EMOTIONAL NUMBNESS AFTER ABUSE emotional numbness after abuse
Photo by Jean-Jacques Halans on Unsplash

The aftermath of narcissistic abuse can make you feel disconnected and empty inside as you try to piece together the terrible experiences you’ve been put through. It’s a relationship in which you developed various coping mechanisms to maintain your sanity and safety.

One such coping mechanism is numbing your emotions so that you don’t feel the pain anymore. You numb your emotions to protect yourself from the invalidation and other forms of abuse you’re subjected to in the relationship. When you numb your emotions, you don’t feel anything anymore and become a mere shadow of your authentic self.

Numbing provides an escape from the current reality and, in fact, offers temporary relief from the painful experiences you endure. Therefore, your brain finds ways to emotionally block out the effects of your pain, so you don’t have to confront the full force of your painful circumstances.

When you exit that relationship, you might find that you no longer derive joy or pleasure from the activities you loved before the abuse (e.g., hobbies, interests, or even socializing with friends). You simply don’t enjoy anything anymore. Even if you try or force yourself, the enjoyment isn’t there.

You might have loved singing before, but now even the thought of it doesn’t bring you joy; you might just feel indifferent. You could start thinking that if you can’t feel anything, then there’s nothing you can do about it as it’s become part of your identity. Your joy is buried under mountains of past suffering and pain.

EMOTIONAL NUMBNESS AFTER ABUSE emotional numbness after abuse
Screenshot from verywellmind

When you’re experiencing emotional numbness after abuse, you may employ various strategies (consciously or unconsciously) to evade your emotions. You might avoid certain situations, events, or people that stir your emotions and feelings. While emotional numbness offers short-term protection, this shield you’ve created also blocks positive emotions like joy and happiness. Moreover, those painful emotions may still surface in your life through symptoms like inexplicable illnesses or emotional unavailability in relationships (read hidden signs of unresolved trauma here).


To permanently address emotional numbness, you must be willing to delve inward and process your unhealed trauma. This means releasing those trapped emotions you carry from past painful experiences. By getting to the root cause of the issue, you’ll realize that you’re a whole being and that there’s no need to build barriers to shield yourself from others.

You’ll recognize these walls not as defenses against others, but as barriers keeping you distant from your authentic self. These walls cause your emotional disconnection. When you shed the ingrained identity of being a numb individual, you’ll be open to experiencing a full spectrum of emotions and will understand that you’re safe.


That’s why addressing emotional numbness requires more than treating the symptoms; you must delve deep and tackle the root of the problem. While building walls might seem convenient, the trade-off is significant as you miss out on the joys and laughter life offers.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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