• 💖 [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.

I Feel Empty - Main Coping Mechanism During/After Abuse Is Disassociation

mszl

MyPTSD Pro
I feel empty. All my emotions have flattened out.

My latest therapy session made me realize how long ago I felt good and happy.

My main coping mechanism, during and after abuse was dissociation. Seems I trained "not being here & now" to perfection.

I daydream compulsively. Currently, it's the only thing that brings me some joy. I dream of being happy - unable to find happiness in real life. Despite having wife, daughter, job and a home, I find myself faking emotions to appear more human. But I cannot help being somewhere far away in my mind. I have a feeling that I'm only 20% in reality all the time.

Day-to-day responsibilities overwhelm me. Everything I do takes so much time to finish. I'm a remote worker, and this has caused my work-life balance to become one big, entangled mess. Both aspects of my life take a hit from that fact. Right now, I see myself as shitty employee, husband and father.

I've buried my trauma under ten kilometers of concrete. During exposure therapy, I wasn't able to even scratch that barrier. I couldn't reach any emotions regarding that time. Not many memories left. I'd problably be able to deny it even happened , but there are still physical scars on me as a reminder. I feel like I'm stuck at the moment. My therapy hasn't moved anywhere for some time now - I think. I'm not sure if CBT therapy is working for me. It helped in some areas, but now it feels like I'm redoing same session each time.

If it weren't for people dependent on me, I'd most likely stop here and give up. I never cared much about myself. But it's unfair that two people closest to me have to deal with consequences of my past.

I just needed to vent out a little here. I believe I miss connection with other people, as I've eroded all my friendships from the past. Sorry for chaotic form. It's been ages since I wrote on any kind of social site, and I use mostly technical English on daily basis.
 
My therapy hasn't moved anywhere for some time now - I think. I'm not sure if CBT therapy is working for me. It helped in some areas, but now it feels like I'm redoing same session each time.
Maybe time to add some new skills? Have you ever tried ACT?

The reason I suggest that in particular, is it’s very focused on the here and now. Mindfulness, and learning how to use mindfulness to actually change how we experience the world we’re in, is a big part of ACT.

The nice thing about it is it doesn’t contain all the constant challenging of our own thoughts and behaviours and emotions that CBT entails. Instead, it’s approach is more: okay, so if this is the here and now, how do I connect with it, enjoy it, and get value out it?

IME, CBT is time well spent. It’s incredibly helpful to have the ability to pull apart things that are going wrong and isolate the exact part that isn’t helpful. Offers us an incredible amount of insight.

But with trauma (and it sounds like a bit of depressive symptoms going along with that), people very often need additional tools to really make life worthwhile again.
 
I'm sorry you're struggling so much @mszl

remote worker, and this has caused my work-life balance to become one big, entangled mess. Both aspects of my life take a hit from that fact.
This really messed me up during the pandemic too.

Before, I was going to work and could "compartmentalise" stuff. At work, it was a break from being at home - I just used my "professional brain". And having that break meant that I enjoyed going home - it was a break from work.

When that stopped because of the pandemic, at first I thought it would be "nice" to be at home so much, but I soon found that my brain wasn't coping with it at all.

Is there any way you can work not-remotely?

Even renting a cheap room somewhere as your office-away-from-home might be helpful?
 
Maybe time to add some new skills? Have you ever tried ACT?
I've just read up about ACT (thank you copilot) and looks like that's precisely what my therapist started doing with me recently. That explains why we had to spend last couple of sessions on this - I just struggle with the topic at the moment.

Thank You for reply.
 
I just needed to vent out a little here. I believe I miss connection with other people, as I've eroded all my friendships from the past. Sorry for chaotic form. It's been ages since I wrote on any kind of social site, and I use mostly technical English on daily basis.
multi-lingual tech nerd to multi-lingual tech nerd. . . for my psycho nickel, it is easier to translate between empirical languages than translating from tech-speak to psychobabble. during the years that i was actively repressing my memories, that was THE very reason i was attracted to computers in the first place. in the 80/90'swhen i started drilling through those concrete vaults where those traumatic memories had hidden, my tech projects were greatly affected for a very long time. they still are, but with the decades of psychotherapy work, that is not as big a deal as it was in early recovery. life happens, no matter how far i retreat into circuit boards and virtual reality.
My therapy hasn't moved anywhere for some time now - I think. I'm not sure if CBT therapy is working for me. It helped in some areas, but now it feels like I'm redoing same session each time.
i don't care to do the research, but i believe every single one of my therapy breakthroughs have been proceeded by a period like this. i compare it to the spots in my tech projects where the blasted thing isn't working, despite all my bestest theory. i keep hammering until the mysteries of life lead me to that magic "kick here button" and --BINGO-- we have lift off. . .
If it weren't for people dependent on me, I'd most likely stop here and give up. I never cared much about myself. But it's unfair that two people closest to me have to deal with consequences of my past.
ditto here. the things we do for love. . .

for what it's worth
2019 the inheritance of 3 orphans at age 65 launched my second parenting career. during my first parenting career, i pursued therapy for the sake of the family. here in the second go-round i care about myself enough to do it for myself and celebrate how the family benefits from my well-being.
 
Is there any way you can work not-remotely?
I can always work from the office. They have always been very flexible about working from home or at the office, and before the pandemic, it was a 50/50 split for me. Currently, my wife’s health has deteriorated, and I’m staying home mostly to support her - doing groceries, preparing food, etc. She’s doing what she can, but at the moment, she needs rest. Going to the office adds 2 - 3 hours of travel time for me.

Indeed, I admire single parents who can manage kids, work, and home management - I’m having a hard time coping.

i compare it to the spots in my tech projects where the blasted thing isn't working
I like this analogy. So, I'm off to look for my missing comma in the code ...
 
Back
Top