• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Differentiating sadness from fear

Not open for further replies.
mix of sadness and fear sounds to me extremely paralyzing like a baby being smothered

I experience it this way yea, but am breaking free of the freeze through curiosity during the event and structure and boundaries the rest of the time (ideally).
I wonder if this an implicit feeling and hard to articulate for you so the emotions are mixed in symbolic way but organically were different in your body.

Interesting insight. “Implicit feeling... hard to articulate...emotions mixed symbolically but different in the body”... I’ll have to let that settle to understand, but it sounds like the right path.

Thank you for your insight @grit—your poetic way of speaking sparks my curiosity and soothes my worry.
I am sorry @Self-Determined you actually experienced this ...that was a bad example but I had that in my gut. It was like similar to my own past where I loved my mother but was extremely afraid of her and feel from my baby eyes...that would be mix of love and fear...which I have overcome thankfully.
thank you for always sharing and writing so eloquently for something that are truly hard to use language for.
@Warrior Chicken I agree with all that you wrote. Strengthens confidence in myself to read about your similar discoveries and development. And thank you for amplifying the message by inviting others to contribute.

@mumstheword was talking in their diary about connecting fear and sadness in how they approach integrating memories of past people with the desire to break out of their “inside-ness”, was that the word? How to feel human connection when most people are so disappointing, and at the same time afraid of disappointing loved ones. If this is an inaccurate reflection, MTW, please correct me.

I wrote this in their diary which seems relevant here too...

Today I was thinking... would I choose to incarnate if I knew I would be wading through mostly inauthentic and sometimes evil people around me? Would I do it just to experience the joy of meeting people who are genuinely kind and truthful in spite of also being surrounded by mostly inauthentic and sometimes evil people? People who can honestly tell the difference between those who abuse and neglect and those who don’t? Is that one of the reasons someone would choose to exist in a sea of otherwise misery?

Like you, I used to be completely submerged in emotional abuse and neglect so I thought that’s all there was and couldn’t tell the difference between an abuser and non-abuser, let alone a genuinely kind person and a groomer. But now I can and it makes certain people more precious than any gem or rare pet.

When I experience emotional flashbacks though, or triggers, I forget about others, focus on the feeling of fear or panic about the future—then fear gets pressed down by sadness, to be capped off with anger which is self-directed. I think I understand that I’m supposed to feel the sadness but I have no idea what to do with the fear. I suspect there are some kind of staying techniques. Probably the dreaded meditation or more dang mindfulness—lol!
I talk to my fearful part -acknowledge the fear and decide whether it is real or projected.....Usually, if it is real fear....I can deal with it in the moment. Projected fear (what might happen but isn't known to be happening in the moment) I have to reign in and actively work with that part to debunk the projected fear......because I can get worked up over projected fear if I'm not careful, and then everything quickly moves into dissociation....time loss....loss of balance......forgetting meds, and possibly into an unsafe situation. If I'm afraid because of real a safety thing....I talk it through in steps....what should I do first, next...to make it safe again........my fear comes from loss of love/acceptance/belonging, loss of control, or some similar safety issue, and projected fear based on things from the past that somehow, wires crossed in my brain have set off/triggered that protective part into run/hide/avoid mode. Don't know if that helps.
I believe @shimmerz is a real expert on blending of emotions?
Far from an expert but I have really put some time and effort into pulling apart these emotions that have multiple parts. So good for you, @Self-Determined for recognizing that your fear response has layers.

I think one of the most difficult things for me back when I was super reactive to everything, was not having words for the emotions that were driving my responses (which were destroying my life). I would drop into what I would call an 'Annihilation State' and literally physically drop wherever I was. One of my most clarifying moments and one that really got me moving forward with my healing was recognizing that this state was actually a confusion/disorientation/physical lost-ness. This combination would drop me into this annihilation state in an instant and it was super difficult to get out of.

Part of healing for me was wanting to take responsibility for the decisions I made (don't do things that drop me into these states) but because I didn't know what the state was made up of, that was impossible for me to do. So analyzing my emotions and what different states were made up of (feeling wise) became super important.

This posting is where I was able to really pull this stuff apart for myself and it was a game changer. Ever since life has been one huge improvement after another.
Naming and understanding multiple emotions | Page 10 | My PTSD Forum

I am now moving past my emotions and their effect on me and looking at others emotions and how they effect me. Contempt is the one I am working on right now. Others spewing contempt and figuring out ownership, my role in it, understanding my reaction to it, and most importantly, keeping away from it. No interest. These things are all possible because I am big into self care and recognize I don't have to put up with this shit from other people (which makes me reactive in certain ways).

Self responsibility is what this was all about for me. But first was understanding that these emotions existed in me and that they had an impact on my everyday life. Something that Developmental Trauma had me in denial about. Because developmental trauma is all about not being allowed to have emotions. And it was terrifying to give myself permission to have emotions. I felt that annihilation anxiety come up when I attempted to acknowledge that.

Starting with good emotions (I had a good day today, or I loved seeing my friend today, or I felt so good knowing I helped someone today) was a better way of easing in rather than digging right into the gross emotions. Anyway, rambling I think. Sorry about that.

Keep up the great work @Self-Determined! Sounds like you are really getting into the nuts and bolts of things.
Not open for further replies.