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I cry when forced to express something in words that has emotional connection

User Thread
 24yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that ravenclaw is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I cry when forced to express something in words that has emotional connection
Let me start this by saying that I have never had any kind of emotional trauma in my life, long term or short term. If you think my problem is caused by bad experiences, you are wrong.

Ok so this got started when I had to do some creative writing assignments for school and even though I have no problem with objective writing I really hate creative writing and if I am forced to do it I will start crying. I am really creative with drawing and painting but not with words so I couldn't do any of those assignments and I started failing classes and my teachers got suspicious because otherwise I am usually a straight A student. So my school did a bunch of testing and said I didn't have any kind of disorder or disability and the only part I scored low on in the tests was verbal problems and problems that required you to give your opinion. All they gave me was a 504 plan which allows me to have more time to complete the assignments or shorten them a little bit or complete them outside of class if they are in-class assignments when what I really need is to change the assignment from something with words to something with visual art.. Which is like saying, "oh we found out you are allergic to peanuts so we are going to let you have more time to eat the peanuts or you can eat peanuts in a different location or you can have half as many peanuts as usual, but we can't actually give you a different kind of nuts." So I still had to do those assignments with a writing tutor and I just pushed down all the crying and forced myself but I still hated reading those assignments afterwards and if I read more than a sentence I would start crying.

I'm seeing a psychiatrist right now but it's not helping at all and we don't even talk about the problem he just asks how my vacation was and what books am I reading and never appears to be thinking or taking notes and he has been doing the same thing for 6 months. The only time we talked about anything was at the very beginning when I explained the problem to him and it hasn't been mentioned since. I got a recommendation to him from my previous therapist who was also completely useless. She actually talked about the problem sometimes but mostly she was just trying to convince me that I had some form of depression or that the problem was because of stuff happening in my family but I guess that would be influenced by the fact that I was crying the entire time. She was always asking questions that would force me to put something emotional into words (like "what are you feeling" which was exactly what causes crying. I got recommended to her by another therapist who actually tried to understand me and listened but she mostly just dealt with family and relationship problems so she wasn't the right person.
I think I've pretty much gone through every psychiatrist in town so there aren't really any options left.
Sorry for the extremely long post. By the way I am starting high school this year and it's really going to be a pain if I can't do something.

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 56yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that HissyFit is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think it might be helpful if you didn't look at this as a problem to be solved. It sounds to me like you're a really sensitive person... anything emotional brings you to tears. I would suggest just accepting it... go ahead and cry, instead of considering it to be something wrong with you.

I used to be very self-conscious about the depth of my feelings. I would try to hide them, always feeling embarrassed if I cried in front of anyone. But that just made me feel worse, constantly belittling myself for being such a sensitive ball of emotions. As I've learned to accept myself more, to explore my feelings as opposed to trying to get rid of them or suppress them, I feel better and I'm actually less emotional than I used to be as a result.

I highly recommend seeking comfort when you are crying... if there's someone you trust who would be willing to hold you and comfort you while you cry, that can be really powerful. But if not, try and comfort yourself... let yourself cry your eyes out if that's what you feel like doing, and just tell yourself it's ok, you're ok.

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 24yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that ravenclaw is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Maybe you're right about the sensitive part.. But comforting doesn't usually help, I just push people away and yell at them if they try to get near me. If someone tries to comfort me and won't go away I end up crying so hard I dehydrate myself.
If I'm embarrassed to cry in front of people or I just don't want them to interrogate me about why I'm crying, I always recite something in my head, like poetry or the periodic table (I have to recite Invictus after every other sentence I'm typing here). Maybe that's just suppressing the emotion though, or maybe it's just distracting myself. But my only other option is to be in a bad mood for the rest of the day, and even if no one's there to bother me I can still be crying for a long time and it isn't fun.
I guess part of the reason I'm seeing this as a problem is because of school, and English class in particular, which is always filled with emotional words that I can't say right and surprisingly nice teachers that give exemptions when you start crying, and I don't want to go through another year like that.
The other part of the reason is that my mom sees it as a problem and I can't exactly convince her otherwise, and I can't exactly convince myself either.

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 56yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that HissyFit is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Do you know why you're crying so much? Do you understand the cause of your sadness or upset or whatever the right word is for what you're feeling when you're crying?

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 24yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that ravenclaw is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
No, I don't. And you have asked the exact right question, because it is exactly the one I want the answer to, and haven't been able to find. At least, not in words. And not in a picture - yet. I am trying to draw the feeling I have when I'm crying but I haven't come up with anything yet.
The closest word I have is blank, but I don't think that's the right word.

I do have images for certain things - feelings and ideas. My dislike of reading my own badly written writing is a light gray rectangle with a pale blue horizontal line across it that has a bump in the middle. I think emotional pain is a saffron-yellow triangle with a fuchsia-pink circle in the middle.

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[  Edited by ravenclaw at   ]
 56yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that HissyFit is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think you're headed in the right direction, being curious about the source of the upset. So carry on....

I remember the age of 14 being pretty upsetting in itself... so go easy on yourself. It's a tough time for everyone. My heart goes out to you, being so sensitive. I know from my own experience that that can make life in this crazy world seem pretty challenging. So hang in there, and I hope things get better for you soon.

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 24yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that ravenclaw is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Thanks for understanding hissyfit .

I think I will discover more when I make more pictures of what I feel. They are always very distinct shapes and colors and sometimes they are related to each other, but it's hard to read them because they don't make a language of words and grammar that I can define and construct. I am hoping to find a therapist who can let me answer questions with my drawings.

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 42yrs • F •
ladylumia is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
Yes, I too agree, I think drawing when you feel the emotions rush in is the best route to discovering what the cause maybe. Perhaps whenever you have a writing assignment and you begin crying, take a sheet of paper and start drawing straight away. If you're teacher is understanding then maybe talk to him/her about it so they accommodate you drawing in class.

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 24yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that ravenclaw is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
It's rather difficult to draw while crying but doodling does have a calming effect on me so I guess it might help.

Also here are the pictures of emotional pain (on the left) and my avoidance of seeing things that make me remember things I would rather forget (like things in my room that I don't want to clean up, and anything I wrote over 2 weeks ago) (on the right). I have absolutely no idea what they mean, if anything, or why they look they way they do. They just look like that.

Also I saw my psychiatrist again today and it was terrible. He is insensitive and Freudian and psychologically blind and treats me like a six-year-old. And I think I've spent so much time in that room being uncomfortable because of him that just walking into the room immediately makes me feel nervous and seeing his face makes me even more nervous. I'd be perfectly capable of explaining things if I wasn't nervous (the way I am here) but for some reason he doesn't want to let me do that, and I can't explain that situation to him because I'm too nervous. I tell my mom to explain to him what I've explained to her but she doesn't say a lot of things because she's trying to be polite and nice.
I actually got to draw while crying but all I got was random doodles and a half-finished cyborg horse that looked terrible and disproportionate because I wasn't drawing from a picture.

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[  Edited by ravenclaw at   ]
 38yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that parallelist is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hi Ravenclaw,

Let me get this straight. I have a bunch of questions.

Do you cry when writing about something benign like socks or your favorite food?

When you try to put words to emotions it makes you cry? Is that when speaking or when writing things on paper or when writing on a computer? Would you cry if you had a list of emotion words printed out and you just pointed to one of them when you tell someone else what you are feeling? Do you cry when trying to describe how you feel now, how you felt about things in the past, or both? Do you find it difficult posting on this forum?

You use the word "force" in your subject line. Is it in fact that you are usually fine writing about how you feel but you want to take longer to do it and people hassle you for a quick answer?

When you cry what else do you experience? Do your hands get clammy? Do your muscle feel tense as well?

You also say you don’t like reading what you have written is that because you think it is stupid or embarrassing?

I think you should stop seeing that therapist by the way. Or at least tell him that you don’t think he is helping. Maybe just direct him to this thread to read for himself.

I think doodling would help anyone who is upset but I don’t think that is because drawing is particularly special. I think anything that gets you into a state of flow and absorbs your attention will do that. If ever I’m upset at work I just try to carry on with the work and after a short while I’m relaxed again. Of course if it’s _really_ upsetting I can’t even do that work for a while but, happily, that doesn’t happen too often.

Incidentally your writing seems very good to me. And I agree with everything Hissyfit says. Try not to feel ashamed of crying. If you want to cry, you goddamn cry, and to hell with anyone else. You sound like a really interesting, intelligent, sensitive person to me and those are all really great things except they can require a lot of management and self-intervention.

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 24yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that ravenclaw is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
1) I will cry when forced to write about benign things like socks or food if I'm under enough pressure.
2) Using words in any way (choosing them from a list or typing or saying or writing) for describing anything that has some kind of personal or emotional connection will probably make me cry.
It is difficult to post things here sometimes and sometimes I do cry because of that.
3) I say force because I'd never choose to write (or use words for in any other way) things that are emotional. If I do find the right words for those things it is purely by chance that I managed to find the right words and doesn't happen very often, and definitely doesn't happen when I'm under pressure. Which is connected to the next question:
4) I don't like my writing because it doesn't usually fit with the emotions I actually have. And when it doesn't fit it seems to deteriorate over time like a radioactive isotope, eventually becoming so terribly wrong and so far from what I actually meant that I can't bear to read it anymore. Words are like an element with many unstable isotopes and a few rare and difficult to find stable ones. Many words radioactively decay before I can even write them down which is why I rarely manage to get anything done in English class. I've only had 3 days of school and so far I have cried 1 day. That happened mostly because I had to stand up and say something in front of the class. I was not nervous when acting out a part in a play last year but I get extremely nervous being myself (as opposed to being a character and saying memorized lines, and apparently I was very good at acting).
And the only other physical thing that happens while I'm crying is that my throat feels like it is being vacuum-packed.
I've told my mom I really want to switch therapists but she hasn't done anything about it.

A random observation made at lunch today: when I look at things I do not think of words that describe them. I think of the lines and angles they are made of. I tried thinking of words to describe things for a few moments and I couldn't see the lines and angles anymore. It felt like being blind.
Of course the difference between that and writing this right now is that in this case I am dictating my thought process to you which is a series of words to begin with, whereas describing things I see while eating lunch means I am creating words from visual things.

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I cry when forced to express something in words that has emotional connection
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