I know this feeling all too well, and I think a lot of child abuse survivors would say the same.
Why do I feel nothing?
There’s no one answer to this question, but experts have a pretty good theory. Emotional numbness can occur when the limbic system is flooded with stress hormones. This is the area of the brain that deals with emotional regulation and memory.
There’s an emotional component as well. High-stress situations can tax our emotions and exhaust the physical body. The combination of the two can lead to a feeling of being drained and, consequently, numb.
Numbness may also be a coping mechanism to prevent more pain from entering the psyche. This is especially true for those in high-stress environments and those who have experienced trauma.
In my experience all of that is true. The trauma of my childhood left me numb in early adulthood. The current pandemic and all of the other things going on around us every day have left me numb from time to time now. It’s the overwhelming stress that just living every day can bring right now. So, I find myself doing some of the things recommended in the article below to help in the short term, while also knowing that if that doesn’t work, I need to consider the long-term options as well.
So, if you’ve been struggling as well, take a look and see if some of this resonates with your situation, and what you can try to do about it.