There are times, like this moment where I feel nothing. It’s not really that I feel nothing it is I have no idea what I am feeling. However, I am not freaking out about it, and I am not trying to analyze it (fully), I am just here. There is a slight tinge in my heart at this moment that is probably triggered from the fear of exposing myself. Other than that I feel like a concrete wall from a distance. It looks as if there is nothing to it, it looks solid, gray, and hard, but when you get too close you see tiny cracks, holes, spaces, and shades of gray. I like looking at the gray wall from a distance sometimes, it feels peaceful.
I know that I am prone to put myself under a microscope more so than I do others.
I treat myself like some sort of science project trying to figure out why I do this or why I said that. I want to know why I think the things I do, especially when I feel like others around me do not or I can’t let something go. The other day when I had a meltdown I started to pick myself apart wanting to know why I did such a thing when I haven’t in so very long. Why this time? What sent me over? Why did I feel better when I threw the loaf of bread at the toaster? And why didn’t David understand that his words to me seemed to imply that I was in trouble? Why did I automatically think that I was in trouble? Why did I assume that David was implying in his words “Don’t you need to go to Target?” that he meant that I had better get off of the computer, deal with Daniel, make breakfast for everyone, and get my butt to the store, then back home again to enable him to get upstairs and get back to work?
Why did I think that?
I still am not sure what he meant and I told him after all was settled that is what I thought he was saying to me. I am still angry at his words, but I cannot tell you why exactly. Possibly because they seemed completely inappropriate at the time. I knew I had to go to the store. I knew that in order to go to the store I needed to get off of the computer, help Daniel calm down, make breakfast, and then go. I knew that so why at that moment would he say that? Why didn’t he understand that I needed to get calm myself before helping Daniel, or doing anything else? The computer and my thoughts were the only thing keeping me calm, why would he interrupt that? I am not trying to make David look bad here I am trying to figure out what I am feeling and why. Part of me at this second doesn’t care at all, then there is the analytical side that needs this puzzle resolved. I really have no answers to my questions I am writing them out to get them out of my head.
It did send me on a course of being fixated on the brain…again.
I also tried to work with the kids about their emotions and asked them to express themselves this morning. I asked them to explain what they feel like when they are angry and happy. I could only get through those two. The ironic thing is that Daniel was the only one who could clearly define what he feels like when he is angry. Joshua could not find his own answers he repeated Daniel’s, and Ariel could not answer me at all. She looked at me blankly and said:”I don’t know.” I asked her rephrasing the questions to try to help her, and she could not. She finally said:”I really don’t know. I don’t know how I feel when I am angry. When I am happy I just want to play.” I know what she means. I will share some of what Daniel told me because I think that it is awesome.
Anger expressed by Daniel
When I am angry my head makes me want to kick the door and kick you.
My stomach feels upset.
It’s ok to be mad, but it’s not ok to scream at people.
It’s not ok to hit people.
Instead of hitting, screaming, or kicking I can go read.
When I am angry for a long time, then I get really calm.
I lose my words when I get mad.
He did an incredible job expressing what anger was to him.
To be honest I was amazed that he told me all of that, and he shared more, but I will limit it to what I have already written. I asked him why he wanted to kick me and he told me because he wants me to fix it. He thinks that I know why he is upset and I should fix it. Oh, boy! I can relate to that too. I have been reading more about Theory of Mind, and see with clarity my lack of. I think that part of the reason I find it so difficult to understand others is because I do not even understand my own emotions at times. What if you lack theory of mind for yourself? I do understand that a contributing factor to my lack of understanding is suppressing my emotions.
Which one was first suppression or lack of understanding?
I would venture to say the latter because I would first have to feel the need to suppress. Suppress what? What I do not understand, emotions. They probably played off of each other, as a child I didn’t understand my emotions and I was not allowed to express them freely. They would be through meltdowns, shutdowns, anxiety attacks, and what was perceived as misbehaving. These behaviors have not left me I have gotten better at controlling them or hiding them. I can link my obsessive behaviors with wanting to suppress emotions. It has helped me push them down using my rituals, or fixations to make the feelings go away. Sometimes I will work harder at it because it is so confusing, and I don’t know what I am feeling. I see why some of my behaviors have been deemed addictive, by myself and others.
In these months that I have been working through things I have not been suppressing them.
I have been feeling them without clarity to what they are, or why I am feeling them at that moment. I have had to tell myself over and over that emotions are not bad. My emotions are telling me something. It is alright to feel them and let them ride their course. I do not know if others have such problems with this, but it is so difficult to not run and hide from them. I haven’t allowed myself though — I have continued to write whatever I am feeling. The discovery of finding release creatively has helped me greatly. The ability to write emotions whether I know what it is about or not has been healing.
I am learning a great deal about myself.
The process has brought some clarity to the difference between what I am feeling, and when I am adopting someone else’s emotions. However, some of my emotions are so intense that I don’t know how to deal with them. I was feeling very upset about many things the past couple of weeks. The other morning when I lost it I had hit my threshold. I felt exhausted from trying to help the kids with their “moments” from the past couple weeks. I get overwhelmed with feeling like I have to constantly know how to help Daniel. I get tired and frustrated from a lot of things. AND then I am supposed to be reading people as well?
I don’t have it in me.
I may sound like a narcissist, but sometimes it is just too much sensory, emotionally, and mentally wise to have to think about what another person means when they say something to me. Or having to deal with their emotions, how I may have hurt their feelings. There are times when I want to say: “Screw it!” it’s just too much. I am tired of processing emotions. I am tired of worrying about if I understand someone or if they understand me. I’m tired of passive-aggressive people. It’s a waste on me anyway it takes days, weeks, months, sometimes years to even realize someone was being passive-aggressive. I completely lost track of what I was writing here, forgive me…quisquous comes to mind. I just like “qu” words. (giggle)
Sorry if I make no sense at all I am processing the very thing I do not want to do today, but cannot stop it.
I am neither sad nor upset in this post, I really am just processing and actually feel fine. Come to think of it I feel better doing this mind dump. Hopefully, I wasn’t too negative sounding.
Some reads I thought were worth sharing.
Intellectual vs. Emotional Processing
Robert Seyfarth: Theory of Mind Video (Great! According to him I am like a three year old. I guess I can learn?)
Empathy, Mindblindness, and Theory of Mind (I might have shared this before, but it is worth reading again.)
I will share this bit from the above link:
While some professionals will say, as in a quote from Stephen Edelson Ph.D., “…many autistic individuals do not understand that other people have their own plans, thoughts, and points of view,” I think this is overly simplistic. For myself, I can say that I absolutely understand that people have their own plans, thoughts, and points of view – but those plans, thoughts, and points of view are often a mystery to me.
Do Not Suppress Addictive Thoughts! (I have a whole post in my head linked to damaging beliefs and suppressing addictive behaviors and/or emotions, thoughts, etc…)
DSM 5 Autism Criteria: Clarifying Impact, Taking Action
I add this as well because another source of emotional confusion for me has been numerous disputes, and then confusions regarding the DSM-5 and between people in the autism community. I have had to limit some of my reading because I get so torn reading from different perspectives. I can see the points from each party and I want to bring peace to the camps, but I cannot.
2 people like this post.