Given all that you’ve been through it makes sense that you would lose your ability to feel. What may be essentially happening is you are becoming numb to all the painful experiences you’ve endured. The numbness has become like a psychological defense mechanism. It’s akin to a survival skill. These mechanisms are in place so you’re better able to withstand the stress of your painful reality.
You may also have post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a frightening event or series of events that threatens your safety. PTSD can occur as a result of sexual abuse. PTSD can make an individual feel disconnected or numb, something you’ve described feeling. If you have PTSD please realize that it is a very treatable disorder.
You experienced sexual abuse as well as moving multiple times, not having your biological father in your life, a stepfather that you don’t see on a regular basis, losing one of your pets, failing school, being raised around drugs, poverty, and psychotic individuals. You’re also engaged in cutting behavior, experiencing depression and are considering suicide. You have panic attacks and you’ve recently been sexually harassed by a friend who took advantage of you.
You’ve endured multiple challenges but never had the opportunity to address them in a healthy, therapeutic way. You need help and guidance. You should not be trying to deal with these issues alone. You may need to see a trained mental health professional. It may help if you told your parents about what you’ve been experiencing. You already mentioned that they don’t know about the sexual abuse. Do they know about anything else you’ve experienced in the past? What about now? Do they know about the cutting, suicidal ideation, or your panic attacks and depression? If they knew they might offer to help.
I hope you will consider talking your parents. The things that happened to you are not fair nor are they your fault. You are a victim who is continually suffering. Ask your parents to get you help immediately.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on June 8, 2009.