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Archive for October 16th, 2008

On my blog entry Flashbacks as Dreams after Child Abuse, Simon posted the following comment:

I cant even cry. Ive rarely cried before in my life. I look at people who cry and im envious. Might sound mad coming from a man, but i am. I want to feel, i want emotion. Thats it aint it, to actually feel anything, even pain, is a step-up from this cr*p.

I spent most of my life feeling numb. I repressed most of my emotions, although I would frequently cry about things that did not matter, such as a touching commercial.

I remember the first time I allowed myself to feel the depths of my pain. There is not a word in the English language to describe it. It ran deeper than “sobbing” or “wailing.”

A part of myself kept thinking, “Stop being so dramatic,” but I faced the fact that there was nobody around, so who was I trying to impress? Nobody, of course.

I felt pain so deep that I did not think it was possible to survive it. It felt like my soul was being ripped into shreds. It cannot find words to describe the depth of my pain.

I had a therapy session that week. When I told my therapist about this, he smiled and told me how wonderful this was. I looked at him like he had two heads.

My therapist pointed out that I had spent my entire life being numb. For the first time in my life, I was feeling. He said it like this was a good thing, which baffled me.

I got angry about my choice being either numbness or excruciating pain. My therapist assured me that, now that I was choosing to feel, I would be feeling lots of wonderful things after I processed the painful emotions.

My therapist was correct. After I poured out the very deep pain, my deepest wounds began to heal. Since then, I have experienced many wonderful emotions – emotions that I did not even know were possible.

It is a huge risk to let go of the numbness and choose to feel, but it is worth the effort. As grueling as the pain is, there are so many wonderful emotions to feel after you process the pain.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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