Author Topic: Discussion STONE-WALLING 101  (Read 1583 times)

Offline GoodbyeAndGoodLuck

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Discussion Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2019, 11:15:14 AM »
Limbic brain wrestling is not for sissies. X

Treasur and Barbie, I'm thinking about getting this printed on a t-shirt. Would you like me to get one for you? :)

I wouldn't expect anyone's description of my behavior, especially on this forum, to include the words courage and grace. I'm touched. Thank you.

Online Treasur

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2019, 11:20:37 AM »
 :)
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Offline OffRoad

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2019, 03:10:59 PM »
Hmmm. Some of these responses give me the impression that people are not allowed to withdraw and think before they choose to speak. If a personn knows them self well enough to know they need to reflect before they speak, this should not be an issue. I'm with the "It's the intent that matters." Camp. But how can you really know intent unless you ask?  And if they don't answer, is it because they can't,  won't,  aren't sure what to say just yet?

You can't paint all silence with the same brush, imo.
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Offline UrsaMajor

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2019, 02:55:28 AM »
OR,

This would be the VERY first step to resolving the issue or at least getting a handle on it....

A Stonewaller (conscious choice) would not EVER tell you they need to think a bit before they answer because they are using silence as a manipulative tool...

The Freezer on the other hand, if they can take that one step to say they need time to think, it would go 3/4 of the way between earth and moon to diffuse the situation that pure silence engenders...

Barbie, I thought Hawkeye had an amazingly good analogy with the "level of intensity" comparison....

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Online Treasur

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2019, 03:22:56 AM »
Hmmm. Some of these responses give me the impression that people are not allowed to withdraw and think before they choose to speak. If a personn knows them self well enough to know they need to reflect before they speak, this should not be an issue. I'm with the "It's the intent that matters." Camp. But how can you really know intent unless you ask?  And if they don't answer, is it because they can't,  won't,  aren't sure what to say just yet?

You can't paint all silence with the same brush, imo.

Actually my experience is that if you are detached enough so that your own fight/flight/freeze isn't too noisy, you can often feel the difference in the moment. Jmo.
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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Offline OffRoad

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2019, 07:44:52 AM »
I suppose I'm thinking of myself in certain situations. If I know I need to think, I say I need to think and I'll get back to the other person. If I have simply got a strange feeling I can't identify, I might withdraw  (maybe even like Whyus's lady)  because I don't actually KNOW what is bothering me or even that i am specifically bothered. If Whyus had spoken to me as he indicated he did with his lady, I'd have been really upset with him being what I would have considered mean, when I wasn't trying to withdraw, I just didn't notice I'd done it.

I've not had the freeze response, unless that would be like when my mother would go ballistic and I'd hide in my room, but she didn't want to talk to me anyway at that point so I don't know if I would be freezing. I do know there were times I stonewalled her when she was berating me, for sure, it's  why I'm not sure about if I ever freeze. I was perfectly aware that I was CHOOSING not to speak, even though I might have been scared.

Maybe I don't understand freeze, because from what I read, it seems involuntary. Maybe is isn't always involuntary, but also a voluntary protection.

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Offline Mitzpah

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2019, 08:41:40 AM »
Thinking of myself, I am in the group of people who withdraw and go silent when afraid or at a loss to know how to respond.

If it is a subject that I may have differing and/or unpopular opinion on, I will most often not give my opinion and listen to the opposing arguments, change the subject if I am able to.

I know it is avoidant behavior, however, I do not see the reason to enter into conflict. I am "afraid" of conflict, I don't like being unpopular,(people pleaser!) I have no great need to change my opinion or impose mine on others. I just remove myself emotionally and even physically if the prevailing opinion/argument becomes intolerable for me and my personal principles.

I also freeze/procrastinate - generally not in the field of differing opinions - mostly when having to face disagreeable tasks, such as reconciling bank accounts, tax declarations, clearing out closets. At the moment, I NEED to face my financials AND it is tax time again - I know the picture will not be pretty and I am terrified of not being able to make ends meet for the foreseeable future, however, I am finding it difficult to even open up the bank app :( - it is literally keeping me at standstill.

Stonewalling is a difficult concept for me to understand - the explanation about it being used to manipulate has helped to clarify. I don't think either I or my h. have ever used this kind of behavior. As I said, I will go silent - and I am sure that my h. and my kids become unsure about me when I do this. I don't do it to manipulate anyone, I do it to let me think or withdraw from an uncomfortable (for me) situation and because I am afraid in some way.

Slightly off topic here - I am not totally avoidant though, there are some subjects I am vocal about and will put myself out on a limb, which are women's protection against violence, animal welfare, health care standards in hospitals and clinics where a loved one is being taken care of (I can be very vocal here!), the right to education and basic health care...
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Offline GoodbyeAndGoodLuck

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2019, 09:04:21 AM »
While re-reading this I realized I should ask you to forgive me if it seems like I'm lecturing. Mr. SmartyPants seems to be in control right now, which isn't surprising. I'm writing this while I'm at school, which is when he is most active.

OR, there's a difference between hiding and freezing, even though they are both defense mechanisms. You're right about freezing being involuntary. If you would have been freezing, you wouldn't have made it to your room. You would have been frozen wherever you were when your stress response was activated. Normally, these stress responses aren't a one size fits all, fixed response. There is a continuum that ranges from fighting to fawning and another one that ranges between flight and freezing. I think hiding is a little closer to flight on the flight-freeze continuum.

A normal person's stress response may fall anywhere along either of the continuums, depending on what activated their stress response. If you're being mugged, a highly stressful situation, your response may vary. Depending on the circumstances you may choose to fight, to run, to freeze, or to beg for mercy (fawn). Somebody who has been traumatized tends to always use the same response, so their standard response to stress, no matter what the stressor is, may be to become angry, or to freeze, or to run away, The same response no matter what triggered the response. That's what makes their stress response dysfunctional. It's because it's often inappropriate for the situation.

Does anyone think that monsters may be fixated on the fight response, vanishers on the flight response, wallowers on the freeze response, and clinging boomerangs on the fawn response? Here's a hint. I was a wallower. Of course, this is a pretty broad generalization. People who have been traumatized do also sometimes have both a primary and a secondary stress response so you could for example have a wallower who also fawns.

I think Treasur is right. I think most people have enough empathy, unless their stress response has been activated, to be able to sense whether somebody is frozen, dissociating (spacy or foggy), withdrawn and thinking, or stonewalling. I know that I can tell the difference.

OR, my sister used to hide in her room. She became so good at it that she developed agoraphobia. She's almost 70 years old and never leaves home without my BIL. When he isn't home she stays locked up in the house with the security system activated. She doesn't even unlock the door to let him in. He lets himself in.

Agoraphobia
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/agoraphobia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355987

Offline Ready2Transform

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2019, 06:43:54 PM »
Really fascinating conversation.

Quote
I also freeze/procrastinate - generally not in the field of differing opinions - mostly when having to face disagreeable tasks, such as reconciling bank accounts, tax declarations, clearing out closets. At the moment, I NEED to face my financials AND it is tax time again - I know the picture will not be pretty and I am terrified of not being able to make ends meet for the foreseeable future, however, I am finding it difficult to even open up the bank app :( - it is literally keeping me at standstill.

This speaks to me so much, Mitz. I am totally Type-A when it comes to organizing and dealing with financials, taxes, insurers, etc and have run a tight business since 1996. But once my foreclosure/bankruptcy/divorce all merged on me, it's like my reflex is a physical repulsion fueled by anxiety. I had panic attacks starting around age 13 through to about 18, and this is similar but not exactly the same. There isn't an "attack" feel, yet there's an underlying fog and fear that hits me that is packed with confusion, guilt, and a lack of clarity. And these were things I really enjoyed and took care of before. I feel it improving a bit the more I self-care with going deeper into childhood issues, forgiving myself for allowing everything to balloon as it did, and of course the emotions surrounding the divorce. But it's still very real.

Quote
OR, my sister used to hide in her room. She became so good at it that she developed agoraphobia. She's almost 70 years old and never leaves home without my BIL. When he isn't home she stays locked up in the house with the security system activated. She doesn't even unlock the door to let him in. He lets himself in.

My SIL, now 40, is likely still an extreme agoraphobe and germaphobe too. She would hardly go to high school (she did well in studies, but was rarely there), then dropped out of college her first semester freshman year because she couldn't be away from home (and she was LIVING at home still, not in the dorms). Everyone treated it like a quirk until she got married and couldn't stay gone from xH's parents' house. With every pregnancy she would say she "could sleep better" there. Eventually she, her husband, and two children moved back in to that home, down in the basement in what was her teen bedroom. They are still there as far as I know, which would be around seven years now. I would not expect her to ever leave. If xH is any example, they do not try to heal those wounds.
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Online Whyus

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Re: STONE-WALLING 101
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2019, 10:41:41 PM »
Just for the record OR. I was in no way mean to k and she was not upset. She was happy that I had called her out on it because one of our "boundrys" to each other if you like is communication. We have both been very open from the start and if something bothers us we talk about it. It was just a reminder of our Agreement.
I think at a certain age and after certain experiences (we all have baggage, lets face it) open communication is the only way to build a relationship.

If Whyus had spoken to me as he indicated he did with his lady, I'd have been really upset with him being what I would have considered mean, when I wasn't trying to withdraw, I just didn't notice I'd done it.
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