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is this a really bad thing?

(16 Posts)
wontletmesignin Wed 12-Mar-14 16:26:41

I had an appointment for my dd to start therapy. I was meeting the therapist first.
As i did, she went a little into my background and told me that i have witnessed that much violence i am densistised to it.

That i can talk about it so matter of factly. The social worker commented on how i speak about the abuse i have had in the past too, how its so matter of fact.

Is this really bad? What does it exactly mean?

akaWisey Wed 12-Mar-14 16:30:18

No it isn't meant like that. It means you became so accustomed to it that you cut off your emotions, like fear or anger, to protect yourself. It can also mean that you were so used to a constant state of high alert that this became your 'normal'.

wontletmesignin Wed 12-Mar-14 16:37:38

That makes sense. Thanx. So will i ever get back to the normal 'normal', or would i have been rewired, so to speak?

Is this why i seem to handle things quite well, because i have simply shut down from it?
If i was no longer desensitised to it all...would it have an effect on me?

pregnantpause Wed 12-Mar-14 17:08:32

I understand this. I have been accused of reacting too matter of fact or practically to bad situations. Where others break down and cry I can be quite cold and calm. I would say it is that I am desensitised to violence, abuse and as a result, I don't find it shocking anymore. I'm very happy and living a nice normal life, but I don't think I'll ever react 'normally' , in fact, I get quite annoyed at the normal ways of discussing abuse, all over acted emotion, tears, shame, hushed voices, shaking heads, quivering voices etc. I have come to terms with my life, and don't see the point of shakingly sobbing out what happened, I mention it casually, conversationally even- it's not my shame, and it's not my secret either, I am comfortable chatting about it.

wontletmesignin Wed 12-Mar-14 17:13:23

Yes i am comfortable talking about it too.
I thought i had just come to terms with how my life has panned out, and im quite proud of myself to have not let it effect me, as badly as others expect it should. I also accept that i am not to blame for the abuse that i have been put through.

I thought i was strong, but maybe its just what she says and i have shut off my emotions from it.

Im unsure as to whether it is a good thing or a bad thing.

CailinDana Wed 12-Mar-14 17:17:44

I think people watch too much tv. It is actually normal for people to speak about quite "shocking" things in a matter of fact way. It's not necessary for you to burst into tears or even be upset every time you talk about being abused. The words you use are important but the way you say them is irrelevant IMO.

Deathwatchbeetle Wed 12-Mar-14 22:09:09

Next time ask her what she means- make them work for their ££!! Too often they rattle on using 'book speak' and the client is none the wiser.

Lweji Wed 12-Mar-14 23:10:09

I can be like that and I don't think I'm desensitised.
I can become quite focused and think clearly in most stressful situations.
For example I can react quite quickly to an accident.

I think it may have more to do with personality than desensitisation. .

wontletmesignin Thu 13-Mar-14 09:10:58

I didnt personally think that i was desensitised. I still dont really believe i am.

I think when you need to repeat the same stories over and over, that kind of takes away the emotion from it anyway.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Mar-14 09:36:05

That is a working definition of desensitised... the raw emotion has been removed and you are able to be more objective. However, I would say it's entirely normal & healthy rather than a negative thing. A bad experience is still bad, even if it doesn't make you physically upset in the same way as it did originally. People who still have very powerful emotional reactions years after a trauma are usually treated as not coping very well.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Mar-14 09:56:48

Thinking further.... I should add that it would be a negative thing if you looked back on abuse objectively and reached the conclusion that it was tolerable, manageable or (worst of all) normal. Because that would risk setting your bar very low for further abuse.

wontletmesignin Thu 13-Mar-14 10:18:30

Yeah. When you put it like that, then it does sound healthy, in a sense of being able to cope and function on a more normal level.

I guess it all depends on the situation you are in at the time and in what way you are desensitising.
Using it to cope and move forward, or when in survival mode.

I done thr freedom programme today and asked questions about it.
They said that it is expected after a traumatic experience, and that hopefully doing this programme will help bring my feelings out, instead of shutting them off and being numb to it all.

wontletmesignin Thu 13-Mar-14 10:24:51

Thing is. I dont feel i am numb to it all!
I feel ive just accepted that i was treated badly from majority of people who are meant to treat me right. And because of the people who have done this, i now need to learn and be able to recognise these kinds of people sooner rather than later.
I dont think im numb to what has happened. I think i just dont know how to not allow people to treat me badly

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Mar-14 10:27:24

Coping, moving forward and learning about the nature of abuse, the motivations of abusers and about yourself. If you found, for example, you regarded a particular type of behaviour as not so bad but others were reacting with horror then you'd have to ask yourself whether they were over-sensitive or you were... as the therapist is possibly suggesting ... under-sensitive.

On this board you quite often see the question 'is this normal?' or 'do other people's husbands do this?'. If the mass reaction is 'NO!' then you have to conclude that the person asking the question - for whatever reason - is out of touch with what constitutes normal behaviour. Could be they grew up in the same kind of environment. Could be they don't have many friends to compare...

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Mar-14 10:29:52

"I think i just dont know how to not allow people to treat me badly"

Then that's the thing you need to learn from the therapy/counselling. Will include placing your self-respect top priority, building your confidence, stopping pleasing or feeling responsible for others, becoming more assertive etc.

wontletmesignin Thu 13-Mar-14 10:35:09

Yes definitely. I think this FP can help me in a lot of ways. Its definitely my stepping stone to bettering myself

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