The topic at the co dependents anonymous meeting tonight was on feelings. I didn’t get asked to share, but here’s what I would say.

“I grew up in terror and fear and so feelings were associated with that. To feel, meant to get hurt or to potentially die. I separated. The perpetrators split me so other parts of me would take the feelings – shame, worthlessness, sadness, disgust, anger. Mostly my feeling state is disconnected and confused. It takes me a while to work out what I am feeling. I only started to notice and develop a sense of my feelings when I began going to CoDA. That’s because they start the meeting with a feelings check and I was forced to think about and name how I felt. I realised behind the confusion and dissociation was fear and terror and that was scary and overwhelming. It took me a few weeks to feel safe and then start to name other feelings. My default is to not feel, to avoid, to remain in a state of denial about how I feel. Separated. It’s better when I name how I feel because it often shifts or passes or it can feel more real. Either way, it has been positive when I have been able to do this. I don’t remember much about feelings in childhood- except the fear, the dread and evil. How do you feel evil? It’s just a sense. I know it. I can’t explain it. It’s cold. Maybe that’s why I like the heat more, it feels safer, protective. Sometimes I like not being able to feel. I get more things done, but it can be lonely and I feel very isolated from my environment. Now that I have had moments of feeling joy, I prefer not to be so disconnected, but sometimes I can’t help it. It just happens. My sponsor told me that a feeling state only lasts for about 90 seconds in the body. It’s hard to remember that when the feelings are overwhelming.”

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