Do I Really Love?

There are times where I feel nothing for people. Not even those I “claim” to love. This can last from hours to weeks. Sometimes I wonder whether I really do love after all? Then there are moments where I know I love that person/those people and I feel it, but that feeling can come and go so quickly sometimes.

I’m one of those people who almost never cry at funerals. Instead of thinking I’m at the funeral in order to say goodbye to someone and all of that funeral stuff, I’m dreading going due to the social aspect. It’s not about the person who passed away, it’s about my own social anxiety and unease. The exception was at my grandmother’s funeral, where I was in a dissociative bubble and so disconnected from everyone there that it felt I was alone.

When a public figure dies, for example by suicide, I don’t feel a thing. I don’t get why suddenly everyone is talking about it and seeming to genuinely feel sad about it. Sure, I pretend I care, and it’s hard (and shameful) to admit this, but I actually don’t. This always makes me feel like a hard, cruel person. Or not human at all.

I told my therapist this in our session last week. We were talking about my uncle who recently got diagnosed with cancer. She asked me how I feel. My answer? Nothing. I feel uncomfortable, but not sure exactly what that feeling encompasses. Where once I felt so close to my uncle and knew I love him, suddenly I don’t feel anything toward him. My therapist mentioned something about trauma and PTSD symptoms, but I can’t really remember what all she said… My mind and memory have been cloudy lately. Want to bring this up again in tomorrow’s session.

I saw there’s a new X-Men movie coming out in February, and just watched the trailer. When the first film of this movie franchise came out I was obsessed with it. I’ve watched the first 3 movies at least 40 times each, and the later ones about 10 times or so. Which is why when Jennifer Lawrence was cast in one of them a few years after the first 3 I was ecstatic. The point of bringing this up now is because while watching the trailer I got the same feeling I did all those years ago with the first film. These are my people. I’ve always felt like an outcast and “defective”. I would pretend I was one of those characters. My favourite used to be Phoenix (Jean Grey) and I took on that character. I was Phoenix. These days I still feel like a mutant, an alien on this planet. And this questioning whether I truly love is just one of the reasons for that. This new X-Men film is Jean’s journey on the “dark side”. Maybe I’m closer to that version of her.

Sometimes I feel like I have a lump of coal in place of a heart. That’s how I feel right now.

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14 thoughts on “Do I Really Love?

  1. I can really relate to this. I don’t feel the emotion of love. That ability was stolen from me when I was a child. My friend of 12 Years whom I spoke with everyday on the phone and hung out with three to four times a week died of cancer in March. I have yet to feel anything. I haven’t shed a tear. I feel no sense of loss. I am numb to it all. I am hopeful that the day will come when I can release all my repressed emotions and from that my ability to love will be reborn.

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  2. Rayne, you carry such deep pain in your heart. PTSD and trauma robs the heart mind and soul of so much. It is easy to numb out and disassociate from feelings which are terrifying. I am so sorry you are struggling with this, but you ARE human! You may identify with the mutant characters in this movie franchise, but you are real. Keep working with your therapist on healing. As your blog title says, it’s a journey. Virtual Hugs, Maggie

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  3. What you are describing sounds rather like an identity crisis, as if you are asking the question, “Who is the real me?” Most of us go through this at least once in our life, during adolescence; some of us go through this kind of questioning and uncertainty later on, too. There is nothing bad in it and we usually resolve it. Nor is there anything bad in not feeling for the death of a celebrity, other than a generalized misfortune. You have every reason to believe you’ll find yourself as you try out the various “selves” we all have and settle on one that feels right for you; right enough to present that self to the world with less and less pretending and diminishing dissociation.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I’m not too sure whether it’s an identity crises of sorts, because there are a lot of times when I feel I have a pretty good handle on who I am compared to just a few years ago. I just often feel that I’m too different from those around me, especially when they refer to me as “weird” or “not normal”. I feel it’s normal for me, but I don’t fit into the box of a lot of other people’s “normal”. I know I can love deeply, the thing that just gets to me is when I can go entire days, weeks or even months not able to feel any sort of love or true connection to those same people. It’s as if I become completely numb, and when that happens I tend to question myself… Whether what I believe when I feel deep love is in fact love. After all, shouldn’t love be constant? And how can I claim to love someone when there are a lot of times I feel absolutely nothing towards them?

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  4. There is definitely a distinctness between having the feelings and being able to find a way to express them. You might be closed off from your feelings right now as a way of protection. Even the mutant characters in the movie have feelings. Even if those feelings are discomfort, confusion, and ambivalence, those are feelings. They can make way for the other feelings too.

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  5. Such an honest post, devoid of any sugar coating of what you’re feeling. I’ve felt like this. It comes and goes in phases that can last for months. Suffering from depression and social anxiety during my childhood and teen years, there would be phases of feeling numbness and indifference, to the polar extreme of being an emotional wreck. A yoyo for a heart of sorts. I do believe it boils down to feeling so much on both a conscious and subconscious level. So many thoughts, memories and feelings have been compartmentalised by our minds. None of which have been released and have been suppressed for so long. And we carry it with us each day not realising how heavy we are. It does make us feel less, ironically. Almost as if it’s a coping method by our brains. Or else we’ll feel too much to handle. And this emotional weight is radiated to all other aspects of our lives. Our family, friends, and incidents experienced. We don’t respond, react or feel ‘the way we should’. Just my theory, I could totally be off mark with this lol. Thank you for this honest and thought provoking post.

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