Naming and understanding multiple emotions

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe people shouldn't be wording it as if it is one emotion we are feeling.
Yeah, I think it is important to realize that emotions can be mixed. Confused.

I have to be honest, I looked like one of those people who were 'connected to their body' for most of my life. Very physical, very athletic, and seemingly very self aware. Except for the part of me that was hidden. Once that part was pulled out and I started dealing with it, it was obvious that what connection I did have was lost. I could no longer play tennis, ski, swim, ride a bike, work out, run, so many things. I think that may have had something to do with my regression issues. I regressed to a very young age. So perhaps it's the whole 'part' thing rearing its ugly head that disallowed me to utilize my body with any sense of agency.

I think 'parts' are a bigger thing than many give credit for. Now that my regressed part has seemingly retreated (I am not integrated with this part, there is still much work to be done), I am able to control what is happening to my body much more easily.

It is a heavy subject, that is for sure. This internal/.external figuring out of emotions is really challenging. For once my internal landscape appears for me to be the place to start. Figuring out others emotions is much tougher. And it is more about figuring out what I should be doing in their emotions. I tend to stick around. Based on this 10 year + tenure on misreading others emotions and not reacting in a self protecting way, I am going to say I had best try to understand this better.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Yep. That's why I have been looking for it.

I have a few people in my reality that perhaps I wouldn`t mind seeing under my apple tree, but to be honest, that just isn`t me. The question is, what do you do when they won`t hear. I feel like the roles are then reversed and it is ME that ends up dead under the apple tree.
 

Abstract

MyPTSD Pro
but to be honest, that just isn`t me
This is my reality. But I sometimes wonder if there is something missing in me. Some fundamental normal self defence aspect of my personality. Its not as if I am some insipid non persona. That isnt the case.
it is ME that ends up dead under the apple tree.
and this is what I think happens. I feel like I have looked at the theory and have hunted down anger and resentment. Because I know the alternative. If that makes sense.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Some fundamental normal self defence aspect of my personality.
Yes, this has been my thought as well about myself. I think that for me my self defense option, due to my trauma, has been to freeze in the most horrific of ways. Hardly helpful when under attack. So I have learned to not see when I am under attack.

This changed the other day when I was in that lineup where the chick was tapping my shoulder. There was a very real sense of my body and what was happening to it and I snarled and then snapped because I was protecting that shoulder of mine. It was an organic response, but I don`t know why. I don`t know what has changed. It happened again yesterday when someone came up and gave me a huge hug. I turned on her like a bat out of hell. It was organic.

So I am going to say that we are all born knowing how to and being prepared to defend ourselves, regardless of how small we may have been. Until we realize that these huge humans can destroy us and then our limbic system takes over and overwrites a with a belief system that it doesn`t matter what we do we cannot influence others to not invade us.

It is that belief system I am trying to work with here. What was different these past two incidents that allowed me to have the audacity to believe that I could or should or wanted to protect myself.

I feel like I bought into the role that if anyone was going to die in an altercation, of course it would be me.
have hunted down anger and resentment.
Your own or others?

I feel like a major problem with my expressing anger all of my life is a misguided sense of empathy for the target of that anger. I feel like by not expressing my anger I was sparing them certain death - mostly psychological - and I didn't want anyone destroyed like I was. Of course, this was all subconscious.
 

Abstract

MyPTSD Pro
Missed that post.

I looked like one of those people who were 'connected to their body' for most of my life. Very physical, very athletic, and seemingly very self aware.
Thats interesting. I don't think I did. But I'm not sure. I was voted for this and for that. Some people looked up to me. I was good enough at a sport Sometimes what people see is not nearly the truth. But I was disorganised, dissociated, Not aware in class and attracting attention as a result. Apparently some teachers thought I was on drugs. I wasn't. I was tested for hearing issues. Socially impaired in certain ways even though popular enough. Sadly possibly the physical. That didn't help. Had a host of unhealthy coping mechanisms that wernt visible.
I regressed to a very young age
I didn't regress but I connected.(as apposed to dissociated) And the consequences were ... a mess. When all was compartmentalised I appeared much more functional. I was more functional. With a price.
Figuring out others emotions is much tougher.
Hmm. I'm not sure about this. I wasn't interested in my own for a long time. Or didnt know I should be. Was obviously avoiding them. I assume. Was very interested and motivated to find out others. Firstly evolutionally to help them. Then to protect myself from them. Then to understand humankind, myself, the world.

Its been an obsession figuring this stuff out. The what, the why, the nuances. the making myself see it and not ignore it and blame me instead. If that makes sense.
The understanding mine started off from a point of realising I didn't connect in situations and thus was not able to read my minds signposts which would help me make decisions. Like driving in a fog and then putting on a blindfold but pretending vision was clear.

Reading pathological signals from others is extremely important and it seems that is what you are talking about. That I have had an issue with too and only manage to a point in the present through great effort and energy expenditure. Its all exhausting but I guess if take a reality check is a thousand miles away from the past and what it held.
 
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Abstract

MyPTSD Pro
Your own or others?

I feel like a major problem with my expressing anger all of my life is a misguided sense of empathy for the target of that anger. I feel like by not expressing my anger I was sparing them certain death - mostly psychological - and I didn't want anyone destroyed like I was. Of course, this was all subconscious.

Oh my own. I have spent the last decade looking for my anger and self defence mechanisms. Exactly. I have had a profound and almost supernatural (if I believed in that which I don't) empathy for the most undeserving of human beings and every one else. My attunement has been astonishing. And when I hear people saying recovery from trauma automatically means increased empathy to others state my differing experiences. For good or bad it has involved my decrease in empathy for others and an increase in empathy for myself (which was 110% missing before). I don't really relate to anyones experience entirely when it comes to this and I think in retrospect therapists didnt understand it either. They assumed it as being a seeming empathy in self interest but one needs to have a larger connection to self and more self preservation for that to be the case. I can tell now. I was a sort of creature I think.

The journey from that all encompassing empathic other worldly creature to this now has been been a long haul and I'm not entirely sure a good one. I look back and think that in another reality in some ways that that was the right way to be be. But one couldn't survive.

As awful as I now feel in comparison I at some level know I am starting to be able to function in the world. To manage. I still have to constantly remind myself to embrace anger and all related and see it, interpret it. Then I can chose to react in an appropriate way.

It was an organic response, but I don`t know why.
The first time this happened it was astonishing and life changing. Triggering situation but husband responded to a simple question with a physical assault and I said loudly "no" and pushed away. It was organic and astonishing. And I then found myself under a table shaking for 2 hours but it changed everything. And it was the result of me doing so much hard work on understanding, embracing anger and feeling a right to self defence. It was the point at which it went from academic to organic. And so it has continued. But not without hard work.
 

Sietz

MyPTSD Pro
@shimmerz, thought you'd find this funny. The other day over in my diary I said I felt "Good anxiety" and didn't know what it was, so @Chris-duck said "maybe excitement?" well, duh.

:roflmao:

Thought it was insteresting because we're so used to naming bad emotions, that we kinda forget about naming the good ones to the point of not even recognizing them. I've felt excited before, so I thought I knew what it was. Turns out the mind can forget how to understand and process the good too. Lesson I've been learning lately, "how to process the good".

It does bring a lot of emotions, good and bad, to the table.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
we're so used to naming bad emotions, that we kinda forget about naming the good ones to the point of not even recognizing them.
Really good point Sietz. I recall there was a period in time when I was posting on this thread and to my shock and surprise, was recognizing that there were days that I was actually feeling happy. Like really? How could I be happy through all of this? But yes, really important to focus on the duality of emotions. Not just the bad. And you are right, it is so easy when suffering from PTSD to see things as 'all bad' because those feelings (especially with a somatic element) are so outrageously difficult that they overshadow the relative calm of happy.

But it is so important to feel the good. It gives me the contrast of the horrors I keep regurgitating and gives me something to aim for. What makes me happy? Going to courses and sitting on committees, seeing the grandkids, hanging out with my friends, making essential oil stuff for people, making good food for myself and seeing the changes that are occurring in my life right now. Connection kind of stuff. Connection is so very important in healing.

Reading pathological signals from others is extremely important and it seems that is what you are talking about.
I think I couldn't get to that until I got to my own. Which I have been working on consistently for some time and am backing that up with this thread. I too, as a child had a problem in school. I got super high grades (I am not certain that there isn't some sort of autism here with me) but forgot and lost things constantly. I remember being forced to stand in front of the class for something and literally pissed my pants. I know now that that was because I felt so threatened and exposed. Oddly enough I still had a social life at school although the bullies targeted me big time. So did my mother and sister. So of course I had to shut down my emotions. I had to perform. I was an extremely high performer, because, I think, if I did well in school, played the tennis circuit well, was a good little Catholic, it would keep me out of the sights of my mother.

Living alone now, without other's expectations for me, and having worked the shit out of my inner critic, I can now focus on me and my emotions without others shutting me down. It's a whole new world out there now that I have reconnected with myself. I think that may be it. If I haven't connected with myself, how can I possibly connect with anyone else in an authentic way?
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Okay, it happened again tonight. That goddammed annihilation anxiety that used to wake me out of a dead sleep and having me running outside no matter how cold it was and drop into a ditch. I used to have to tie myself to the f*cking bed it was so bad. and so dangerous. And it was that behaviour alone that used to keep me from living inside any type of structure.

I jumped. I was just in between asleep and awake. I hear the dryer door being slammed shut. And there is this feeling that I had. A feeling with a thought attached to it. 'Where am I?' And I laid there very still, having heard the noise that I was trying to place, and not being able to figure out where I was. Where am I? Why am I lying down? Where am I lying down? WHO IS HERE?

Disorientation. Confusion. That;s the mix I figured out the day I did that show. On the way home when I had an 'attack'. Makes sense given my background. But I think that that thought pattern and feeling are the things that can be tied into my annihilation anxiety. Of course I felt disoriented and confused when tossed from home to home. I had no freaking idea where I was; who I was with; what anyone expected of me; nothing. I get that disrientation and confusion as well when I get lost driving.

I am going to add something to the disorientation/confusion mix as well. I feel lost. I don't know anything around me (even if I do).

Disorientation. Confusion. Lost.

And Panicked. Once the three above hit me; I immediately slide into panic.

No idea if this is going to be helpful in the near future, but that feeling of 'lost' is an important one I think. Because being lost somewhere will trigger the annihilation anxiety, just as the annihilation anxiety triggers feelings of the above. It is a bi-directional process.

This makes total sense.
 

Lionheart

MyPTSD Pro
I am getting better at naming and understanding multiple emotions, as I find they are often layered and pertain to different situations, people, places, and things. So I can have conflicting emotions and not always be so terribly torn over it, when I understand the source and reason for the emotion(s) have differing sources. This has just happened recently and came as a surprise to me, because before I could not pinpoint the feeling, name it, or embrace it very well.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
It has been an incredible leap forward for me too Lion. Once that word or phrase pops into my head it is like a chain that was binding me has been cut free. It is fascinating to me how this is all playing out. I would never have guessed that this was the pot at the end of the PTSD rainbow.
 
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