Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

Was I Always Numb?

Through the process of self-discovery and therapy, I've come to the conclusion that I am completely numb now. However, pinpointing the inception on the disengagement/numbness is difficult. Was I always numb? Did I get married because it was the most that I thought that I could feel? Or, was I truly in love and later numb myself to deal with rejection. I'm thinking the latter.

This situation seems even more insidious. Once you've intentionally numbed your senses and turned off your feelings of affection, it's nearly impossible to restart the machine. I put forth all the effort in the world, but couldn't feel. The memory of the rejection and the feelings of worthlessness were too strong. Despite W's efforts to change and give me "what I want", I can't see the future as I did. If "what I want" is not what she wants then everything is fake regardless of the intent. I'm working on that final solution n my head now because I simply cannot see rekindling my fire for the relationship. It's sad and it kills me to hurt her, but I must do what's best for myself n the long run.

Best of luck to all!
ErroniousMonk ErroniousMonk 31-35, M 6 Responses May 18, 2012

Your Response


Monk, although I am dead, somehow I have a nerve resonating for you and your story. Luckily my refuser wife is smart enough to understand that I am dead, and putting 5000 volts through me won't make me voom. That suits her fine, actually. Since I am dead, I feel very little as of now, although I am still plagued by past pain, as from a phantom amputated limb.

Don't tell me she's got you nailed to your perch. You can always bend the bars and voom. After a prolonged squawk.

I known numbness. I've been there a few times. Numbness is a protection. It is armor around your heart. Nothing saves you from soul crushing agony like "I don't care."<br />
<br />
If you feel numb towards your wife, it is because you are protecting yourself from her. Totally understandable, in face commendable. Congrats, you have taken the first step in solving your problems. You realize how dire the situation is, and are taking the most important first step: protecting your heart. <br />
<br />
I would not look at this numbness as a problem. Instead, look at it as a positive: your body knows what your mind does not accept. <br />
<br />
You have a smart body. How cool is that?

FM, numbness is a pretty extreme danger sign. You're right, it's a defense, but it's pretty much the last ditch defense.

If a last ditch defense keep you alive, it was a ditch worth digging.

You feel numb because you are dead !<br />
<br />
I hate that when my husband says " Is not there any forgiveness in you ?"<br />
It is not the matter of forgiveness ...when you start breaking somebody down ..little by little he/she gets to the point that he/she dies inside .<br />
when you are dead ,how can you feel ?<br />
<br />
I don't know why they expect us to be as strong as a rock .<br />
<br />
when they kill somebody they can't wake him/her up and say " sorry " " I try " <br />
You try what ?<br />
I am already dead !<br />
<br />
That is I think how you feel . At least you will stay numb with her ,till you wake up in a new world " another relationship " and start to trust and open your heart again ,like a blossom ,under the sun light !

You can ask him: "What are you doing to earn my forgiveness?" I think that would be a fair question.

Have a read of your past comments, forum posts et al Monk-dude.<br />
<br />
They are hardly those of a disengaged, numb, passionless person. Indeed if you were that numb, you'd not even be posting here at all.<br />
<br />
I'd suggest that the numb feeling is entirely situational.<br />
<br />
You are working on vacating the situation apparently. That, and a bit of time, WILL fix it.<br />
<br />
Tread your own path.

Baz, I guess that I meant more numb in terms of my feelings toward W. I'm not really angry or hurt anymore, I just feel nothing.

I was completely numb entering and coming out of puberty (thanks, mom and dad). It took me close to 10 years and some pretty capable friends to rescue me out of the ice queen's palace. It cost me my first two relationship attempts, as well.<br />
<br />
I dare not speculate on your history, Mr. Monk, but I sincerely feel that your best course of action is to get involved with a good therapist, then explore where this came from; if it's historic or if it grew in your relationship. Numbness is an _extreme_ defense mechanism, this goes way beyond anger, frustration, despair, sadness, feeling of loss.<br />
<br />
If your wife is struggling away at 'giving you what you want' and you can't feel it - well it can mean a number of things, but in any of the possible scenarios I would say that the most appropriate course would be to get professional help of exploring what's going on with your emotional numbness. <br />
<br />
I know first hand what it feels like to see other people as though they were behind a thick sheet of ice. To feel paralyzed when somebody tries to give you a warm hug and you're not exactly sure if and how much you can trust them. It's a terrible place to be. Get help, you're dying inside.

Thanks, Petrushka. I've been with my therapist for 7 months or so. I'm thinking that it's more of a relationship thing. I married the first woman that I ever dated. I think that I made the commitment because it was the most that I I believed that I could feel. Then the rejection tarted and got worse after the wedding. Was happy in my numbness until I broke my vows. I felt alive, excited and passionate. That's what makes going back to the numbness voluntarily so difficult.

Oh good, it looks like you have a handle on it already. You really had me worried there. --- Wishing you the best of luck!

I don't believe you were "always numb". The numbness is a self defence mechanism. When we are hurt (physically or emotionally) we try to control the level of pain we feel. One way to do that is to become "numb". <br />
<br />
Sometimes on ILIASM you will read this as "learning not to want the Refuser". It is the same thing. Unfortunately, once you have "learnt" not to want your Refuser; achieved making yourself "numb", you cannot easily turn back the clock . . . <br />
<br />
Even when your Refuser ceases to refuse, you are left with the legacy of that previous behaviour which resulted in you becoming the way you are.<br />
<br />
Once a behaviour is internalised, it becomes VERY difficult (impossible?) to reverse it. For example: have you ever given up something - such as sugar in your coffee? What happens now if someone gives you coffee with sugar? Your reaction is "Yuk!" Yet once upon a time you liked sugar in your coffee - and it took will power to give it up.<br />
<br />
This is approximately what has happened to you - and to others here on ILIASM. It confounds us and confuses us, because we think that the very thing we have longed for (a willing partner) is now something we no longer want! How can that be? And our partners are equally confused. "You have wanted me to change for years! Now I have, and you don't want me any more? What IS wrong with you?"<br />
<br />
Some people struggle mightily to "re-learn" desire for their previous Refuser. In most cases this is only partially successful - if at all. There are of course some outstanding success stories, but these are few and far between.<br />
<br />
" I simply cannot see rekindling my fire for the relationship." This sums up your situation - and your decision to end it now is IMO the right one. Further effort on your part at this time is simply to prolong the misery - for you both.

Thanks, Enna! That pretty much exactly how I feel.