Saturday, 10 August 2013
When silence is bad for your health
Being with someone who is emotionally damaged or disconnected can feel like death by a thousand cuts.
Slowly but surely the sense of being precariously balanced between the happy, contented times and the devastation of being emotionally bled dry by the hatred spewing forth quietly kills off the desire to be there.
Exhausted, confused, melancholy and bemused one has a hundred questions to ask but cannot risk letting the words form and leave the safety of one's head. To risk speaking means the all too familiar outcome of being verbally and emotionally slapped down. But to remain silent has it's own devastating effect.
Doubting one's own sanity, questions build up.
"Did I overact?"
"Did he really say what I think he said?"
"Was he always like this?"
"Is it me that makes him this way?"
"What did I say to provoke this response? What am I doing wrong?"
Believing you have to bottle up, or hide your feelings will only ever end badly. Depression and anxiety, possibly with a panic attack or two thrown in for good measure, the body will scream out by engaging it's only tool of communication - symptoms. It has no choice as it simply hates being witness to this situation!
There's not much the victim of emotional abuse wouldn't give to replace that aspect of their loved ones personality. To be able to gift their partner the ability to empathise and have a healthy connection to their emotions would be a relationship changing miracle!
It's not impossible to teach someone to connect to their feelings but they have to (a) recognise and believe that feelings exist, and (b) be willing to learn. Sadly for the emotionally disconnected (a) + (b) = extreme discomfort.
So, if you're in a relationship with an emotionally disconnected person, there's one piece of advice I'd give to you.
Do not deny your own right to be emotionally honest with yourself and them. If it hurts being put down, tell them. If it falls on deaf ears, constructively express it again. Don't leave it, or put it off so long that your body starts using physical symptoms to get your attention. If speaking up puts your safety in jeopardy then it's time to leave. You are here now, and you are entitled to be appreciated, loved, held and heard.
"This is slavery, not to speak one's thought." - Euripides
"I have learned now that while those who speak about ones miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more." - C.S Lewis