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Featured Suppressing emotions

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Fitzo, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Fitzo

    Fitzo Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I was posting on another thread earlier about how when I get emotional I can't hide it and essentially just react to those emotions.
    Which made me reflect that I have spent most of my life deliberately suppressing my emotions because I feel like I'm out of control when my emotions come up. I remember someone once expressing amazement that I actually cried!

    So then it occurred to me that maybe others do the same thing and that could be why people think we're aloof and lacking empathy/sympathy.

    Since discovering AS I am more and more convinced my father also had it.
    He was British and I always thought he was just doing the 'stiff upper lip' thing that a lot of men, especially Brits, of that generation did. I think there's an element of that, but the more I think about it, I believe he was constantly battling to suppress his emotions because he felt vulnerable and out of control if they got the better of him.

    I always thought he was just a cold fish, but as he got older and I understood him better I realized he was actually far more emotional than my mother.

    I would be interested to hear others' thoughts on this.
     
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  2. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    I tend to scare people with my emotions, no matter good or bad, so I try to keep them restrained. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's all of us, but I feel like I have very "big" emotions; that is, when I have them, they're pretty extreme. I used to lose control when that happened, not so much anymore, I just get really..."intense"...is some of the feedback I've gotten.

    But on a day-to-day basis I'm totally emotionally neutral, the last time something moved me to tears I actually milked it a little bit just because it felt so good to feel something at least. Whether it's the medications or pathology or what I don't know.
     
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  3. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    I'm English ,I think English people from the Anglo-Saxon culture are not extrovert ,it also now adds to my theory -that the uk is 2nd highest in people diagnosed on the autism spectrum just below Japan, don't know how old that statistic is .
     
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  4. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I suppressed everything like pushing down the lid on an overflowing trash can. Some have thought that I look more confident/badass when I am actually the most anxious inside - probably because I was pushing down the hardest on that lid, so that seemed strong to them.
     
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  5. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, my emotions are always too much for people, even the good ones. I come off as too immature and loud in a way, or emphatic. So I also try to restrain myself, though I am still often forgetting to, so it sucks feeling out of control.
     
  6. Rasendra

    Rasendra slytherin V.I.P Member

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    Yes, and overflowing of emotions. I've been told I am too intense or just need to chill out. But then if I don't react why don't I care? Lol
     
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  7. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    I only got my diagnosis later in life as an adult. As a coping mechanism i learned as a child how to put my emotions on lockdown. On the plus side, my gf has told me i am like the meditation leaders she knows, i'm calm, detached, and choose to approach things logically devoid of emotion, and to not take failure personally. On the bad side, i've been told that my emotions are still there, i am just detached from them, to the point that they happen and that they wear me down, without being emotionally aware of it. So my mind has escaped them but my body still suffers from them and it tries to tell me resulting in many 'phantom' pains. On the neutral side, i rarely feel emotionally bad, but i don't ever really feel happy either.
     
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  8. Rasendra

    Rasendra slytherin V.I.P Member

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    I did this at one point in high school to the point I didn't feel anything for a while. I had shut off my emotions in an extreme 'shut down' and even scared myself that I couldn't feel anything. Once I got out of the situation of constant emotional abuse I came out of the shut down and my emotions came back. It was the longest shut down ive ever had. Or maybe I went into it multiple times but it lasted most of the time due to the lack of 'safe' places.
     
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  9. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    i've been like this so long, i've been told it may not be a good idea to try to get back in touch with my emotions again, i try to do sports so that i can vent my emotional build up there, that has always been a kind of outlet for me, people have noticed that i always overdo it when i do sports, i guess i know why :)
     
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  10. Fitzo

    Fitzo Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes I think the over emotion is the real issue. That's why people are so shocked when I do lose it. I feel like if I open the floodgates I won't be able to close them again.
    And another thing I've noticed is if I do really get emotional with someone it literally takes me days to get over it. I feel totally exhausted or as I always used to say ' like I've been hit by a Mack truck'.
     
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  11. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    That is why I feel uncomfortable with people.
    They can say something that angers me, but, I stuff it inside because if I let it go, I really let it go and can ruin being with others over something trivial usually.
    And it takes me forever to let it go.

    A lot of the expressing emotions have had to be shutdown now that I live with someone that sure expesses his.
    I feel like crying at times. But, I don't dare let him see it.
    He sees it as a weakness.
    If I show anger, he's ready for a scream fest.
    That only makes me sick.
    If I feel anxiety or a panic attack sensation, I've learned to somehow hold it inside no matter how awful it may feel.
    Sometimes he sees I'm depressed and asks why.
    I would love to be able to talk about the reasons, but, if
    I do, he gets mad and doesn't want to hear it.

    My psych is the only one I can talk things over with, but, that is just a sounding board.

    So I've tried to detach also, but, just a dull depression has become my everyday norm that I live with.
    And it physically comes out as fatigue, aches in my body, stomach problems, and more.
    Yes, that's those chemical dumps.

    Hey, I just thought: Maybe that's why it's called being down in the dumps! o_O
     
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  12. Fitzo

    Fitzo Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Just a thought Susan.... but do you think it's healthy for you to be living with this person? Sounds like any benefits would be outweighed by the sheer stress you're under.
     
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  13. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I think I do. Suppress some emotions and yet some of the time they're just not there.
    I don't feel anything or anyway about a situation or event when others around me are reacting in some way

    I can't manufacturer and physically feel what isn't there but I can take my cue from others around me and mimic to an extent.

    Copying others makes for a quiet life.
    Avoids endless questions and judgement from others,

    Why aren't you bothered?
    Aren't you upset?
    How can you just stand there!!?
    You're a heartless b*tch !!

    Most of the time I've already worked out the best way forward or the most practical solution to the event or situation in the time it takes everyone else to initially react with feeling.

    I don't think that is suppression, I think it just "is"
     
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  14. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    Please be careful! This kind of self-silencing should never be chronic :-( It will make depression worse and worse :-(
     
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  15. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    Hello Susan has your therapist taught you any coping techniques for anger or stress, I was given a coping techniques from the CBT realm but it was specifically for panic disorder. I did what you did for 30 years and I'm sure it's part of the reason that i got an infection that has damaged all of my organs and now means I can barely leave the house
    I just can't stuff it down any more, I just can't physically do it !also One day I had the revelation !While walking up the street back to the house -anger was making me physically ill! I'd never felt that before, I never had that feeling again but I never forgot it .
     
  16. Flinty

    Flinty Off Indefinite Hiatus, I Guess V.I.P Member

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    I have a history of working very hard to suppress emotions. This is because I was taught from all angles that having emotions (any of them, even the positive ones) was essentially a moral failing.
     
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  17. Fitzo

    Fitzo Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's interesting. Were your parents Brits by any chance? Mine always thought Americans were too openly emotional. But I think that's a cultural difference.
    I was certainly not encouraged to show emotion and my father was very disparaging of his brother who got a bit teary when their mother returned to England after a visit.

    But I think my own suppression as an adult comes more from feeling like I am much more myself when emotional and therefore not able to keep the mask in place.
    As a consequence most people saw me as hard and strong, when in reality I was the opposite. I guess that's also part of it. Not wanting to be seen as weak.

    I'm interested to see if others have similar experiences and whether this contributes to the perception of us being cold and aloof. I mean there are definitely times when I am expected to show sympathy etc. when I just don't really feel anything which seems to be part of being Aspie. But that is because it is happening to someone else and I can't connect to that.
    However certain things trigger really strong emotions in me like anger, hurt, defensiveness and these are the ones I struggle to control. Does that make sense?
     
  18. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am a very non emotional person most times... 99% of the time...

    I grew up with a father who as I recall didn't express much emotion toward me, as an adult now I feel like I rarely even have emotions, let alone express them... Like many Aspies my emotions tend to come out most often when I have a melt down...

    I find it interesting that as an artist/photographer I show almost zero emotion, and have difficulty even attributing an emotion to any of my photos, other people tell me they see emotion in them, not sure what that means... o_O
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  19. Flinty

    Flinty Off Indefinite Hiatus, I Guess V.I.P Member

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    My mother is ethnically British, my father not; but this is about a total environment, not just at home. Everyone punished me for having emotions. I don't really know anything else.

    My father only had one emotion himself: anger. He's gotten milder since retirement, but it's still a bit of an issue.
     
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  20. isthisreallife

    isthisreallife Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yep. I'm Team 'Suppress and Restrain'. However, lately I haven't been able to keep the gates locked, and now my emotions have taken over. This is a cautionary tale of what happens when you constantly try to keep it together, eventually you'll fall apart. I'd advice checking in once in awhile with yourselves, and letting go for a bit, the alternative sucks.
     
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