Dissociating from emotions. Am I alone in this?

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Ireusa

Confident
I have no difficulty expressing or feeling positive emotions: happiness, excitement, joy, etc.

If sadness or anger are not related to myself, I am also able to feel sad or angry.

But in therapy, I dissociate almost instantly when anything going on in session provokes sadness or anger. I haven't cried a single tear in over 2 years. I just fade away/forget or other parts of me become active. What do you all do to feel if you've ever struggled with this?

I read about others' experiences in which they struggle with being overly emotional or angry. I wish I could feel. I don't know what else to do.

My therapist is amazing and patient. I struggle with OSDD in addition to PTSD.
 

Karolina12

Learning
It could be that you or a part of you is not ready to feel that yet. I think that’s what happens to me—I had a few instances where I’ve gotten a partial glimpse at what I am not feeling and it’s pretty intense and overwhelming and disorienting. Other times it skips straight to what you describe.

What’s the part of this that bothers you the most? What is your motivation to change it?

I am learning that for all the answers to that question I also have the opposite wish as well, so an internal conflict occurs that keeps me stuck.
 

Ireusa

Confident
It could be that you or a part of you is not ready to feel that yet. I think that’s what happens to me—I had a few instances where I’ve gotten a partial glimpse at what I am not feeling and it’s pretty intense and overwhelming and disorienting. Other times it skips straight to what you describe.

What’s the part of this that bothers you the most? What is your motivation to change it?

I am learning that for all the answers to that question I also have the opposite wish as well, so an internal conflict occurs that keeps me stuck.
Yes. There is an internal conflict. My protector protects us from overwhelm. That also means emotional avoidance.

Myself however, I see how experiencing the full range of emotions would be healthier. Especially because we're in no danger now, so it would make sense.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I have no difficulty expressing or feeling positive emotions: happiness, excitement, joy, etc.

If sadness or anger are not related to myself, I am also able to feel sad or angry.

But in therapy, I dissociate almost instantly when anything going on in session provokes sadness or anger. I haven't cried a single tear in over 2 years. I just fade away/forget or other parts of me become active. What do you all do to feel if you've ever struggled with this?

I read about others' experiences in which they struggle with being overly emotional or angry. I wish I could feel. I don't know what else to do.

My therapist is amazing and patient. I struggle with OSDD in addition to PTSD.


Yes, I have dealt with too. I used to be over emotional....now I'm just working on being emotional....you know...middle of the road.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
I struggle with emotional dissociation in every aspect of my life I miss so many things this way but I have not been able to truly break through. After a decade of therapy and two T that have been amazingly patient with me helped me in my struggle I am feeling the physical side of emotions slowly anger is the easiest but as I am blessed with two children that amaze me every day I am learning quickly the way love unconditional love feels. Not just saying and meaning it but the overwhelming bring tears just because they are near and want a hug from me.

Emotional dissociation has saved my life and I truly believe is a protective part of our mind but significant and repeated trauma has a way of convincing that part that it must stay in place to continue to protect and we don’t even realize what is gone
 

Karolina12

Learning
Yes. There is an internal conflict. My protector protects us from overwhelm. That also means emotional avoidance.

Myself however, I see how experiencing the full range of emotions would be healthier. Especially because we're in no danger now, so it would make sense.

I experience the same. It has improved using EMDR. We started with the mildest trauma I could think of and eventually I was able to connect to the feelings. The feelings come from my younger parts, it seems, so they need to be activated. It started with only having body sensations and paying attention to those. It also started like a week later when I am alone rather than in the moment in T. It’s gotten to where I can feel a bit of it before it goes away, at the time that we are working on it.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I used to not be able to even identify what I was feeling. @Ireusa, do you ground yourself in therapy? My therapist taught me to ground myself so I would be able to handle the emotions I felt. There is a thread on here that is called What are you feeling, not thinking. Something like that. I started with I don't know, and slowly, like erosion, I became able to identify what I was feeling. The daily questioning helped quite a bit.
 

Shi

New Here
I have no difficulty expressing or feeling positive emotions: happiness, excitement, joy, etc.

If sadness or anger are not related to myself, I am also able to feel sad or angry.

But in therapy, I dissociate almost instantly when anything going on in session provokes sadness or anger. I haven't cried a single tear in over 2 years. I just fade away/forget or other parts of me become active. What do you all do to feel if you've ever struggled with this?

I read about others' experiences in which they struggle with being overly emotional or angry. I wish I could feel. I don't know what else to do.

My therapist is amazing and patient. I struggle with OSDD in addition to PTSD.
My hear goes out to you. I have had this same struggle so so so much! The minute i feel negative emotions for myself, i instantly dissociate. At the same time, i can over react emotionally and feel the negative emotions too much where its not necessarily warrented. With my C-PTSD emotional dis regulation is a huge thing. And i also struggle with severe dissociation on top of that. I literally jump out of my body and “float away”. I wish there was an easy answer. I just try to stay focused in the hear and now to keep it from happening. Another user here told me about a technique called “dropping anchor” to sort of keep yourself in yourself and not dissociate. Its been really helpful to me. Just getting to a point emotionally where i can actually do it is what im working on now. you are not alone! Dont give up on yourself! You are amazing and you are wonderful!
 

Ireusa

Confident
I struggle with emotional dissociation in every aspect of my life I miss so many things this way but I have not been able to truly break through. After a decade of therapy and two T that have been amazingly patient with me helped me in my struggle I am feeling the physical side of emotions slowly anger is the easiest but as I am blessed with two children that amaze me every day I am learning quickly the way love unconditional love feels. Not just saying and meaning it but the overwhelming bring tears just because they are near and want a hug from me.

Emotional dissociation has saved my life and I truly believe is a protective part of our mind but significant and repeated trauma has a way of convincing that part that it must stay in place to continue to protect and we don’t even realize what is gone
I am so happy to read that therapy has helped you so much. I've been in therapy for over 2 years but I've recently started to do parts work, which is helping.

I am also a mom of 2 young kids and that helps me ground and experiment positive emotions as well.

We're working with our protector in therapy and trying to start to work with a memory holder, which we struggle with a lot currently. Maybe in a few weeks.

Hugs

I experience the same. It has improved using EMDR. We started with the mildest trauma I could think of and eventually I was able to connect to the feelings. The feelings come from my younger parts, it seems, so they need to be activated. It started with only having body sensations and paying attention to those. It also started like a week later when I am alone rather than in the moment in T. It’s gotten to where I can feel a bit of it before it goes away, at the time that we are working on it.

This is helpful to read. We tried doing a bit of modified EMDR but we're nit consistent.

We're also in the process of waking our trauma holder to be able to work with whatever she might need which is huge. Our protector is only starting to accept this process.

As of now, I am able to feel a bit of the emotions before I fade away.

Hugs
 

Shi

New Here
Still new to therapy. Just wondering what “trauma holder” and “our protector” means? I have heard of EMDR and would like to try it if possible.
 

Ireusa

Confident
I used to not be able to even identify what I was feeling. @Ireusa, do you ground yourself in therapy? My therapist taught me to ground myself so I would be able to handle the emotions I felt. There is a thread on here that is called What are you feeling, not thinking. Something like that. I started with I don't know, and slowly, like erosion, I became able to identify what I was feeling. The daily questioning helped quite a bit.
I am glad that you have progressed so much. I am able to identify what I'm feeling and grounding is an ongoing thing. Dissociating is huge in session. I am hoping that because I'm doing parts work it will slowly become a little less intense.

Still new to therapy. Just wondering what “trauma holder” and “our protector” means? I have heard of EMDR and would like to try it if possible.

At times, when an event is overwhelmingly traumatic dissociation happens. Because the person going through those events can't cope/bear what is happening, the person starts detaching from it and it may feel as if it happened to someone else (that girl), not me. Therefore, there is a disconnection between the trauma, the acknowledgement of the trauma and the person going through it. Factors like age, severity of the trauma, lack of secure attachment/support make it more probable for severe dissociation to take place.

When there is fragmentation, some parts are common to be felt. Trauma holders are the parts that dealt with the blunt of the trauma (that girl). Protectors are the parts that protect the "host" or other vulnerable parts from traumatic memories, sometimes through not so healthy/safe coping tools.
 

Shi

New Here
Thank you for the reply. I never heard of or tried parts work before. It seems like a really good idea and i will bring it up to my therapist. I also did some research on it and found that its been around for decades and has been found to be tried and true. I do try to geound myself with therapy, what i call dropping anchor. But sometimes i just cant. Sometimes i just have to escape and come out of myself. For my own sanity and safety. I hope and pray for healing everyday. I know the road is long but i wont lose hope. I cant. If not for me then for my kids and husband. P.S. i found some amazing artwork online that is associated with parts therapy. Its so beautiful u can just feel what they are feeling through the art.
 
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