To ask if this is normal ? May be triggering re mental health)(18 Posts)
This might be a bit jarbled and hard to explain
I find it difficult to show "weakness" or negative "feelings" of any kind , no matter how small , I simply refuse to show it or accept I may be feeling it and lm wondering if I'm a bit weird
For example , I hate it if I'm talking about my mum who died and someone says "oh that must have been really difficult for you " - i have to insist that actually no I'm totally fine , no sadness whatsoever and I may say something to make light of it .
I get annoyed if anyone says I seem anxious or upset . The very thought of people thinking I'm anxious screams "weakness" to me and I hate it . Yet I should point out , I do not think this of other people who are anxious .
I've had quite a difficult few years emotionally and have been under quite a lot of stress for prolonged periods previously .
I freely talk about it with friends but put a spin of humour on it , but when people show any sympathy or say "gosh you are going through a lot " , it really irritates or embarrasses me and I have to insist I'm absolutely fine and I just get on with it .
People have commented that I handle things so well and I'm so "brave" , and I do think I am a strong person after the stuff I've been through - but I am also a person who does not trust anyone .
I am always on guard and I hate people knowing stuff about me unless I choose to tell them - this can be as simple as someone knowing I'm friends with someone else
When my mum died , I didn't grieve or cry . I moved on within hours of her death . I miss her and think of her but not in a very sad way . I often feel emotionally numb when it comes to relationships or scenarios of my own - but I can feel sad for other people.
It's the total anger I feel sometimes about being labelled with words like anxious, sad , upset , going through a hard time etc that confuses me .
But if a friend said that they felt all of the above , I would be sympathetic and wouldn't think any less of them
Oh and I'm also very unforgiving . I can still feel very strong anger and resentment for things which happened years ago ....
.... And I am very concious of what people think of me . I am extremely cautious of offending people and will often analyse every brief encounter or conversation ....
A lot of (not all) men think this way and don't like to show emotions as they think it's a sign of weakness. I don't know if you're a man but I suppose it doesn't matter.
Some of this maybe due to your upbringing. If your parents didn't show emotion or encourage you to. For example, if you were upset or down, you may have been told to snap out of it or be 'brave' and your feelings weren't acknowledged?
You seem to have guards up with other people. There is nothing wrong with being a private person but sometimes internalising all your negative feelings can result in depression or anger issues.
It sounds as though you haven't grieved your mum, although this is different for everyone. It might be worth talking about it with someone close to you?
Sorry I can't offer any more advice. I'm not an expert on mental health. I think the way you deal with things is not a problem unless it is adversely affecting your life or making you miserable if that makes sense.
Have you ever sought help with these thoughts and feelings? They sound difficult to live with. I think talking to a properly qualified person (and I'm not) could help you.
I find I have a tendency to be a bit like this, OP, even after years of dealing with it and 'allowing' myself to be much more open.
In my case it stems from growing up in a family who got annoyed with me for getting upset about anything and always made me feel like I was being selfish, dramatic, and 'too much'. This was also the case with any positive emotion I might have expressed. My parents are still like this with me now, so I have got used to it (I remember my dad 'banning' me from talking about certain things I felt emotional about as a teenager).
I know now that I wasn't any of those things they thought, so have been able to examine why I felt like I did about expressing emotions and gave myself permission to communicate them, but in the years I didn't, I had the 'brave' comments, too, and felt incredibly lonely and as if I wasn't being true to myself. It also meant that nobody could get close to me, which was a double-edged sword.
I'm just wondering if your family might have been similar, of if you've encountered any relationships where this might be the case?
I meant to add that you describe your situation with great clarity - this is a very good foundation for some sort of talking therapy.
No, I definitely could not talk to anybody about it .
I don't trust anyone and I fear they will think I'm weak - I know that is irrational
But counselling is completely out of the question .
I don't remember much of my childhood . I can't say it was happy nor can I say it was sad .
I don't remember anyone ever telling me not to show my emotions . I do remember feeling very awkward as a child and even a hug felt unnatural and uncomfortable for me !
I don't think it's "normal" as in average, I think most people, whilst not enjoying negative emotions are able to experience them.
But. Does it matter? And by that I mean is it causing you any problems to be this way? Maybe it's just your personality type and that's ok?
Can I ask why counselling is completely out of the question OP?
It doesn't really cause me distress per se - just that I am constantly aware of it .
And I do know I am often rash in dealing with things and making decisions, then regret it later - but I simply don't know how to handle my emotions I do have .
Nowsissy because I would feel too weak and exposed to go to counselling .
The thought of anyone knowing I go to counselling is enough for me not to go . Ever .
Yet I have a friend who goes to counselling for issues she wants to deal with and I have no problem with that whatsoever - I don't think she is weak at all
I don't know all the details , but I think you can do some sort of mental health assessment online which may suit you better? Or even have some sort of counselling via email or phone so it's not face to face.
Of course you don't have to go down that route. If you have someone quite close to you perhaps you could open up to them. Don't think everyone else is 'normal' or together. I think we all have insecurities and anxieties!
Failing that, just writing your feelings down might help.
I am like you and have been told that my behavioural patterns are very male by people. I see my women friends cry at the drop of a hat and literally have not a clue why they do this. DH actually cries more than me at stuff that is sad on the tv etc.
But I am a very good listener and am good at making soothing noises if need be though I may not fully understand why they are upset. I actually don't mind being like this because it must be exhausting being very emotional. I probably cry about twice a year.
I have friends but nobody close enough to talk to .
I don't think I would want to any way
Some might say it's a typically British way to be, the 'stiff upper lip' keep calm and carry on approach but if you want to change, try being a bit more open with people and I think you'll find that you'll get a sympathetic reaction and people won't judge you as weak.
It takes strength to be honest about your feelings. You can start small, e.g I feel sad about X and make a real effort to be more open. The more you do it, the less uncomfortable you'll be with it.
Don't beat yourself up about it though. Not everyone finds it easy to open up and there's a lot to be said about trying to accept who you are and liking yourself.
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