I have noticed at the therapists office lately whenever I say something and the therapist asks how B feels about what I said, he replies “It makes me shut down when she says that, talks that way, responds that way, etc.” Frankly, its getting old. Put on your big boy jock strap and get over it for goodness sake!
You shut down years ago and now you use me as your excuse. You actually started shutting down when you were a kid. Now you are a middle aged man who is mad at himself for keeping in his feelings and not saying what was on your mind to your mother, to your family, and to me because we all “shut you down.”
But instead of being the scapegoat I think you need to put this one directly on your own shoulders for it seems to me that you “shut down” when you don’t want to deal with conflict or emotions or whenever something makes you uncomfortable. You use “shut down” as an excuse to avoid…me, your feelings, or anything that makes you have to think in a way you do not want to. This then gives you the excuse to be righteous in your misplaced anger.
Your first response may be to shut down. You are not responsible for that first response but you are responsible for how long you choose to live with it.
So, in essence, shutting down is a really just a bad habit and it is a choice. Stop making that choice. PLEASE.