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I feel emotionally numb and useless

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tony1303

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Nov 12, 2019
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Hello. My name is Anthony. Last year I was in an emotionally abusive relationship that left me feeling completely helpless. I was constantly manipulated and put down, but I stayed in the relationship because I was more afraid of being alone then moving forward. I was always doing something wrong according to my ex and i never felt more trapped in a relationship in my life. She would threaten suicide and humiliate me in front of anyone she could. I had to watch everything I said so I wouldn't be berated. I was under constant stress and was just waiting for it to finally come to an end. Eventually it did and my ex ruined some of my property. The stress was unimaginable. I have since then found a significant other that treats me well, but recently I feel as if I'm unable to connect with her. I feel like i need to apologize to her for who I am no matter how many times she tells me she loves me and I don't need to be sorry. I feel emotionally numb, and like I'm destined to fail. I have been smoking pot because it makes me feel better in times of feeling too ashamed of who I am, but my parents found out and has only led to more stress. A couple weeks ago my father almost died in my arms from an accidental medication overdose. My brother has a heroin problem which led to him losing his home and his kids yet he constantly manipulates my mother and causes many fights within my family. Since my parents have found out about me smoking pot all I hear is how I'm going to end up like a no good failure like my brother. I feel detached from everyone else like I'm living in my own bubble. Sometimes I break down and have intrusive thoughts. There always seems to be a sense of dread or stress lingering. The thought of therapy has crossed my mind on several occasions but my parents don't know much about how I feel or much about my previous relationship. Often times when I'm feeling broken I tell myself that there is nothing wrong, I don't need therapy and everything is just in my head. I guess I'm just looking for an outsider's opinion...
 
Tawny

Tawny

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It sounds like you need a break from the stress of other people, such as your family, until you are strong again. You have been through so much, things most people don't have to deal with, and that all affects how strong you are, how useful you can be.

It has been too much. If you had not had paralysing stress from family, you would probably have been able to help your first partner, but you had nothing left and so she will find another person to help her. If you hadn't had all that stress and mental suffering, you would have probably been able to end the relationship much sooner which would have been better for you both.

It is unfair how she treated you, i get similar treatment from my mum and have had it my whole life. It has paralysed me and affected my life so much. I did have so much strength and so still went out into the world and achieved so much, but eventually, add some stressful jobs and stressful relationships, i cracked. I have since had a long period of peace and tried to keep those stressful people at arms length. I have been able to recover to a point of resilience, but i have to be extremely careful and protective of my mental health. I walk away from stressful people or put up this mental barrier to them.

I am only able to do that when not depressed. You are in the thick of it and need to look after yourself as number one. You could set a limit such as speaking to family on Sundays only or seeing them once a fortnight only, and no communication between those times. If you are living with them, maybe you could spend more time out in a place like a library, or walk for an hour in one direction. Time alone is important now and time to rest and care for yourself, do things you enjoy, spend time in nature or with animals or gentle people.

Your new relationship, you need to protect her mental health too although she sounds like she maybe hasn't had such a stressful life like you have had. Maybe she can withstand this. Try to give her your best times, when you are feeling better, and when not, walk or speak to a counsellor. Not everyone needs to talk though, some people can work through things themself. You are aware of all of this, i think you just need time out, maybe 6 months, and keep your mind shut down from the stress. Numbness is just you protecting you. Dissasociating from the stress but shutting it all out. When the stress lessens, when you feel better, the numbness will go too.
 
calypso

calypso

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I think you still need to recover from the effects of your previous relationship and your parents approach to you. You learned this behaviour from somewhere and that needs investigating. You will be able to cope with life like that. In Britain we have an organisation called Relate who deal with relationship problems and are excellent therapists. I wonder if there is anything like that in the US where you live. They can help with your present relationship and your effects left over of your past one.

I think you shouldn't minimise it but deal with this as its not going to just improve without help I think.
 
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celticlass

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Hi Tony - hope you are feeling a bit brighter today. Hey it's great that you have somebody beside you who loves and cares for you. I would not try to analyse too much at the moment how you feel in response so long as you think the relationship is a positive in your life and you get some happiness being with this person. I am so sorry about your Dad and I hope he is doing better now? Is there something practical that can be done to prevent this happening again? Does he need his medicine organised at the chemist etc, or do your mum and dad need carers in their circumstances. Yes it can be very harmful and problematic to have someone in the throes of serious addiction in your midst. Could you or someone in the family seek support or direction from one of the addiction agencies re how best to manage/handle the situation? eg Addaction as a starting point for advice. Now for yourself - lot going on here. You are likely still recovering from the after effects of your abusive relationship and could certainly draw benefit from counselling, but I think first point of contact really ought to be your GP to discuss your day to day thoughts, feelings and hopes/wishes. Maybe take your partner with you if you feel able to talk openly. That's my first thoughts on this.
 
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celticlass

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Sorry I had not noted you were in the US. I do agree with Calypso. GP is Doctor of course. Come back to us as you wish.
 
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