Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...

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LSK1999

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Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« on: May 16, 2018, 04:51:11 PM »
I have no idea if I am the only one on here who does this but I seriously doubt that considering our similar experiences. I know now that I have a history of blocking emotions which is no surprise as my emotions were not allowed as a child in my NF. I learned that emotions were dangerous and would only get me into more trouble. Problem is I was doing better with allowing myself my emotions for a while. Then some really tough life issues came up and it seems I am back in the same boat. I have also learned that anxiety seems to be a replacement emotion for me, there is typically other emotions going on hidden underneath it. I just wonder if anyone else has had this experience and has any suggestions on how to stop doing it. I have been triggered a lot lately and I know it's still fall out from a serious stressful life event. I feel like I can almost get there and then when I do it's like I immediately shut them off again. It doesn't matter what emotion it is either anger, happiness, grief. I start to cry and then it's like I just stop. I know this is my old ways of defending myself at work but I desperately want to grieve and anger and scream but instead I'm anxious. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Fightsong

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 05:06:10 AM »
Just that time, patience and a gentle compassionate understanding will help. I recognise where you are at. And Iím not completely sure how I am now where I am. Therapy certainly is in the mix.  Being shown what you are feeling, being validated and given space. And then somehow internalising that ability. Journaling, if your thing,writing down the crazy. I remember a time when I found if I went to a quiet place this feeling would come up on me,  make me feel a bit sick, and Iíd want to cry feel like tears were just there. Then Iíd just do a big yawn! Like the wave passed. Wierd. Try and stay with it. The urge you have to allow the feelings will probably help you to find out what works for you.

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all4peace

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 08:27:14 AM »
Therapy was very helpful, reading books that validated the abuse, seeing childhood photos and allowing the memories to come back, music that touched deep places, movies and lots and lots of crying. I used to fight the urge to cry, and now I never do. My poor kids have seen me cry more in the past year than the rest of their lives combined. I have come to believe that crying is healing, and I simply never block it from happening. When I'm angry, I swear it out, run it out, punch it out with a punching bag. I don't swallow it down anymore. I make sure it gets ALL the way out, and then I cry.

I also try to prevent the situations that used to bring up so many painful emotions. VLC with PD ILs and parents, as for me there's no way to not have a ton of emotions come up with people who behave the way they do.

I think also that self-care is a frame of mind that allows you to start caring for your emotions, too. I used to be someone who worked ridiculous hours, slept little and pushed myself through pain and exhaustion almost as a badge of honor. Not a great mindset for allowing emotions and intuition to have a place. I do wonder if caring for myself better overall, physically also, has allowed me room to start caring for my mental and spiritual health better, too.

Do you ever talk to yourself, in the sense of looking inward and simply asking what needs to come out? My blocked emotions used to create physical pain. So now when my chest starts to tighten up (rarely), I stop, look inside and simply ask what it's about, what is hurting, what needs to be looked at, what needs to be soothed/dealt with/acknowledged? I have found it amazing and wonderful to discover that I DO find the answer. Then I cry/deal/anger or whatever I need to do with whatever is hurting, and move on.

I think we all have our own journeys, but I think you're on the right path by simply asking. You're acknowledging that you have emotions, and that you're blocking them, and that it might be better to allow them to flow. You, with your unique personality, with find the ways that work best for you.

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LSK1999

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 12:40:19 PM »
Thanks so much for your responses. They were helpful. All4peace I really have been doing a terrible job again with taking care of my physical health. I have been eating terribly, not getting much exercise, etc. These are also horrible lifelong habits I learned from a mother that never took care of herself either. I was doing well for a while and then boom, it never fails. I am committing to myself today to start eating better and getting some exercise each day. It's tough when your anxious or depressed or both most of the day. I forget I can exercise at home and it doesn't need to be a big stressful event. My anxiety levels have been really high since recently going LC with my NM. I think taking better care of my physical health is probably the first step, ugghh...lol. It feels like 10 steps forward and 50 steps back sometimes. Thanks for your kind words of advice, you made me feel a bit better  :)

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all4peace

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 02:16:25 PM »
Thanks so much for your responses. They were helpful. All4peace I really have been doing a terrible job again with taking care of my physical health. I have been eating terribly, not getting much exercise, etc. These are also horrible lifelong habits I learned from a mother that never took care of herself either. I was doing well for a while and then boom, it never fails. I am committing to myself today to start eating better and getting some exercise each day. It's tough when your anxious or depressed or both most of the day. I forget I can exercise at home and it doesn't need to be a big stressful event. My anxiety levels have been really high since recently going LC with my NM. I think taking better care of my physical health is probably the first step, ugghh...lol. It feels like 10 steps forward and 50 steps back sometimes. Thanks for your kind words of advice, you made me feel a bit better  :)
I really get it. Some days the only physical care I managed was drinking enough water. Don't beat yourself up if you're only able for very small steps. Even 5 min of exercise is better than 0. You'll find your path. I wasn't personally able to do much about my physical health (except sleep and mild exercise) until my mental health was better. One way I realized my mental health was much better is I started caring again about my physical health and having the energy for more exercise and better eating. Just take care of whatever needs it the most :hug:

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LSK1999

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 04:11:45 PM »
Thanks all4peace, I have to tell you, you just told me exactly what I needed to hear today...Thank you...Soooo much  :bighug:

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all4peace

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 05:12:39 PM »
I'm so glad!

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desertpine

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 08:15:56 PM »
One thing that has helped me is to treat the block like any other emotion. Let it be there instead of judging it, fighting it or trying to change it. I call it resistance - so I name it, just like I name fear or worry or other emotions. Notice it like you are witnessing it, get curious about it - what are the sensations, where are they, what the thoughts or images are that come up? I use art sometimes. So I draw the block - is it a wall or a fence? How tall is it? What is the texture? How long has it been there? If it could talk, what would it say? Bring compassion and curiousity into the awareness. Maybe it is saying that you need to wait before proceeding? Maybe you need some more tools for resourcing or self-soothing or more support from others who you trust?
Go slowly though -it's kinda like havnig frostbite and getting the sensations back. It can be quite painful and so being slow and gentle with yourself is really important.

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CoffeeCup2

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2018, 09:46:01 PM »
Yes - I too block emotions.

I was always like this as a child, teenager, etc. I never wanted to show I was upset or sad to others except my very close family. I hid everything and put on a happy face.

My uNPDx made this incredibly worse. He would complain I never let him in. Never told him how I truly felt. Never shared my emotions with him. But when I did, he criticized me. He told me I was overreacting, I was being stupid. Im crying over something dumb. Suck it up, you arenít like this. Etc. So, I took about 1,000 steps back in that category.

Iím getting a tiny bit better, but still bottle up just about everything.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2018, 04:59:43 PM »
I find that analyzing my emotions and motives regarding a certain situation and comparing and contrasting it to other times I felt that way can help me come to terms with my feelings. 

This can require courage at times. 

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BraveSheep

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 08:56:43 PM »
Hi 1footouttadefog, I have this issue too.  This stopped me in my tracks:
I have also learned that anxiety seems to be a replacement emotion for me, there is typically other emotions going on hidden underneath it.
I never thought of it that way! So rather than anxiety just being an annoying and frustrating thing that some brains do for no reason, it could be a strategy that has developed to help us ignore feelings, because having any feelings got us into trouble as children. 
I wonder if helping ourselves to really *feel* safe to have feelings will allow us to be more in touch with them?
Best wishes, I hope you find some peace with all this  :hug:

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LSK1999

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Re: Any suggestions on how to stop blocking emotions...
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 09:09:59 PM »
One thing that has helped me is to treat the block like any other emotion. Let it be there instead of judging it, fighting it or trying to change it. I call it resistance - so I name it, just like I name fear or worry or other emotions. Notice it like you are witnessing it, get curious about it - what are the sensations, where are they, what the thoughts or images are that come up? I use art sometimes. So I draw the block - is it a wall or a fence? How tall is it? What is the texture? How long has it been there? If it could talk, what would it say? Bring compassion and curiousity into the awareness. Maybe it is saying that you need to wait before proceeding? Maybe you need some more tools for resourcing or self-soothing or more support from others who you trust?
Go slowly though -it's kinda like havnig frostbite and getting the sensations back. It can be quite painful and so being slow and gentle with yourself is really important.

Thanks for this response and all of your responses they have been very comforting. I think you may have told me something here though that is part of my problem. Go slow...and your totally right it is like getting back all these sensations and feelings that I have been trying to hide from for years....very very painful and maybe I need to go a little bit slower. I like the idea of accepting it too, I want it to go away so badly so I can just feel better, but it may be helping actually...only allowing a little at a time. Thanks this was really comforting  :)