Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about once again about feeling nothing regarding a trauma, but this time we talk about what was hinted on before: Why feeling nothing regarding what happened to you is actually a very bad sign.
And since so many ignore it and suffer because of that - it is time we cover it. So let us talk about it.
We crossed the path of this topic quite a few times in others topics, but never really covered it - despite it being so central. So many dismiss their resting PTSD because of this statement “I am fine, I don’t feel anything regarding this event”.
Which is like saying “I don’t hear the engine sounds anymore over the alarm sounds - so it should be fine”. It is often accompanied by an explanation why it wasn’t so bad or pointing towards good aspects of it.
Though I assume that most will feel that something is off. Likely it will keep popping up and there should be something feeling … “off”… about it. But since there is apparently nothing one can do - it is shrugged off and pushed aside again.
I think deep down people know that something is off with what happened, but also don’t know really what to do in this situation. And that is what we are going to get into today.
First we will talk and explain the mechanism and then what you can do and a short “how to start” at the end.
Explaining the mechanism
As I said before, the complete lack of emotions is extremely bad - the opposite of feeling at ease or relaxed about something. Not feeling anything regarding something is a sign, that the brain thought that it was so impactful that it turned off the emotions.
So to speak. This is basically a last ditch effort of the brain to prevent significant damage. Because it deemed the emotions and feelings regarding this event for too intense. This is a very useful mechanism, that will help you avoid dealing with things too early.
If you deal with your bad experience too early, before you are ready (Step 1 and 2 of last episode - stabilize and stockpile) it can backfire and increase your trauma and do significant damage to you. Patience has its virtue - once again.
This mechanism is especially helpful for conflict situation, the brain contained the traumatic event so you are still able to survive or get away from the conflict. Otherwise you would be paralyzed in the worst time possible. A fight with a tiger for example.
If the full emotional load of that moment would be there when you get surprised by one - you would be most likely not able to act. Only later in safety will the full extent of the danger, threat and where it could have ended - become aware to you.
What can you do?
So what can you do? The first and most important thing is to take it seriously. As otherwise you risk it harming you in the worst possible way. One should at least keep an eye on it and also watch for changes.
Second - it is wise to check yourself. Why haven’t you dealt with it yet? Could it be, because you haven’t really taken care of yourself and your needs? Or did you more survive on the bare minimum? Taking good care of oneself is important and essential.
Third, is there something that could keep it being an ongoing issue? Maybe the person involved is still in your life? It is very hard to resolve a trauma that is still ongoing or kept active by things or those around you. Is there a way for you to avoid that?
Fourth, do you want to deal with it, but don’t know how to start? That is the point that is most difficult to give instructions to. The key is to identify what was wrong going on and then find the tools needed to start.
How to start?
So - how to start? Sometimes it is just not the right time, as you might be in a stressful position right now, but the sleeping trauma can get active in the worst possible moment. So it is wise to head this way as soon as you can.
Usually becoming aware is the way to start the process and you looking for answer for this question is a sign that you are now ready to deal with it. Pay attention to the signal of your body and take care of your own needs.
The rest usual takes it own course - as your body often gives you the hints and instructions you need. Like a sudden urge to watch a movie, listen to a specific song and so on.
It might also be helpful to find inspiration form new sources - be it movies, songs, speeches or whatever helps. Taking a step back, to take a deep breath and listen inside - is the best course of action in my experience.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/podcast/, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/therapy/ and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.