Writing phobia... almost!

Hi everyone. I wonder if any of you here have a writing phobia? I am 21 this year. Since childhood, I always go into a panic attack when writing a school homework or a big writing assignment in college and university in recent years. Does anyone here face that? It is sort of traumatic to me, as it happened repeatedly and I don't know how to self soothe most of the time. As a background, I come from a family who don't like me being emotional.

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  • Hi purebliss,

    I used to write but at some point I couldn't do journaling anymore.

    I find it hard to write about difficult things and emotions. I'd rather go walk in the park and listen to my portable music player and think, or talk to someone.

    I tried journaling but at times I felt completely blocked.

    Something has changed.

  • thank you for your reply Nathalie99. I could journal but I just can't write much of the work I need to do on a day-to-day basis without feeling overwhelmed sometimes.

  • Oh I understand now.

    I find that if I have resistance to do something, there is usually underlying reason and if I push myself, without working on the underlying cause, then I can end up triggered. It's like my intuition is trying to tell me when something is going to make me worse.

  • I get it, purebliss. I had a writer's block for a lot of years, and if I wanted to write something, there was an enormous anxiety about it. Which really baffled me, because I had wanted to be a writer since I was 6 years old.

    When I wanted to try writing, I could only journal late at night, or hide out in a library and not tell anyone what I was doing.

    When I had to write a thesis in graduate school, it was a huge struggle to get words on paper, and I had a lot of the panic you talk about.

    After many years of struggle - wanting to write, but unable to - I finally dug down and found that there were some traumatic things that happened, which led to all this resistance to writing, like Nathalie mentioned.

    It took a lot of work and dedication, but I recently spent 3 years as a freelance writer, turning in many assignments monthly. I never missed a deadline.

    Take heart, purebliss! You can get past a writing phobia! :)

  • Wow Dan_H ! That's an awesome story! I didn't really know if anyone out there suffers from a writing almost paralysis.. I agree, it's sort of trauma for me over many many years of needing to submit an assignment but kept feeling the words didn't feel right or "perfect". It's a work in progress for me, still. How did you heal from the trauma?

  • Yes, it's pretty amazing purebliss. I remember writing one time "I thought paralyzed with fear was an expression, until I experienced it!" It was really deep stuff!

    How did I heal? It took a while, I think, until I was ready to see what was really underneath the writer's block. I've written a book about my experiences, called Healing The Writer, because it was just such an amazing journey. I used a lot of tools - things like inner child work, and what's now called TRE, which for me was just shaking loose the fear.

    I think writing about it was one of the most freeing things. I had some really heavy abuse laid on my by my grandmother when I was 8 years old. I buried it for 45 years, but then got the memories back up to the surface, and could begin to let go of the hold the fear had on me.

    I put a lot of detail in my profile, and maybe that will give you some ideas about my process.

  • purebliss I don't have a writing phobia, but I can really relate to coming from a family like that. My joke is that my family didn't "do" emotions, and we certainly didn't do mental illness!

    Do you have a list of coping or self-soothing strategies? If so you could keep that handy when you have to write an assignment, to read and maybe it would help you talk yourself down from the panic. I've learned to do that, a lot of it has been through inner child work. I had a really wonderful therapist for quite a few years who was big on that and I learned a lot from her.

    Sometimes it just means tuning in to my inner child and try asking her what is scaring her so much. Then reassuring her that I am an adult now and I am taking care of her and protecting her, not the people who abused/did not protect her. And let her know that the abuse is over, it's in the past, and my family doesn't get to call the shots anymore.

    There is more on working with your inner child in this book:

    I hope that helps, good luck in your healing journey and be gentle with yourself.

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