubtless by many others. It will probably also be helpful to your own healing. Thanks.

If anyone else has this book and wants to share anything from it in this or another thread in this forum that would be great.

For those who don't have it, I without having yet finished it can already recommend it highly. While a bit dated it covers a lot of important stuff really well, from what I've read & skimmed.
I got it at Amazon.com thru MS bookstore used for about $8; the shipping was more than the book!

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

Top
#74447 - 02/05/03 11:42 PM Re: Psychic Numbing
RickL Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 84
Loc: Oregon
This feels all too familiar. Especially this part:
Quote:
"Another symptom of PTSD is unresponsiveness or lack of involvement in the world, evidenced by an inability to feel emotions, feelings of detachment from others, and a lack of interest in any significant activities. You're generally shut down, removed from your own feelings, and emotionally distant from others. This psychic numbing is similar to the reaction soldeirs experience during combat.
I can remember highly charged emotional times in my life--even good ones--where I felt like I was sitting in the last car of a train, looking at the landscape that had just passed me by. It was because it was too intense for me to process while it was happening. You can imagine how very sad this is when it also applied to the early stages of my marriage relationship.

Over the years, I've slowly come to less emotional distance and numbing. It has been easier in my work setting, where I have such a sense of duty and diligence. It's been more challenging in my personal life. That's the core of the recovery work I'm doing now.

Reading from what you posted, above, startles me for another reason: this is an exact de>

Top
#74448 - 02/07/03 12:46 PM Re: Psychic Numbing
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
I'm sorry I didn't reply to this earlier. My eyes usually skip over the books section. I need to keep this one short but I'll try and go deeper into this later tonight.

I've been reading two books on this issue both of which are by Melody Beattie. One is Codependant No More and the other is Beyond Codependance. Both have been great for me. There is one quick thing that I would like to address in this reply. And that are issues of guilt and shame.

Quote:
"As long as these are the only internal parental images known to your Inner Child, your Hurting Child will continue to think of [him]self as 'bad,' your Controlling Child will see the need to take care of you, and your Natural Child will stay buried. This is why it's necessary to reparent your Inner Child."
I find that I have overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame when I try to violate my old internal parental images. The shame keeps me locked into the old patterns. I'm trying like crazy to redefine those old rules that I learned from my parents so that I don't feel the guilt and shame anymore. But redefining them is really hard. But without redefining them I will always feel the guilt.
More later,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

Top
#74449 - 02/07/03 02:19 PM Re: Psychic Numbing
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Wow Sleepy! Keep going man, you're onto something here for me and maybe's others too.

(hugs for little Victor)


Top
#74450 - 02/08/03 01:15 AM Re: Psychic Numbing
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Jer,
Thanks for the words of encouragement. These issues have been so troublesome for me that it can completely zap my self-esteem. But things have gotten better. Those two books I've been reading have really caught me by suprise. When you read something and the examples they use are identical to your story it makes you take notice.

When talking specifically about the internal parental images (how about old rules for short) they end up leaving me feeling miserable, stuck, and codependant. At least for me, I grew up in an environment where there were either direct or indirect messages that told me to:

-Don't feel or don't talk about feelings.
-Don't think or make decisions.
-Don't have problems.
-Don't have fun or be silly.
-Don't trust yourself.
-Don't be open and direct.
-Don't get close to people.
-Be good, right, perfect, and strong (Don't have flaws).
-Don't disrupt the system by growing or changing (this is a big one for me).

Bottom line: Repress everything that should be natural.

Some of these are mine and some of them come from the book. But you can get the jist of what my family life was like. In a lot of ways it looks like my parents were horrible people but they have been very good to me in a lot of ways. They're still married and I love them dearly, though I am unable to tell them that (suprising?). But when the air is thick with tension from someone repressing their emotions a young kid will certainly learn the rules in no time. And the guilt and shame are all too easy for a young kid to understand.

But how do you change those rules? I'm not too sure. I just know that when I try to change my behavior without changing my old rules I find myself in conflict with my control center.

I think coming here has been good for me. Seeing my therapist, too. I've also been fortunate to have excellent friends to talk to. Forcing myself to open with them may be the best thing I've done. It's almost like learning a new language from them. It breaks the shame barrier.

Anyway, the books have been great for me. Whether or not I've learned any new rules, well, I'm not sure. I feel better in some areas but I have a hard time answering that question.
Thanks guys! This has been good for me.
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

Top
#74451 - 02/09/03 04:38 PM Re: Psychic Numbing
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
(Little Jer) Little Victor thanks you for the hugs and returns them!

Victor


_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

Top
#74452 - 02/09/03 04:46 PM Re: Psychic Numbing
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:

But how do you change those rules? I'm not too sure. I just know that when I try to change my behavior without changing my old rules I find myself in conflict with my control center.

I think coming here has been good for me. Seeing my therapist, too. I've also been fortunate to have excellent friends to talk to. Forcing myself to open with them may be the best thing I've 2done. It's almost like learning a new language from them. It breaks the shame barrier.

Anyway, the books have been great for me. Whether or not I've learned any new rules, well, I'm not sure. I feel better in some areas but I have a hard time answering that question.
Thanks guys! This has been good for me.
mike
Good therapy, support groups, MS, good books, good friends--sounds like a good part of the answer to me, when it comes to changing the old rules that bring shame. Thank you Mike!

I talked with my wife about this yesterday and tho she had trouble understanding what I was talking about she was still very supportive & it helped. Helps me center, listen to my inner voice aka real self, and ask myself what do I feel? How do I want to express it.

It's something to work on anyway...

Victor


_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

Top
#74453 - 02/09/03 10:51 PM Re: Psychic Numbing
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Vic,
I've noticed that many of my friends have a hard time undstanding the shame and guilt that I place on myself. But because they don't understand it, it only helps me to understand what should be normal. And their support helps me to affirm the new rules, or rather, normal rules. It gets me out of denial.
Take care,
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

Top
#74454 - 02/10/03 09:56 AM Re: Psychic Numbing
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
Vic,
I've noticed that many of my friends have a hard time undstanding the shame and guilt that I place on myself. But because they don't understand it, it only helps me to understand what should be normal. And their support helps me to affirm the new rules, or rather, normal rules. It gets me out of denial.
Take care,
mike
Thanks Mike those are really good points that make me feel better.

And while her marrying me and staying with me 23 years may seem to show otherwise (just kidding on that bad self-talk there!), if there is "normal" in this world, it is my wife. To me, the unconditional love, acceptance & forgiveness she shows me is what "normal" is. It's the true reality, what life is really all about, the best of what humanity is all about.

OK, I know that's Hallmark card stuff, but it's also my truth, and my good divine fortune...

Victor


_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

Top
#74455 - 02/10/03 10:57 AM Re: Psychic Numbing
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
A really helpful post. Thanks. This is such a problem for me. Working on it like crazy.

Again. Thanks for the honesty and the book reference. It looks like a good one. Healing the Shame that Binds you also has a lot of helpful points and truths.

-Al

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.