I do not seem to be able to express my emotions, I used to be full of rage but now I do not express any emotions. I mimic the people around me to help me act “normal” but I wonder, does anyone else with a TBI and have trouble expressing or showing emotions?
I was taught as a child and before my TBI to act like everything is good. I know this has something to do with my inability to express how I feel emotionally. It’s hard to know if this a symptom on my TBI or is just a result to how I grew up.
For me it’s not so much not being able to show emotion, but rather that I often show the wrong emotion or the wrong intensity of emotion for a particular circumstance.
I was at a staff training day talking about some rather serious subjects and it touched a raw nerve with me and I fell into a pit of laughter. All of the participants looked at me like ‘What?’ I couldn’t say in myself that it was a conscience diversionary tactic on my behalf, but the facilitator certainly thought so as she came and had a quiet word at the end of the session, she knew darn well that a nerve had been touched. Something similar had happened before but nobody had worked it all out, but that facilitator, she put it all together. Ouch. I learnt to be more aware of my mannerisms and body language.
I had someone I was very close to, they died in a MVA. I had supressed my emotions so much and gotten so used to supressing them that I didn’t show any. I internalised them all and that all started eating at me up from the inside. So I started using chemicals (alcohol and drugs) to fog it all out, that was nasty.
It seemed to me that I was going to the extremes and I tried to take more control or as someone used to tell me ‘Be a Man’ and at times, yea, I can be. But I find that the battle between emotions and that ‘Be a Man’ theory conflict with each other and due to this showing the correct emotion for the circumstance a real battle.
I hope that makes some sense.
(P.S. I too was taught the ‘Everything is good’ line, even when it isn’t, but don’t lie and that caused a conflict because sometimes I was TOO honest )