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#446350 - 09/03/13 09:19 PM no emotion
jb1973 Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 9
I am looking for advice on dealing with the flood of emotions that are the result of dealing with my CSA. I turned off all my emotions as a child. the only one that was able to get out was anger. so as a young adult, i turned that one off too. now i am a year into a marriage and my wife is not handling my lack of emotion well. therapy helps a little..but when i talk about it, things get emotional. since ive been without much emotion of any kind for about 3/4 of my life, it makes me VERY anxious and it feels like my life is spinning out of control. that's when that handy self defense thing kicks in and i turn everything off. and thus the cycle begins anew . im tired of this. 30 years is enough. my wife is ready to leave me. Help

#446381 - 09/04/13 02:02 AM Re: no emotion [Re: jb1973]
Rich1967 Offline

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 683
Loc: PA

Wow, I hate to tell you this, but just reading what you wrote makes me cry and I'm happy it does. You see I turned off all those emotions too. It's not good to do that and it's scary as hell to let them out because when you do they don't stop for a while.

Holt shit this is hard for me to write

These feelings aren't going to go away either. They will keep trying find a way out which is a good thing really. It means you want to begin the healing process.

Advice? I let my emotions out in private at first. When no one could see me because I didn't know what to expect. Once I got a handle on what to expect I showed them to the people I cared about the most (wife, brother, close friends, etc). Another safe place to let them out is with you T. He or she can help you sort through the myriad of emotions that will come out. Also everyone here at MS will always be willing to listen.

I hope you find the strength to let them out. I hope your wife will hold on long enough for you to begin healing and is able to see the real you.

Remember many of us here have experienced the same things and are with you now. You are not alone.
"Me too"-I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.
My Story

#446426 - 09/05/13 12:22 AM Re: no emotion [Re: jb1973]
BraveFalcon Offline

Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 1231
Loc: The ATL
Hi Jb. I believe that turning on your emotions and then learning to feel them, process them, deal with them, and put them all in their proper perspective is something that is going to take a long time. It may be a slow, painful and tedious process and that "cycle" may have to begin anew many times before you start to get a handle on it. Hopefully you can get your wife to see this and understand that she just needs to be patient with you. You've been through a lot and you've survived a lot, or you wouldn't be here. It should be understandable that there are going to be some tumultuous times on the path to recovery. Perhaps you could have your therapist talk to her about it if they haven't already. Good luck. Take care. Peace,


#446442 - 09/05/13 05:08 AM Re: no emotion [Re: jb1973]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Hi JB,

Yeah, numbing my feelings was the name of the game. At some level, I believed that if I had to feel all those things (anger, shame, fear, self-hatred) that I would die. Drugs, sex, alcohol, all played a part in keeping me from feeling. When I finally broke down, facing all those feelings was overwhelming. I hated it. But I didn't die. You won't either. You will learn that they are just feelings and they are your friends, because they will help you get well. Don't turn away from them.

My only suggestion is to get you and your wife into some kind of joint counseling. Someone who can help you understand what she needs from you, help her understand why that is hard for you to do, and help work out a way for you to move forward together.

This is all hard work, painful, and without any quick fix. But it can get better.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#447007 - 09/12/13 09:33 PM Re: no emotion [Re: jb1973]
DannyT Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 645
JB, There are two things I would suggest above all.

One is to get plenty of exercise so that you're not storing all the weird energy in your body and so you sleep really deeply.

The second is to recognize that the feelings are not dangerous. They're arising from a well that has been kept closed. They're like a play of lights from a projector.

It can be easy to be overwhelmed with feelings like this if you invest in them. It's helpful to keep a distance from them instead. In Buddhism the suggestion would be to notice them as they arise by saying (for example), "I see fear arising in me," or "I see anger arising in me."

This practice is extremely helpful in maintaining one's balance in turbulent times. It isn't at all like repression. Instead it lets you see the feeling emerge from the box. It lets you watch the feeling move around in you. For example you might say, "I see fear arising in me. Right now it is in my stomach making waves happen."

Another way of looking at this problem you're dealing with is to see that the emotions that are arising are not your current feelings. Your present self isn't feeling the anger, your abused self is. So the feelings are actually a record of past events. They need to be resolved because you've held onto them so long. But honoring them does not mean letting them take over.

Thus it's better to keep your present day self in charge of the process. You watch the feelings emerge instead of letting them become you. The last thing you want is for the depths of abused self's pain to become your everyday sense of the world. You are a survivor now. Your abused self needs your strength to order for him come forward safely and be reintegrated into your present day world.

The best way to make this advice work is to treat it as a practice. You do it consistently for a couple of days then evaluate if it is helping or not.

I hope this is helpful,


ps: the exercise advice is excellent. I need to follow it myself!

Edited by DannyT (09/12/13 09:35 PM)

#447101 - 09/13/13 02:13 PM Re: no emotion [Re: jb1973]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4287
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
JB - i wanted to respond to your post but didn't have the energy to do it well. hope it is OK to send this link instead - of a post i made when i was in a similar stage to where you are now.

btw - doing MUCH better now - so the time and effort really does pay off.

hang in there,
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3


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