Emotional Reach

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In February, I went to visit someone I had a troublesome relationship with. This guy had had a rather big impact on me when I met them (which was due to many things, including my trouble processing the death of a family member), and it cost me quite some time to understand why it was so difficult for me to let go of my emotional attachment to him.

Things have changed a lot since (this situation) and thankfully I am now sailing through life without any such unhealthy attachments. Countless hours of reflecting about this made me realize that I had recognized qualities in this person that I seriously lacked in my own life, such as confidence in myself, faith in the future, and stability.

Even though these things are slowly increasing – more so, since the start of my transition – there are still a lot of qualities to this person that I´m jealous of or that I would like to find in myself, such as the ability to thoroughly enjoy life and project this joy outwards to spread it unto others. I feel like I am lacking in this department.

During my visit, which I sought out to get some closure, he remarked that he was quite a happy guy. I told him I was aware of this, and internally I thought “so am I”. I am equally happy and have the personality to embrace life and its components. The trouble is that I often still feel very detached or unable to completely feel these things.

Being less connected to emotion (while at the same time being overwhelmed by them easier) is a symptom of the type of situations I have experienced in the past, and I am far from the only person dealing with it. Detachment and even dissociation are simple tricks used by the mind to create a (safer) environment in which the person can exist.

The trouble is that built-in detachment erodes very slowly. Sometimes I am much less sensitive to certain emotional triggers than others seem to be (such as moving speeches) and at times people completely fail to understand my perceived lack of empathy. I would like to argue that rather than lack empathy, I understand all too well.

I am not sure whether feeling less is necessarily “bad” or just a good buffer. While at times it would be nice to feel more (for example, when admiring trees that are decorated with lights for Christmas), I am also scared of feeling more because I don´t need more on my plate than I already have. Emotional reach might increase as the opportunity arises.

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4 thoughts on “Emotional Reach

  1. As someone who spent most of life being made, by social norms, to feel as if emotions were the enemy, I spend *almost* every waking moment feeling everything and anything I can. Like a starved wolf, I am sure to ‘feel’ almost for fear of missing something I’ve never experienced. Love, fear, euphoria, sorrow, satisfaction, even pride and more, all have a place in my world, my heart, now. Sometimes it’s okay to become overwhelmed, and other times it’s okay to shield yourself and keep it away. We don’t need to relive our hurts all the time. We don’t need to take on guilt when we care a little less. I think that is perfectly alright. I don’t think we need answer to any of that— with the exception of being unkind and hurtful to others, including ourselves. Anyways, we must accept that we are the sum of our hurts and our triumphs and that those things make us the individuals we are. I think it’s important to allow the story to develop and to be the best, most fullest possible version of ourselves as we can be. That is our gift.

    wow.. I’m sorry if I’m overstepping my bounds here. I seem to have a lot to say today. I’m hormonal as hell. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Liked by 1 person

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