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#456787 - 12/14/13 12:04 PM Strange defense mechanism
OCN Offline

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 408
Loc: Western Europe
Hi guys

just wanted to write this off my chest. Yesterday i realized i have a pretty strange defense mechanism in place. I was wondering if anybody else knows this/has this..

Since i found out about the abuse, or actually since i lost a roommate back in 2008, i've been blocking out feelings of sadness and grief. When i was on the other side of the planet, i heard that a roommate had suddenly died. I couldnt go back, couldnt do anything. So the first thing i did was hide under the blanket. But no tears..

I dont think its strange that we tend to block out these feelings, since they can become quite intense. But in my case it is actually annoying sometimes. The thing is: when i'm about to break down and cry, i start to yawn and the tears wont come after that
Sometimes its ok if you dont want to cry, but when im alone it shouldnt matter to me whether i cry or not.

So im thinking of looking for some specific therapy dealing with blocked emotions and stuff. Cause the few times i have cried the last year, the relieve was immense.. i'm not asking to weep all day long.. but hiding from my own tears only keeps the feelign blocked inside..

curious whether you recognize any smile
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend all!


Edited by OCN (12/14/13 12:07 PM)
Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

I now know who I am - I've never been anybody else!

#456792 - 12/14/13 03:21 PM Re: Strange defense mechanism [Re: OCN]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 542
Loc: NY

Not sure if there is just one specific approach that might help with this, but you might look into sensorimotor therapy.

It sounds like you are numbing yourself in response to what happened. I appreciate your sharing this because it seems like something I used to do.

I think it is possible that when pain is overwhelming that the body will come up with a response that helps in the short term. A different response can't be forced out of us, but perhaps it can be coaxed with reflection and gradually letting yourself know that it is okay to feel things.

Most of all, I like your post because it helps me remember that I might be feeling something even if I can't outwardly express it at the time. Now that I am seeing that much of my life was spent in this state, I am slowly feeling the desire let the gates open. That is of course, just the beginning.

Hope you can be patient and kind to yourself.

Lose the drama; life is a poem.

#456800 - 12/14/13 08:07 PM Re: Strange defense mechanism [Re: OCN]
CafeMan Offline

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 169
Loc: Chicago
Hi, OCN. When I disclosed my abuse at 12, all I did was cry for hours each day for more than a year. As an adult, I truly dislike crying because it reminds me of that time in my life when I was at my most vulnerable

I'm not saying now I never cry, but it is very seldom that I do. When I do cry, it's no more than a minute, then I take deep breathes to stop the crying.

Personally, I don't like how I look when I cry. Furthermore, I don't like the way I look all puffy and sad after I stop crying. Lastly, I don't feel good after I stopped crying. Some men here swear by crying, and it's viewed as an emotional release. I congratulate them for viewing crying as a therapeutic event. I admire that quality. For me, It is a complete waste of my time. I would rather create something more productive in my life other than tears. I did that already as a boy, I want to be strong as a man.

Good luck with what you would like to do with this topic. I wish you the very best . . . Nick

#456806 - 12/14/13 09:27 PM Re: Strange defense mechanism [Re: OCN]
OCN Offline

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 408
Loc: Western Europe
Thnx Focus and Nick for replying..

I'll look up the therapy. I realize i have been numbing myself for quite sometimes but im also starting to see the not so bright effects of it.. it'll take time and training to alter this behavior.

Concerning the crying.. its not that i wish to cry for the sake of crying.. its just that i feel like i block a very emotional and personal connection by keeping myself from crying..

but at least i know i can be patient with myself.. work on the things and taking it one step at a time..

I think it was kind of a ventilation, this topic. Just wanted to write it off my chest and see what others have to say about it.

Thnx guys!

Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

I now know who I am - I've never been anybody else!

#456819 - 12/15/13 12:35 AM Re: Strange defense mechanism [Re: OCN]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
i can confirm and validate your feelings, OCN.

they mirror my own.

crying for me, was unlikely, if not impossible, until i was over thirty.
i had a number of other emotional reactions, such as laughing, or raging, or (like you) yawning, which replaced my natural urge to cry. all were considered inappropriate substitutes by my peers. but i had no control over my behaviour.
i only had control over my crying.
if i felt like crying, i could will it away.
i did not cry.
i could not cry.
no cracks or leaks allowed in the dam,
or i will die in the waterfall.
all holes must be plugged,
or i will bleed out.
that was my normal.

when i did cry, it was usually after a violent confrontation with someone who managed to dominate or overpower me or beat me in a fight.
especially if i was frustrated or humiliated and was somehow silenced, or forced to submit, or suppress my outburst, or physically restrained from lashing out.

pride denied and impotent rage like this would lead to some hysterical sobbing, but that would only occur once i was safe and somewhere else, and never in the presence of another person.
as soon as fear was not a factor in the equation,
the flood of relief would immediately collapse into a tidal wave of tears.

sadness did not inspire tears, only fatigue and bitterness, and long bouts of blank depression.
the pain of grief and mourning did not even turn on the tap.
the early onset and frequent death of friends and family made me hard and left me stranded in a cold deep freeze of detached mortality contemplation.
when things got tragic, stoic logic was my magic.
these dark soul winters could and would last for long periods. years of frozen tears. decades of dry ducts.

after i had children, i started to cry at the oddest times, spontaneously, whenever i felt a sense of overwhelming joy.
a cheesy song in a kid's video. my three year old daughter chasing a duck or giving her coin to a chinese violinist on the street corner. my six year old son getting a rugby medal. my five year old daughter dressed up in tutu, dragging her feet on stage in a terrible amateur ballet performance.
my nine year old daughter playing beethoven and bach on the piano. the list goes on.

i would not even know i was crying, until i felt the warm wet tears on my cheek. it did not feel bad, so i did not fight it whenever it occurred. the kids and wife thought it was funny.
i just told them that my heart was too full of joy and liquid love was spilling out of my eyes. that is what it felt like, at first.
but as the beautiful moments started to increase, indulging and allowing the emotion to flow without resistance, caused some embarrassing moments, because gradually the intensity increased. my entire body would start sobbing and heaving, but it still felt good. bittersweet is what i called that feeling. it was intoxicating.
it was like purging poisonous pain.
a crushing burden of baggage and garbage and sewage was leaving my body every time.
weight was lifting from my body, evaporating, as i watched my children enjoy life at each age and stage of their growth.
replacing and cancelling and balancing my own twisted childhood memories with theirs.
my very own karma machine.

and all of this release was happening, without my direction or effort. 100% nature's cure.
eventually, i realized that i was actually happy,
and i grew accustomed to it.
once i had accepted my new reality,
the crying decreased in frequency and intensity.
it rarely happens anymore, and i am ok with that.

i find that reading posts on will make me cry when i least expect it.
it is always a surprise, because i never come here unshielded. i always stay on guard in public.
i will suddenly find my eyes dripping in the middle of someone's feelings. i don't mind it.
crying makes me feel like a human.

over the last few years i have started to cry while i pray,
but in the attitude of gratitude and servitude.
that is another story.

anyway, thank you for sharing, and giving me the opportunity to share this seriousness.


#456826 - 12/15/13 02:50 AM Re: Strange defense mechanism [Re: OCN]
Bluedogone Offline

Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 1132
Loc: Southern US
As a child I don't know how many times I heard, "stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about." Crying was something to be ashamed of and to avoid if any way possible. But I don't really know why, because it was always a threat, and my parents never did anything as a follow up to the threat. It was just understood that big boys don't cry. And I don't know why they shouldn't, or why it would be considered anything other than one more of the human emotions.

As I got older, I grew out of that fear of crying, and have done so quite often. Many times it was embarrassing, but I don't recall ever regretting tears. My children are now out on their own, but, as Victor/Victim so eloquently stated their achievements usually brought me to tears. There's a line from a Tom Hanks' movie "There's no crying in baseball." Well, there was when my kids played. By me, not them. For me it's been a multi-purpose emotion. Happiness, or sadness, anger or elation.

So im thinking of looking for some specific therapy dealing with blocked emotions and stuff. Cause the few times i have cried the last year, the relieve was immense.

Peter, I wish you luck in finding a therapy that will unblock emotions. I think crying at the right time and place is pretty therapeutic.
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” - quoted by King George VI

#456852 - 12/15/13 04:38 PM Re: Strange defense mechanism [Re: OCN]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA
Peter, one thing that has helped me get in touch with a lot of sadness and crying is writing or typing on computer memories of the past. I do journaling, and it can be done whenever you need to do it, daily or otherwise. I always feel better after crying. I go from feeling scared and number before crying to feeling more connected to my experience after crying. Crying is a normal human response to emotional pain, either our own pain or other's pain. We men should give ourselves more permission to cry, women do it so easily.

Best to you,
I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

#456868 - 12/16/13 02:47 AM Re: Strange defense mechanism [Re: OCN]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3849
I understand--what works for one may not work for the other. We all heal differently, we all respond to the abuse differently, we all act out differently, we all are different from the beginning. But we all have one thing in common, we lived with an abuse others never know--and I am thankful not everyone has to live with CSA--and we need to take control. Those who have not lived the abuse cannot understand.

So for you, find what is comfortable to you. You need to feel safe and be surrounded by people who have compassion and can make you feel safe. You deserve to heal--so please begin your search. We are hear for you--bounce ideas and share the good and bad times. Healing is a difficult process of ups and downs--

I wish you the best--because you deserve the best--heal well.



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