Here's the part that basically describes me:
"Numbness protected us as children by allowing us to tune out our parents fighting, or not question their shame and ridicule, or feel nothing but the physical pain when we were backhanded, slapped, or worse. Numbness allowed us to pretend the experiences didn’t happen or that they happened for reasons that were valid, but beyond us. These are the only choices a child has. She is not capable of the complex thought required to sort out, and emotionally separate from, abuse and cruelty at the hands of the people who are supposed to be nurturing her and protecting her from such things. Numbness offered a much-needed escape. In an environment where a child’s emotional needs are not being met, numbness is necessary.
According to every definition I’ve read of post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional numbing is a key factor in dealing with stress and trauma. But other than as a way to function during traumatic events, numbness is not necessary for adults, and if it fits certain patterns, it can be indicative of disowned feelings. Often, precisely because of the numbness, people can have trouble determining if this applies to them; people who’ve learned to numb out are often in the position of guessing at what they’re feeling. If you think you might be in this category, but aren’t sure, here are some indicators to look for:
- feeling tired and drained around relatives
- feeling out of control of your emotions
- feeling powerless over your life or clueless about what you want
- compulsive behavior/addiction
- unsatisfying relationships, wanting to feel closer to people but not knowing how to
- confusion about what you feel or guessing at what you’re “supposed” to feel
- having “emotional amnesia” about past events; having no feelings about something you know was painful
- inappropriate emotions: laughing about something that was painful
- blanking out chunks of your childhood
- feeling like something’s missing from your life but not being able to identify what it is."
I hope she won't mind.