Emotion and Response: On Your Mark. Get Set. Grieve.

I keep going back and forth between anger and anguish, but I have not felt depressed over this. I realized something some time ago, when I’m angry I’m active, when I’m depressed I’m down for the count. We talk a lot in my therapy sessions about how I respond to my emotions. It appears that anger gets the most physical action. I stand up and gather my guns, my resources.

When I feel lonely I become desperate and irrational. Fortunately I haven’t had the feeling of chronic loneliness in many years. Loneliness can break bones.

When I’m embarrassed I kick into humor but humiliation makes me rage against myself which leads to wanting to die. Feeling humiliated is a strong trauma trigger that I don’t do well with at all. I stop hearing what’s real and want only to bury or destroy that feeling. This is an ongoing issue.

When I’m depressed I stop taking care of myself. Everything seems to be a huge ordeal, including taking out a frozen dinner to put it in the microwave. When depressed I over think everything. The longer I feel depressed the more my environment and appearance deteriorates.

When I feel vulnerable or feel as though I have lost a certain amount of control over my life I begin to obsess. Obsessive thoughts are accompanied by obsessive cleaning and organizing. I start trying to control every little tiny aspect of my environment.

When I feel abandoned I feel guilt and shamed but also fear. Fearing abandonment leads to me actively destroying things I love. A huge abandonment trigger lead to me getting rid of my 4 foot fish tank. The original abandonment was a huge blow which lead to me being afraid that I’d lose other things I loved. Rather than wait for it to leave me I got rid of it. I feared it would break and all my fish would die. I couldn’t bear the thought of it leaving so suddenly with no control over it at all so I dismantled it, sold it off and left it. This is an ongoing problem.

When I’m happy I’m quiet inside. I get quiet and begin to slow down and truly enjoy my environment.

When I’m nervous I’m talkative and very active. When I’m anxious I begin to self sooth in various ways that make me look odd. I don’t like going in public. I don’t really want to interact with people when I leave the house but people are determined to talk to me about everything under the sun. I become overly chatty with cashiers, laugh with customers and joke with the person I’m out with. I overcompensate. I talk and laugh to prevent myself from cowering in the corner or hitting myself in the head as I move down the isles. Sometimes if I know the place is safe enough, I’ll shut up. At times I let the anxiety play out which leads to bouncing my hand off my forehead, rocking back and forth or making this clicking noise. I still take a tablet and pen for drawing so I can channel the anxiety.

When I’m angry I’m active. When I’m angry, self care is a priority. When I’m angry at a situation or person other than myself I become motivated. Anger at others includes being offended deeply. That offense sends a message to me that the person believes they can hurt me and I’ll crumble or they can hurt me and leave me emotionally bloodied up. I’m like, oh I don’t think so! Right now I’m angry. It’s a complicated anger I’m feeling but I’m responding in my usual way. I’m gathering emotional resources. I’m putting on a thick skin to shield blows. I’m thinking and planning as I wait for the other shoe to drop.

With Dissociative Identity Disorder, my emotions aren’t fluent, they’re choppy, fragmented and sometimes distorted. My emotions can go from 0 to 60 in no time flat because I stay in a fight or flight response.

When anguish is the result a profound loss, I bubble over with emotional tears and words. That level of emotion usually causes a physical reaction then almost dead silence inside……I can almost hear the sound of a gun…and then I start running. I start running * through the stages of grief. I keep looking at the sentence before this one knowing there should be an adjective between running and through, but for the life of me I can’t come up with one.

On your mark – anguish, tears, words
Get set – physical reaction
Go – grief

I’ve been in some stage of grief most of my life.


April 19, 2017. 4:15pm EST

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