Communicating and Shutting Down

As I have just come to discover with my wife and for those who have difficulty expressing their emotions....for those who yearn for more depth and more meaningful discourse with your spouse....this might be useful to you.

Coming back to some analogies used by my T to help get a better or clearer visual image..

In character again...

As my T has referred to both of us in session together....he pointed out that my wife is a Porcupine sometimes and can be rather sharp and pointed even when you are attempting to be affectionate and nice with her.  This is impossible to predict as it seems....her moods will determine this...and it's not always easy to recognize ahead of time.

She might say that I'm not "reading cues"....but if the consistent and kind of almost daily cue you have to work from at a sour look or look of distress seemingly....ALL the time with little or no change in makes it impossible to read emotion on her face...when emotion and self expression...seems to be non existent or consistently flat and dour.  I find that I will join her in this if I mirror her and she mirrors me.

But mainly.....I see this look as the norm whether I'm expressing emotion or not.  Actually, even expressing emotion of any kind will make her nervous. (even excitement about something fun or happy exuberance in expression only and never saying a word)  If she's not's really hard to tell sometimes.

Mostly, what my wife wants to talk about is worry....pretty much not stop.  If she couldn't use the words..."I'm concerned"...or...."I'm worried"...or some kind of description verbally that says....I'm not happy or I'm irritated or I'm nervous and adjective form might not never know what she is thinking about which is usually the case.  You can never know what's on some ones mind...unless they tell you and this is pretty much all you get on a regular daily basis.  You'd almost have to be a mind read my wife's non verbal cues outwardly. the better descriptor here.  That goes with tone of voice as well.

That is, unless she's angry and irritated and that's when the porcupine comes out of her.  She'll say things like..."well, not everything is anger...sometimes it's fear or being afraid."  I've got to tell you....I know what fear looks like.  The same as anger.  They're not that hard to read on a persons face or their body language and there is a difference even though....I am no expert on body language either.

Having said that....if I read her body language....again....what I see doesn't look all that different at all and very little changes on a daily basis.  Mostly...she appears to have one expression and one body read and that would be one of non-expression or even closed instead of open...even if she's relaxed.

As she says these things to me....and after the fact says she has lots of emotions and they're always not angry, dour, sour or closed off....I started to remember another animal character my T has use before.  A  Turtle.  Putting 2 + 2 together here...a Porcupine living inside a Turtle shell fits my wife very well sometimes.  It would appear from the outside as I see her....a pretty good description.  All I see is a hard shell with no expression at all.  And sometimes....but not always....what comes out is the Porcupine...but I never know what I will get and that's always the trouble with trying to predict her ahead of time.

But as I have began to think about this....the problem comes with depth. Of course my wife has depth of emotions and she feels things deeply...but you'd never know it from looking at her...when all you see are these two animals.  She talks about safety a lot...and has lots of concerns about things that she see's as harmful to her which may or may not be fear is a big factor in her thinking already and her emotions there dominate her thought process.

All said and done....she may appear to have a "thick skin" which is probably also true.  She does have a thick skin and not a lot gets through...but before you get very deep into any topic what ever it is...your going to run into a quagmire of emotions that live pretty close to the surface.  Like almost right away.  The depth she has compared to mine before she hit's rock bottom...I would call shallow and not very deep.

In reality...she has a deep range of emotions she feels and feels them intensely at times.  Too intensely to be straight to the point.  But mostly...she is fine and at ease as long as you stay above the water line which is a pretty shallow pond compared to myself.

She does appear this way to me....but taking things from her perspective....Her range may be deep....but her ability to deal with emotionally evoking topics or subjects what ever they are....runs right at the surface.

This makes it impossible to know where that water line is....until you reach.  When that happens....she shut you down, interrupt you and cut you off abruptly....and accuse you or not reading her, being inconsiderate and bludgeoning her with too many words.

With all due credit to myself....I am very aware of this and also very aware of my tendency to carry on and go into great detail about any topic that interests me.  Having said that....this happens even when we're talking about the weather.  You never know with her and that water line changes all the time.

And in may be just cruising along and having a good old time talking about the weather...and suddenly she'll shut you down and say "I don't want to talk about this."

What I've learned  "I don't want to talk about this" means.....I did want to talk about this when we first started talking....but not any more.  Why that is....I think I just told you.  Maddening, sometimes hurtful....and totally disrespectful to you the start a sentence with only half of it spoken...and to get cut off abrutly and get "I don't want to talk about it/this".

Thinking...Okay....I'll change the subject.  Two words into the new topic she get angry. 

"I said....I don't want to talk about it". 

"I'm not...I'm changing the topic????"

"Are you deaf!!!  I said....I don't want to talk about "IT"

"What's "IT"???"

"Leave me alone!!!!!"


Yelling abusively and angrily..."Why won't you leave me ALONE!!!!!!  I want to be left...ALONE!!!!!!:"



All because I went past the water line ...and talking about the weather. 

Me..."Hear Me.....two...sentence's only.  If you didn't want to talk AT ALL....YOU should have said so right from the beginning.  You were the one who wanted to talk.  Remember???"

There you go.  This is "IT"