Emotional numbing is something those of us with PTSD must often contend with on a daily basis. The problem isn’t that we don’t feel; the problem is that at a subconscious level we feel too much and to counteract that turmoil of emotion, we block everything out and we don’t share how we’re feeling. It’s difficult though to maintain a relationship with our spouse, significant other, or children when they don’t know what we’re feeling or thinking.
When we clam up and don’t talk to those we care about, they unfortunately tend to think they’ve done something wrong, even when they haven’t. Because we don’t want to face our emotions, we don’t talk about what we’re thinking and they take that to mean they were right in believing we are angry at them. The truth is, whatever we are thinking about may have absolutely nothing to do with them. It’s just that what we are thinking about causes us enough emotional grief that we tune everything out. That’s a recipe for disaster as far as our relationships are concerned.
So, you might ask “How does one stop feeling emotionally numb?” The answer is that we have to stop running from our feelings and face them. We have to allow ourselves to experience those feelings in order to process and let go of them.
And, don’t kid yourself: it’s something that takes a lot of effort to achieve. Although it may not be easy, you may want to at least try to assure those you care about that they aren’t the source of your silence. Children especially tend to think they are responsible for how you feel.
Don’t let PTSD take your family and loved ones from you too. The cost is too great. They are worth fighting for; don’t let the silence of PTSD rule you and destroy your loved ones.