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Thread: Numbness to Bad Things

  1. #1
    MarchinBunny

    Default Numbness to Bad Things

    So I have had a conversation with someone today and once in the past about bad experiences which lead me to want to make a topic on this to hear what others think.

    So when something bad happens to someone and they freak out about it, I have a very hard time understanding why that is. To give an example, I am going to use what happened to Sapphyre, hope she doesn't mind. But basically, everyone offers advice on how she should progress with what she experienced in the hospital. However, me on the other hand ... I look at the situation and while I obviously know what happened was bad, I don't understand how it can affect someone to the point that it has affected her.

    A lot of people can have a bad experience like that and then have trouble sleeping, have nightmares, and constantly be scared to the point they want to carry around pepper spray around with them.

    When bad things happen to me ... I may be upset at first, but ... I let it go really quick. It's also not that I don't care, it's just after the initial reaction I don't feel it anymore.

    Like when my Dad died. I cried a very little ... and that was it. It had absolutely no affect on me after. I could sleep just fine. Everyone else I see gets so upset, and I don't understand it. Some people let it affect them for a long period of time. For me it's a matter of hours, for others it seems to be a matter of months or even years.

    I have had a gun pointed at my head before, and after it was over ... it didn't bother me one bit. It was even questioned how I was so calm in such a situation by the authorities. I have had someone hold a knife and had my hand held down on the car hood as he was threatening to cut off my fingers. I have lived with a friend who felt my neck at night to feel how deep they would have to cut in order to kill me. All these things happen ... and I just don't see what the big deal is. I let it go because ... I can't change what happened. Dwelling on it seems pointless.

    Even all the abuse I have faced in the past, for the majority of my life I didn't even consider it abuse. I would often hear about abusive parents, but I never attributed my parents as being abusive till much later in life, when I realized anyone I told pointed it out to me. Everything that had been done, I thought it was deserved. It would occur and I would just ... move on.

    I am also numb to situations that have yet to happen. For example, I could be threatened to be thrown out, and while it stresses me out to hear. I just ignore it. I don't even lift a finger typically to solve the problem at first and wait until the last minute to solve it. I shrug it off and just say all well.

    I do the same in arguments too. Where people don't easily let go of things. I do. I could have a serious argument with someone, but it has no affect on how I view them and I typically don't care about the argument at all. I don't even understand why people find arguments to be a big deal.

    I also forgive just about everyone no matter what they do. That friend who wanted to kill me, I tried so many times to remain frriends with her.

    I don't know if I am explaining myself too well.

    TL;DR
    I am pretty much happy go lucky, and I feel quite numb to bad siutation and don't really see them as a big deal when they happen like others do. Is it normal?

    I did once have a therapist tell me that it seems I am surpressing those emotions to prevent myself from feeling it. Does that sound accurate?

    I mean how weird is it to be able to let these thigns go so easily. For example, if I wsa assaulted in a hospital .. I probably just let it go and not persue it. I just wouldn't care really. It's all well to me. Moving on.

    I know it's weird cause other people don't react this way to things like this, and yet I do.

  2. #2

    Default

    I'm surprised no one has responded to this yet, but I'll make an attempt. I probably won't be able to respond back to whatever you might say, because I'm about to pack it in and go to bed.

    I would suggest that you're response to bad things or events is not typical of most people. Oddly, I'm having trouble remembering how long I was upset at the passing of my dad and my mom, but I'm sure it lasted for several weeks. I typically don't remain upset at events for a very long time, maybe a day or two, but deaths in the family last longer, because they are gone and out of my life. I miss them and miss the security they brought to my life. Somehow, if they were still alive and well, all seemed well with the world. With their passing, I lost a part of myself.

    I have a theory as to why you may not feel emotional pain or loss for more than a day. I'm going to conjecture that it's perhaps caused by all the abuse you have gone through, especially when you were young. You learned to find a way to emotionally protect yourself, psychologically, and that has stayed with you. I suppose I'm sounding like Freud or some such psychologist. It's just a theory, but it may make sense to you.

    Some children who are sexually abused find coping methods that stray from the norm such as multiple personalities, or sexual promiscuity when they become older. Perhaps you have become emotionally numb to hurtful experiences, your mind protecting itself from hurtful past experiences.

    Well, have to go to bed. I look this up tomorrow. Take care my friend.

  3. #3
    MarchinBunny

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    -snip-
    Thanks for the response and I do think that could possibly be the reason. It's just, I don't know if it is or not mainly cause for me, this is just normal. Again, I just attributed it to a poor personality, as I seem to always do XD. It isn't really till I pay attention and notice that ... it's not just a poor personality, but something well beyong something like a difference in personality and it's certainly not normal.

    Like with anyone's death, I don't even understand why people take it so hard for such long periods of times. I get the person will not be around anymore and that is sad and I understand that it is sad. But ... I don't understand why it effects people to the degree that it does. I have gone through so much, and I have never really been hugely affected to a degree that I could considered myself traumatized XD. I even once shouted at the top of my lungs while arguing with my sisters husband once, outside ... "So what if I like to wear diapers!" and while I knew what I had just said was embaressing for the first few minutes after saying it. Then ... I just was like all well. It is what it is.

    This I know is part of the reason I can come off as harsh. Not only am I bad at social situations and knowing what is and isn't ok to say. But I also seem to lack an understanding on why it is other people react the way they do during bad times. I can quite literally think in my head, how stupid I think it is that this person is overreacting. But ... are they? Maybe not ... maybe it's not and overreaction and I just am not understanding it.

    I know to me, I personally would react like that. If my mom died tomorrow ... I would feel it for sure, but ... after a day ... meh. I would move on. And I think to some people that has got to sound insane. So, basically, anytime something bad happens ... I seem to be able to toss it aside rather quickly like it's nothing, and I have a very hard time understanding why others don't do that too.

    The other question is ... if it really is some sort of supression going on ... What does that mean exactly? Can I turn off that supression? Is it unhealthy? What if I started actually feeling such emotuons again, after having not for so long? Could I handle that?

    All I know is, the more I learn about other people XD (I know im soooo anti-social im just learning these things now), the more I realize I am so far from normal it's pretty crazy to think about.
    Last edited by MarchinBunny; 08-Apr-2017 at 17:01.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi Marchin, interesting post and thanks for sharing. I may be way off the mark with what I am about to say, so please forgive me if I am coming from a different place.

    When I was on my journey recently there were many revelations that occurred and when I looked back at events from my past life many of them finally started to make sense. I used to be believe that I was not capable of love, compassion, sorrow and many other emotions. It was as if I was some kind of robot that lacked basic human thoughts and feelings. It was as if I was cold on the inside. I would notice how jubilant or tremendously sad people could be and wondered why I never experienced such a range of feeling.

    Relationships were always strained and so many people had said they just could not figure me out. One partner told me that I needed to go away and find myself, the real and true person, instead of walking round like an emotionless zombie. After lots of soul searching and taking a few risks I stumbled upon the answer as to why my life basically sucked and why I lived in an emotionless vacuum. I had seen the light and I knew that for many years I was living a lie. I had been living how others wanted me to live. This has now been corrected and I 'feel' for the first time.

    I will not hijack your thread with a tale of anguish and adventure but I will say one thing. With you being transgender, and you having a real rough time of it, maybe it is the frustration of not living the life you want to right this minute. I do not know your entire living situation or how far you are with your transition so again forgive me if I am off the mark. I do wonder if not being your true authentic self all the time has an impact on your ability to interact with the world in ways you have identified most others would. It could be you are desensitised because you are not being your true self and the world gets confusing as you are unable to 'feel' it how you want to.

    There is definitely mileage in what Dogboy has said as well. With everything you have been through you have most likely developed a very thick skin and coping strategies that allow you to exist without further harm. Couple this with not being able to interact as the real you this could make for the very same coldness I had.

    Keep working on you, bridge those gaps and build that life for yourself. Before you know it you will be blubbering away like a big baby to the most silliest of things. Lots of love, Faith.
    Last edited by MotherFaith; 08-Apr-2017 at 14:17.

  5. #5
    MarchinBunny

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by MotherFaith View Post
    -snip-
    It's certainly a possiblity for sure. I haven't made any progress on transition at all really, and have pretty much given up hope on really ever making the transition. Who knows, maybe that will change at some point in the future. However, I have so many other things to worry about now, that it has to take a back seat. Which is crazy to say because ... I probably would have never said that 5 or so years ago.

    I do certainly know my view of myself and how I look does contribute to how I present myself in day to day life. Don't get me wrong, I still do things that most would consider "girly" without even meaning to, but when I am aware of what I am thinking about or am about to do that may come off as weird due to how I look, I don't do it. Like squeeling about how cute something is, I jsut don't do. I do it in my head ... but I try to keep myself calm in front of others as I know I am going to look silly.

    I actually don't even talk about my issues with being transgender (almost wrote transgendered XD) all that often anymore.

    I will say this emotional disconnect I have, has been around for a very long time. I just haven't been able to understand others and how the react to situations because I never react that way myself. Being transgender certainly may have a part in it somewhere, but I don't think it's the main cause. Then again, *shrugs* I don't even know really. I am only making guesses here.
    Last edited by MarchinBunny; 08-Apr-2017 at 17:01.

  6. #6

    Default

    It's a very difficult thing to not feel something when someone who is supposed to be close to you passes away. I've been all over the spectrum of different emotions with losses in my life.

    The most atypical feelings I experienced were when my father passed away from cancer. I felt nothing. He literally hated me from the day I was born. When my mother was pregnant with me, she told my father, who was an alcoholic, that she would not allow him to drink as long as I was living under his roof, or else she would pack up and take all the kids with her. So he never touched a drop of booze. When I moved out of the home when I was eighteen, he started drinking again and lost his driver's licence for impaired driving six months afterwards.

    When I was thirteen, he felt I was old enough to 'understand' that I was a mistake. My mother was going to have an abortion when she was pregnant with me, but the church pressured her into keeping the baby. My father blamed the church and I lived with his resentment.

    There was physical and verbal abuse throughout my entire childhood, including the diaper punishment at age six which led to my fetish before I was seven years old. He was also homophobic, who recognized my gay tendencies when I was young and was repulsed by my behaviour. After moving out on my own, I kept my personal life private from my family, but when I was in a relationship my father banned me from the family home, and I was no longer welcome there.


    When he was dying in the hospital, I was pressured by family members to come be at his side with the rest of the family. It didn't make sense to me. I just couldn't be part of a charade that allowed him to 'make peace' with me before he died after having destroyed my life. My family was furious but I stood my ground, despite the guilt. A friend asked me how I was going to feel when he died and I didn't take the time to say goodbye. I responded that I would mourn the loss of a relationship that I never had while he was alive, but I would not mourn him.

    At my mother's request I attended the funeral. I had no tears, no emotions, no sadness beyond feeling my mother's pain. To this day, his death has not affected me. How could it? In all my time of living at home, I do not have a single fond memory of him, or any recollection of an afternoon we spent together, or an occasion where he showed any love to me. I do know that I still have a lot of suppressed memories that remain beneath the surface, since I have no need to revisit or remember the pain. My choice.


    One of the things that's not uncommon growing up in an abusive home is that children don't express their emotions. They keep it all inside because it makes it easier to survive. There are a number of borderline personality disorders which can affect the way you feel, about yourself and others. "Growing up dead" is an expression used to describe young people who came from abusive homes with parents who wouldn't tolerate the normal, excitable behaviour of their children. The children, in turn 'deadened' their emotions so as not to cause any problems to their parents and avoid confrontation.. Many of those youth suffered from depression in later tears and were unable to feel any positive emotions. "Emotional numbing" is a symptom of PTSD and it is often defined as the inability to experience any positive emotions.


    I've also come at it from the other end of the spectrum, just 'feeling too much.' When I was in a gay relationship in the late seventies, my partner took his life while I was stuck working overtime on a Friday night, combining alcohol and prescription medication. Then he went down the basement and tied a plastic bag over his head and suffocated. Our relationship was very closeted, as most of them were in those days, and although I had lost my partner to suicide, I couldn't tell anyone the magnitude of my loss. Most people thought I had lost my 'best friend.'

    After his funeral, the tears started to flow, and flow, and wouldn't stop flowing. I think I stayed in my bedroom and cried for two days without coming out. When I finally went back to work, I was reprimanded by my boss for not calling in my absence the day after the funeral, saying he understood I was upset, but it wasn't like I had lost my wife. I really had to learn how to hide my sorrow so people wouldn't suspect or realize just how much I lost. I began to deaden my feelings with alcohol and isolating myself from the world, not willing to get into another relationship or accept being gay. It was too much pain.

    I think that how we feel things depends on a number of variables, external and internal, upbringing, conditioning, socialization in schools and work environments, and our own temperaments. I do think that things like emotional numbness can be strongly linked to depression. Things that used to make us feel happiness only produce a weak response or nothing.Things that should provoke us to anger or fear only result in an apathetic response. I feel that this symptom can result from feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges to the point where you just can’t feel anymore. You get too tired and weary to care. It can be a protection against feeling too much as in after a trauma. It can also be a defense where we simply cannot take in the emotional reality of what is going on around us.The mind is protecting itself from too much pain.

    Some days it feels like the world is broken. Our bodies eventually break. Our hearts and minds shut down. We lose things. We lose relationships. We lose people. All we can do is raise a hand on those days we need support. And then, after help and some rest, we keep going. Because there is still so much to feel and see and say.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 08-Apr-2017 at 16:59.

  7. #7
    MarchinBunny

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    -snip-
    Thanks for sharing =^.^=.
    I do know in your case ... I think I would have felt the same way. My dad was abusive, but not ... hmm to that degree I think. My ex-stepfather, Joe was far more abusive. But I mean I did care about my dad quite a lot. But .... it really didn't affect me much when he died. My sister was very upset, and I really couldn't understand it.

  8. #8

    Default

    Wow, the above posts have really made me think. The thing that is most disturbing is how much pain we all seem to accumulate while growing up. My mom loved me unconditionally, but she was very conservative and very strict. Like I've said in past threads, I was often three different persons, the one at school and with his friends, the one in front of his parents, and the one who was alone in his room, alone with his true thoughts.

    It's funny, but I think MarchinBunny, that you show a lot of personality on this site, a place where you can be you, where you can express yourself and no one in the real world has to know. I think too that as people, we're all wired a little different. I'm a much more emotional person than you are, probably. Of course I'm the one who came home for the weekend during my senior year in college and just fell apart crying, unable to stop. That's what precipitated my mom searching my room, finding the diapers and gay porn and then making the appointment at The Carrier Clinic.

    We all come from different backgrounds and different experiences, especially while growing up. I also wondered if you had lost someone who really mattered a great deal in your life? My mom represented not just a mother, but someone who adopted me, took care of me, provided for me, cared for me, held my hand when I was sick, went to my concerts: was there for me. She also represented what home was, the house, the attic which was more than just my bedroom, but my safe place. She and my attached family was my history and my heritage. When they all died one by one, home was diminished one piece at a time until it disappeared altogether. The loss never entirely leaves me.

    Maybe if we have little to nothing to have lost, there is little to grieve for.

  9. #9
    MarchinBunny

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    Wow, the above posts have really made me think. The thing that is most disturbing is how much pain we all seem to accumulate while growing up. My mom loved me unconditionally, but she was very conservative and very strict. Like I've said in past threads, I was often three different persons, the one at school and with his friends, the one in front of his parents, and the one who was alone in his room, alone with his true thoughts.

    It's funny, but I think MarchinBunny, that you show a lot of personality on this site, a place where you can be you, where you can express yourself and no one in the real world has to know. I think too that as people, we're all wired a little different. I'm a much more emotional person than you are, probably. Of course I'm the one who came home for the weekend during my senior year in college and just fell apart crying, unable to stop. That's what precipitated my mom searching my room, finding the diapers and gay porn and then making the appointment at The Carrier Clinic.

    We all come from different backgrounds and different experiences, especially while growing up. I also wondered if you had lost someone who really mattered a great deal in your life? My mom represented not just a mother, but someone who adopted me, took care of me, provided for me, cared for me, held my hand when I was sick, went to my concerts: was there for me. She also represented what home was, the house, the attic which was more than just my bedroom, but my safe place. She and my attached family was my history and my heritage. When they all died one by one, home was diminished one piece at a time until it disappeared altogether. The loss never entirely leaves me.

    Maybe if we have little to nothing to have lost, there is little to grieve for.
    I don't think I have ever lost anyone who really mattered to that degree. More often than not, I have just felt like I was just there. Sort of a thing everyone had to deal with, but didn't really want to. It's not like I didn't like my Dad, I mean we often talked quite a lot and he was one of the few in my family who I could talk to in a more intellectual kind of way. He was also the only family member who accepted me being transgender right way. He understood and felt it made a lot of sense. I also learned he was worrying about and mentioned it to my aunt. Even a few days before his death I learned he was thinking about it. It honestly made me feel bad.

    But at the end of the day, we still where not super close, and I honestly was expecting his death with how poorly he was taking care of himself. In fact, my aunt asked me a few days before what I thought and I told her, my guess is a few days. He just looked that bad, I could tell he wasn't going to make it.

    I have a lot of self-esteem issues. I often do not like who I am and I wish I could change so much. I have always felt this way since I was a kid. I have always looked in the mirror and only seen a mess and a disapointment. It sucks that is how I feel about myself, because I know I do also have a lot of good qualities. It's just I have been abandoned all my life. There wasn't a time when abandonment wasn't a part of what was going on. It's hard to really see yourself as some one worth anything, when not even your family feels you are worth it. Everything that happened to me in the past, I truley felt I deserved every ounce of abandonment, hate and abuse I recieved. My only regret was that I wasn't able to kill myself knowing how much of a burden I was to everyone. I was too chicken to do it. I mean, I obviously don't feel that same way now. I know my family was the issue and not me. I do think I am still really getting over it all though and ... I actually don't have a clue how im going to ever ... really move on.

    Learning to appriciate myself for who I am isn't easy. I feel like such a failure at life to be honest =^.^;= ... I mean I often wonder how I can be knowledgeable, have all these skills and yet be so lost and incapable of actually taking care of myself.

    But as the topic suggest, with all these issues I just shut myself down at times. I feel nothing, worry about nothing, don't care, don't feel, and I ignore everything around me. I just pretend the issues are not there. I wipe it from my thoughts and just continue to do whatever else it might be. Watching anime, or playing games ... etc.

  10. #10

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    I hear what you're saying. Abandonment issues can stay with a person for their entire lives. They tend to lessen over time, but they lurk in the shadows, willing to make a return performance during times of stress.

    I think you have a lot to offer the world. You're bright and articulate. You think well. I think you need to meet the right person, someone to share your life with, someone who would bring the best out of you. It's what most of us do. On our own, we struggle, but linked to someone else, we can be strong. I met that person and I suppose, she did to in finding me. Life is never perfect, but we live for the minor triumphs.

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