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DBT 39: What to do with that.

Illustration for article titled DBT 39: What to do with that.

Or on new emotions that you aren’t exactly sure what they are and how to deal with them. Complex feelings are great, but when you aren’t exactly sure what to do with them, it becomes a bit of problem. I had this fantastic idea to spend the weekend alone doing work and I started to avoid all my work. I made myself do some of it, and rewarded myself by playing The Walking Dead: Season 2. But I felt off. Like depressed, but not depressed. Depression kinda works because it’s an emotional aggregate. Kinda of empty, but not. Anxious, but not really.


I start to go through an emotional checklist:

Am I scared? Not really, but a little because of the game.

Was I triggered this week? For sure, and that’s probably part of it.

Am I exhausted? Maybe, but I took a small work vacation.

Not eating well? No I eat, but I’ll add a bit more iron rich food just incase. Snack on some carrots and apples instead of cookies.


Not enough sunlight? Nope, I go outside all the time.

Overworked? Kinda but I binge watch a lot of tv.

Social inactive? Nope, I went out with people several times this week.

Doubt? Oh ya, a lot of it.

What the fuck is this?

My google searches this week have included “burnout and loneliness” Also, what does loneliness feel like? How do you express anger? Apparently those seem to accompany each other.


I’ve talked about setting boundaries before and how that’s like putting up shields. I’ve gotten better at it. There’s stuff I won’t suffer through anymore, but in other ways I’m really struggling with boundaries. Well the key aspect of having boundaries...

A sense of self.

They wrote that on the board in group and I just stared at it. I don’t have boundaries for some stuff because I’m impartial to it. I do what is best for everyone else. When growing up I was told my boundary was selfish. That I needed to be more understanding and giving. Why can’t you be more like X. If there was something that happened to me, in the family we’d examine how everyone else felt about it, but not me. We’d examine every possibility and dismiss my version of the story. Everyone else is more important, by understanding the dialectic you are better. Or if it was super important, it was never talked about at all. If it was serious, it was hidden and/or you pretended to be happy.


Which leaves me with a lot feelings that I don’t know what to do with. This ties into my last few posts because if you don’t really have a sense of self things like resource management, self validation and boundaries are difficult.

Illustration for article titled DBT 39: What to do with that.

I’ve watched Inside Out over and over thinking maybe the answer is in that movie. There’s so much in that movie, the whole personality islands coming down is my favourite part. I feel like a lot of my islands got unplugged awhile ago. The power kinda flickers.

I have basically suppressed Anger with Joy to the point it’s only rage.

Joy smothers everything, because you have to be Happy!

Sadness is despair. Fear is terror and hatred.

Disgust seems to be working the way that it should, but mostly self destructive.


We talked about my anger this week and I described how I destroy things when I’m angry. If I had a punching bag, I’d probably hit it until my hands bleed, which why I don’t own one. When I feel myself getting angry with someone, I leave. I can’t let them see it. I never throw things when people are around, people understandably get scared or they laugh at you and leave. It’s also super inappropriate to throw things, and I feel monstrous when it gets like that. Even if you get a normal amount of angry, they laugh at you and try to make you more angry because it’s funny. So you have to never be angry because you will be teased or shamed. I always feel ashamed, because I lost control and that makes me a bad person. This is what I learned growing up.

Even as a kid I’d destroy my room. I’d live in the mess as a self-punishment for being angry. I’d mourn the things I broke in my rage and tell myself I deserved broken things because I was weak and bad. I’d promise myself that I’d never let myself get angry again.


This was also a pattern in my relationships. If I showed anger I was bad.

I stopped throwing things. But then it was my tone that was the problem. If I had the wrong tone, he’d ignore me. If I argued, I was defensive.


If I was sad, people would stare at me and not know what to do. Can’t you just be happy?

Don’t let people see you emotional because they leave you. Don’t ever get too angry.


Don’t get angry.

Don’t cry.

Instead of setting emotional boundaries for how I allow others to treat me. I set emotional boundaries to prevent myself from expressing them. And when I got PTSD, I pushed everyone away because I was afraid to let them see me. I was terrified they’d leave.


Of course it translated into other things. I couldn’t express a lot feelings, so instead became other soothing behaviors which when I mention I get scolded with “That’s self harm!!” One of them I’d also do when I was happy, it wasn’t a punishment.

New therapist tells me it’s normal for people do take up something physical when they have never been taught or allowed to express themselves. That if they knew how to express their feelings, they wouldn’t need those other behaviours anymore.


New therapist asked me to imagine being a kid destroying my room, and then having someone come in and offer to help me pick everything up and hug me.


I said no, because no one would do that.

“Just imagine it.”

I am but all it does it make me upset and ashamed. I couldn’t imagine my own parents, I started to imagine my new therapist and then stopped myself because I hate getting attached to them and that was overwhelming.


“And what if they told you it was okay.”


I don’t even know what to do with that. Other than it ripped me apart inside and thinking about it makes me cry. At the end of Inside Out her parents hug her and share their feelings, and I was upset and confused. That’s the part that makes me cry every single time. That is not something I know. Can I believe that people might do that? If someone wrote that scene, then maybe it is real. Maybe it isn’t something imagined. Maybe it can be learned. Maybe I can learn how to express all my feelings in a healthy way.

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