Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query

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Hope67

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Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« on: October 03, 2018, 09:23:52 AM »
I just wanted to say this, which I've just copied and pasted from my Journal entry:

"I am just returning briefly to say, that 'during' my writing above, I felt 'ok' - quite non-emotional mostly - but re-reading it causes me and other parts of me to feel 'very emotional' and brings up tears.  Also a lump in my throat physically.  This often happens to me - i.e. I can write whilst feeling relatively little emotion, but it's the re-reading that causes the emotional response.  I might put this query out as a general posting, to see if others feel that way, and why that might be. 
Hope  :)"


Does anyone else find this, and what sense do you make of it?  I just thought I'd ask, as I find it happens to me quite a bit.

Hope  :)

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Eyessoblue

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Re: Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 10:45:55 AM »
Hi hope, yes I am the same, itís as if youíre writing but not believing, itís when you read it back itís like oh my god where did that come from, did I really write and feel that. Other peopleís posts do the same, I totally feel their pain but not necessarily my own, I feel Iím quite disascciated tho in myself, to the degree that when I went on holiday recently I totally felt that I didnít see or experience anything as if I wasnít there at all, itís when I look back at the pictures and see myself I then question was that me, I know that sounds completely weird but itís like a safety protection thing that Iíve grown up with and not sure how to escape it.

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 12:04:31 PM »
Hi. Yes, both your experiences are familiar to me. I always have a 'delay' emotionally processing things. Sometimes days but it can be weeks or months, I think once or twice even years! I have felt that way about old photos. Often I've realised why someone was upset with me, months later!

I do think it's a defence mechanism that I now want to discard. But how to 'unthink' it is for another topic i guess. I hope that makes sense.

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woodsgnome

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Re: Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 02:33:32 PM »
There does seem to be a sense of dissociation with this sort of 'delayed response' effect. In my case, and this came up in my therapy yesterday, it's a feeling that I can somehow say certain things, but they don't really register, especially at first.

For me it undoubtedly cycles back to the pounded-in messages that indeed I'm unworthy; have, or should have nothing to say, and should just go or stay away, period. As the T pointed out, this has not been true for what she sees in me, that I am okay from the start, but that dissociative block often traps me into not seeing this on my own, and I retreat into my shell, iceberg, or other hiding spot.

It's also related to a feeling of not being really present (or even wanting to be) within my body or mind. This seems tied to my overall sense of self-hatred/non-acceptance despite all the evidence and even attempted self-talk that points out the fallacy of that. Upon further reflection I seem to realize a delayed reaction that maybe I am okay just the way I am. Working on it, but still the old habits want to creep in wherever they can.

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Hope67

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Re: Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2018, 08:26:41 AM »
Hi Eyessoblue - Thank you for your reply - and I relate to what you said, and I don't think it sounds weird at all - it makes sense to me - I was experiencing dissociation a lot yesterday, whilst trying to read a non-fiction book - I had to keep re-reading it, because I just lost the threads and content, and it was frustrating.  I also thought of social situations, and the fact that it often takes me about half an hour to actually feel as if I am 'part' of the interaction - as I feel so dissociated for the first half hour, and also extremely hyper-vigilant - but sometimes I actually 'lose' myself in the situation, and feel as if I've somehow 'blended' into it.  I know this probably sounds bizarre to most people, but I suspect it will be a bit like you thinking your situation sounded 'completely weird' - i.e. I didn't think it did, and I related to it as a kind of 'normality'.  Thanks for your reply - I found it very helpful.  I hope that your recent holiday was relaxing - even though you didn't feel part of it so much.  I also question things I wrote in the past - I see them, and read them, and think 'Did I write that?' - 'Was that me?' - and often I am surprised.

Hi SharpandBlunt - Thank you for your reply and for confirming that you relate to both experiences - and speaking of a 'delay' in emotionally processing things - yes, that is what it must be.  I feel sure that there are many things I haven't processed 'yet' - so your experience of having some things from years back, it doesn't surprise me, and I relate to it very much.  Thank you.  Yes, I suspect it is a 'defence mechanism' - that is a helpful way to frame it - and helps me.  I appreciate your reply, and yes, it does make sense. 

Hi Woodsgnome - Thank you so much for your validating and helpful reply - you have also spoken about the 'sense of dissociation' and a 'delayed response' - both of those things make sense.  I am glad that you were able to talk about the things you mentioned in your therapy, and that your T has pointed out that you are 'okay from the start' - that is good that someone exterior to you could point that out - I relate to your description of dissociation as a 'block'.   I guess I view mine currently as some kind of 'protective armour' - which stops me from processing 'at the time' - because essentially maybe I've not been encouraged to 'feel' my feelings or 'express my thoughts and feelings' - especially if they have been emotions or thoughts that my FOO didn't see as 'valid' - i.e. they preferred me to be compliant, and not express any dissent to the status quo.  I wasn't allowed to ask questions, or express annoyance or infact rebel against anything. 


Woodsgnome - I also relate to what you said about not being really present within the body and mind.  I am glad that you're managing to make some progress in working on this, and I have to say that I am hoping to work on mine - I've just bought a book about 'Trauma-Related Dissociation' so I am hopeful that I will find it helpful.  Thank you again, for sharing your thoughts here - it's been really helpful to read your reply. 


Thanks again everyone, very helpful - and validating to read all your replies.

Hope  :)

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woodsgnome

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Re: Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 05:37:43 PM »
Not to re-state what's already been shared by the previous posts in this thread, but I just wanted to add a 'just-now' experience that illustrates what was discussed.

I've been delaying writing a letter of appreciation to someone (a group actually) who's been influential in my attempts to get a grip on my cptsd recovery attempts. After about a month of doubts and denials that what I write will even matter, I just reached a point today where I told myself it's time to finish and send said letter.

Shortly after I'd hit the send button, I re-read it and the tears flowed. It was everything that needed to be said. While I was writing it, I was rather dissociative per usual and then...as said, the re-read set the tear-ducts in motion. I immediately remembered this thread; hence this commentary. Which is only a personal story of how this shows up in my life.


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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2018, 06:50:43 AM »
Thanks for sharing WoodsGnome. I've had similar reactions myself after getting up the courage to send something I thought was important. Like you did, i usually reflect a long time and sometimes rewrite things many times before I send them.

Just a thought occurred to me as I read your post. Maybe by re-reading something we have written we are able to get a 'distance' from it, and are thereby able to validate ourselves, from the point of view of an observer?

Maybe this emotional response is a healthy sign of the self compassion that is so essential for our recovery but we find so hard to do in 'real time'?

Spreaking for myself I know I am usually frozen to myself. But I do have compassion for others. Maybe having a certain distance allows me to be compassionate to myself? I don't know.

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Hope67

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Re: Re-reading posts and emotional reactions - just a query
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2018, 02:40:12 PM »
Hi Woodsgnome - I really appreciated reading your 'just-now' experience and felt it definitely was a good illustration of what we had discussed - and I also wanted to say Congratulations on writing that letter to the group - and to acknowledging that your writing matters - and I'm glad that you were able to feel the emotions, even though it was a delay between the process of writing, and the process of feeling.  I am beginning to appreciate the ability to 'feel' my own emotions - and so I am being braver to re-read things I've written, and also things others have written to me in the past - because I've realised with letters and E-mails from people - that at the time I can't always process things then - which makes me realise it's not only about my own stuff, but also just my ability to take things in generally.  I really appreciated reading your personal story of how this turns up in your life - I value hearing your experiences, and enjoy reading your writings.  I just wanted to say, that I hope the group who received your letter will appreciate what you wrote too.

Hi SharpAndBlunt - I like what you wrote about being able to validate ourselves - from the point of view of an observer - and I relate to it.  I've thought about it from the perspective of thinking that maybe another 'part' of me has written something, and then other parts view it differently - or maybe that a particular 'part' of me is more comfortable with writing, than other parts.

SharpAndBlunt - the whole time I'm trying to write in response to what you wrote, I am aware of some kind of critic in my ear who tells me that I am being selfish to write about myself and my thoughts - this is annoying and I don't want to come across like that - I hope I'm not coming across like that.  I just wanted to say that - I am being excessively critical towards myself today - in various ways. 

I saw that you wrote 'I am usually frozen to myself.  But I do have compassion for others' - I feel like your compassion does come across, from what I've seen when you write - I'm glad that there seems to be a window of compassion available to us, if we re-read things - as like you said, that certain distance can then allow some compassion to the self.  I like that suggestion very much. 

Hope  :)