“I don’t want to talk about it”

I should go out in the garden and eat worms.  I’m exhausted.  I hurt all over.   It’s hard not to have self-pity.   I TRY to limit my public and private kvetching because I know it doesn’t help . . . me or you.  There’s scientific basis for the harm we do to ourselves when we talk about trauma – any kind of trauma. 

Acrylic on Canvas, by moi

Acrylic on Canvas, by moi

 If you or anyone you know has a “story of pain” (physical, psychological, social, economic etc) read Carolyn Thomas’ My Heart Sisters excellent post.  Here’s a teeny taste:

Rehashing a traumatic story/event does some of the following:

  • puts our system on high alert
  • triggers inflammation
  • triggers the fight/flight response
  • triggers shutdown mode

On the flip side Carolyn talks about the benefits of sharing with close friends:

“Dr. Laura Cousin Klein and her team found that the credit for women’s unique stress reactions may belong to the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “lovehormone”).  It’s the body’s own wonder drug – released when we nurse our babies, for example, as well as during a woman’s stress response. It’s instinctual, it buffers the fight-or-flight response and it encourages us to tend children and gather with other women instead – what’s called our tend-and-befriend response to stress.  This calming response does not occur in men, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.”

Read the entire post “I don’t want to talk about it“- a Judy’s-Must-Read-Blog-Post.

6 comments on ““I don’t want to talk about it”

  1. Judy, the danger of letting me read any post on the computer is that I don’t always know what I’m reading. I sent the following message to Carolyn Thomas’ blog, obviously thinking I was replying to you. Wanted to add that I hope you’re feeling better.

    You really woke up the masses with this post, Judy. We, the Universal We, must really need to talk about this. I was silent for so long about the physical and psychological abuse I suffered, bearing my trauma with no one but myself, that once I started talking about it, I never shut up. But I’ve also discovered that: It didn’t heal me. It didn’t take away the experiences that hurt me. It caused other people to put distance between me and them. It scared the hell out of a lot of other people. Some people just didn’t believe me.

    Now I have scientific reason to stop talking. I’ve told my story to everyone who needs to know (very few) and about a thousand who didn’t. It’s stuff that happened long ago. My best strategy for healing is to learn to forgive, and I am working on that. Should my best strategy become successful, I might have more friends who want to spend time with me. I sleep better. I have much to look forward to enjoying.

    Thanks for providing information here. I’m going to think about this article every time I start to open my mouth, and then I’m going to close it.


    • Shari,
      Thank you for sharing your personal experience. That means a lot to me and will I know will resonate with others who have been through similar circumstances.

      A clarification if I may: I believe that sharing is important. Talking to someone who is trustworthy can be helpful, it is when we perseverate on the circumstances, feel victims of our bodies, other people etc. and never figure out how we are better for experiencing pain and tragedy that is detrimental, both psychologically and physically.

      I really appreciate your candor and taking the time to share with everyone.


  2. Over the decades, I have instinctively avoided bemoaning my pain and agony. Over time, I came to realize that the less I talked about it, the less it bothered me. It’s one reason I hate going to doctors–they force me to discuss a topic that makes me feel worse.

    Now I know why. Thanks, Judy.


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