Can't cry anymore

by M.Rosalee

When I was younger, I could cry normally, at normal things that would trigger someone to cry, but now I can't. Whenever I feel depressed or sad, I can feel tears in my eyes, but I never actually cry, it just stops. I can't make myself cry either, but I want to because I just want to let all of the stressing and depressing feelings out. And whenever something bad happens, it's like I just shut down. I go monotone and act indifferent. I've been this way since I was about 11 or 12 whenever my parents were getting divorced. I'm the youngest of 6 kids and at the time my parents were getting divorced, I was the only one who wasn't 18 or older, and my parents constantly fought over me for years. It was really stressful on me, and I didn't really trust anyone near me. Since then I just bottle everything up. Even at my grandad's funeral, whom I was very close to, I couldn't cry. I do remember though how my parents would ask me questions and then use it against the other in court or something and it'd get back to me, so I wouldn't tell anyone anything. I'd just pretend like everything was perfectly fine. I also get really stressed in situations where I see adults fighting, it makes me anxious too, and I just bottle that up also. And on rare occasions when I do cry, I don't cry for long, or as hard as I want to, and I hate crying around others, I'll only let myself cry if I think no one is around. I find this odd. Most people like to be around and comforted by others in times of need right? Why don't I?

Ben's Answer:

It all makes perfect sense to me. You were used by your parents in their war with each other, and you learned how to look like you were "fine" when you really were in great emotional pain. You learned to not trust people with your feelings, so crying around people is no longer an option. Your automatic response is to shut down emotionally when you're around people, because you don't want to get hurt again.

There are two things here that could be of great help: one is a solid relationship with a therapist, that you can learn to trust and be vulnerable with (may take some time);

And two, EFT/Meridian Tapping to work directly on the traumas that you experienced around your parents divorce at the age of 11. By working on those issues, I expect you could unlock some emotions that have been held in for so long. And I'd expect both anger and grief to be two of the most important keys to regaining your emotional freedom. (by the way, EFT stands for "Emotional Freedom Techniques").

I wish you well,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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