The tissues on the desk in my therapist's office annoy me. You think I'm gonna cry? No way. I'm tough.
When he says I had a very difficult childhood and many painful events in my past, I don't trust him to mean it. I'm wondering if he's being sarcastic, as in "Oh, poor you. You whiny brat." (I brought it up at the end of the session and he was able to convince me he definitely means it; that almost made me cry.)
Being vulnerable in front of others is dangerous and stupid. If you admit to any hurt feelings, ever, you will be attacked where it hurts AND you will be called ungrateful, whiny, and weak.
When you're hurt by someone, what you do is grit your teeth, clench your whole body, and bear it and just wait for it to be over. You don't even admit it hurts. You don't give them that pleasure.
My therapist asked me if I was aware of an interesting defense I had: whenever I talk about painful experiences, I smile and laugh. I wasn't aware of it. And I didn't mind I had it. I kind of thought that was cool. I'm aware, rationally, that this is messed up and actually weak, but I don't think I can help feeling this way. I don't even remember talking about painful experiences - just things my parents did. I didn't feel any pain.
I would loathe and disgust myself if I were to break down and cry before this father figure - not that I'm tempted to.
My husband is the only one I can cry in front of - and I loathe and disgust myself for that, too.