I Am Not Difficult!

I have recently started therapy through TalkSpace.com. My therapist asked me for some clarification on something I had told her about and it made me want to also discuss it here because I think more people are going through this than many realize.

I have what I call an ’emotional block’. It’s difficult to describe but it is how I react (or in many cases don’t react) when put on the spot or asked to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable. Let me give just a couple examples:

  • One retail store I worked for long ago wanted me to role play when I was hired. First I had to play the customer, then I had to switch and play the sales person. I couldn’t do it –  I couldn’t “pretend” in front of other people.
  • I can sing and act in front of hundreds but can’t in front of one or a few. I had a therapist once ask me to write my own song in a few notes and then hum it to her – I couldn’t do it.
  • At work and in team-building exercises – I can’t do them.
  • Give a speech?  FORGET about it!
  • If I have an authority figure over my shoulder at work and ask a question – my mind goes instantly blank and I freeze, even though I can know 100% what I am doing or talking about.

When I am faced with these things and others like them, I quite literally freeze while at the same time my body temperature skyrockets. My mind goes blank and the anxiety I feel is overwhelming. Anxieties rise inside of me and I feel like my head is going to explode. I panic even though I am frozen in place. Panic when you can’t run, when you can’t move or get away? That is the worst feeling!

The thing that I hate most about all this – everyone sees me as just being stubborn or difficult. The presume to know why I am acting that way I am. But they are always so very wrong! So not only am I panicked but also made to feel like crap about myself. There I am, emotionally and physically blocked, and all anyone thinks is that I’m just being difficult. You know what? Walk in my shoes and then try to tell me it’s “just being difficult”! They don’t know I was abused, they don’t know what abuse did to me, how it affected me. They don’t see the deeply-embedded insecurities and self-doubt; they just assume – they see what they want to see.

What would happen if everyone took just a split second to consider someone’s thoughts and feelings before reacting to them?  What kind of world would this be if we tried to see past the fake smiles and the masked words? I have a feeling that a lot of adult survivors of child abuse are often seen as difficult or stubborn.

Are you one of them? Are you often misunderstood and mislabeled? Do you ever freeze? I would love to hear other stories on this subject.

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10 thoughts on “I Am Not Difficult!

  1. I’ll admit, I used to be one of those people that just didn’t understand how people couldn’t rise above their emotions to do what needed to be done – especially when an authority required it. But having dealt with some major emotional B.S., I now get it on a very intimate level. Like you mentioned on my post, however, is that it isn’t always easy to be positive and keep things going the way they need to…but I also think there is some beauty in the fight, because in that fight you know you have not given up. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I have experienced everything you’re describing above. I’m a graphic designer and when people want ideas “on the spot” my mind goes blank too. Like “here’s the name of my company and what we do, now regurgitate 20 ideas for our logo”.

    How’s Talkspace working for you? Hopefully well. If you find your therapist’s style doesn’t really work for you be sure to try to tell them what you need. If it doesn’t work out you can request a new therapist. They have hundreds.

    Take care

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! I so know what you mean. And experiencing it on the job just makes it that much more tough. I so feel for you.

      So far, TalkSpace is great – but I am barely a week in. I have had to tell all the history and am just now getting to what I feel I need to work on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the beginning is tough. All the history. I’ve been talking to my therapist on there for about 11 months now, and I’m in couples counseling too, lol. So much better than traditional therapy for people with social anxiety!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amazing! But I don’t ever feel like I’ll be “healed” which is tough to think about. I tell my therapist that I feel like I’ll never be normal. He asks me for my definition of normal and I say being happy all the time. He says that only happens in movies and isn’t an achievable goal. Which he’s right of course. But that doesn’t get the thought out of my head, lol.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Hmmm, he is right but I have a hard time with that too. I think ‘happy’ for me would just be not being weighed down by my past anymore and being able to handle the future better. That’s my hope anyway. I’m new to this whole feeling more positive thing. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

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