I'm feeling really numb today, I guess that is to be expected after the week I have just been through. I'm forcing myself to write right now because I can't feel anything.
This happens to me pretty frequently. I think sometimes it is the only way I survived my marriage for all those years. It's a defense mechanism I learned before I was ever married, to survive extremely difficult pre-teen and teen years in my family. I call it survival mode.
When things get too hard, I numb out. I can only see what's in front of me, I don't feel a thing. I don't think, I don't try to think, I just...am. Sometimes I can even feel it happening. Once I was at a therapy session and my therapist took me down a very emotional path, and I could feel it coming. My mind started wandering to how I was going to get my child to soccer, what clothes I needed to wash, what the sun looked like hitting her chair, totally random and trivial things. I described it to her as it was happening. I tried incredibly hard to grasp onto the feelings that had started to come up before the numbing began. I couldn't do it. It's such a strong instinct at this point in my life that it is just automatic.
At least understanding why it happens and recognizing when it happens is somewhat empowering. I can forgive myself for it because I recognize that it got me through many tough times when I didn't know how to cope. It's my mind's way of protecting me when I didn't know any other way, and that is tough to unlearn.
Anger seems to bring the numbness out in me more than anything. Anger was not an acceptable emotion in our house growing up. Just this evening, my husband was over and "helping" me get the kids to bed. He was infuriating me over his parenting of my oldest, but what can I say...nothing I say changes anything he does, all I can do is ask him to leave (which I did). I was sitting on the couch just stewing listening to him say all the wrong things to our son, angry that I have worked so hard to learn how to say all the right things only for him to sweep right in and undo it all. Maybe that's when it started.
Sometimes it is just easier to feel nothing than to go through the pain. Which is how drug addiction, alcoholism, food and sex addiction begin. So while I recognize the reason for it, I also recognize the danger in it.
With that, my goals for this week:
-Try not to fixate on my husband and get back to fixating on my own recovery from this mess
-Take care of myself by eating right and getting plenty of exercise
-Get plenty of sleep
-Do at least one thing each day that brings me joy.