Tag Archives: empathy

Little Anomalies

I was going to write about how I experience empathy, but I’m suddenly tired and unable to think. That’ll have to be for some other time, like in a couple of weeks.

I’m going to visit my family tomorrow, and I’ll be there for about two weeks. So, I probably won’t be on here. Not that I’ve been on here much lately, anyway. I haven’t been very good at keeping up with blogging lately. But my summer shouldn’t be too busy, so perhaps I’ll be on more regularly in June.

A couple of odd things lately:

I’ve started experiencing intense smells in my dreams. I thought there weren’t supposed to be smells in dreams? And that if were are smells, those smells were intruding from real life. But these smells are most definitely not from my sleeping surroundings. I smell things that couldn’t possibly be there. All sorts of things. Cake. Mud.

I’m curious as to why this is. I’ve never had a keen sense of smell to begin with. Why would I suddenly begin smelling things in my dreams?

I’m also someone who usually sleeps curled up, as scrunched into myself as possible. If I’m on my back, which I am often, I lie rigid with my arms around a stuffed animal, behind the pillow, or alongside my body. My legs are then crossed at the ankles or just stretched out straight right next to each other.

But lately, I’ve begun to sprawl out in my sleep. Consistently. I have to be sprawled out to fall asleep, often, too. Why would my sleep position suddenly change so dramatically?

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I think I’ve figured out why Supernatural resonates with me so much. For some reason, it puts me in an artistic mood, the same mood that impels me to write my stories. I’m not sure how to explain what this mood feels like. It’s got ingredients of inspiration, flashes of emotions and tableaus, bursts of creative energy. Then when I write, it’s like I go into a half-trance, like I’m here but also placing myself in another place. Occasionally I have to pause and sit there, perhaps close my eyes, until the right mood arrives for the part I’m writing. Like something in my brain has to percolate and I have to wait for it to finish until I can fully articulate it.

This artistic mindset explains the weird impulse I’ve been having to write fanfiction. That is not something I do. I don’t want to write any of those novel-length types, just really short pieces. I keep getting glimpses of imagined emotional moments that I feel like writing. I’m not silly enough to have acted on the impulse (so far?), thank goodness. Fanfiction is not a world I wish to deeply involve myself in . . .

I’ve also gotten snippets of an idea for a non-fanfiction short story; it revolves around thoughts about God and angels.

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I’ve been thinking about my lack of ambition again. I’m afraid to strive for anything because of the big break.

Today, I described it to my therapist as a “pretend breakdown.” She asked why I called it a pretend breakdown, and I explained it’s because I wasn’t truly non-functional. Wouldn’t I be non-functional if I had a breakdown? Problem is, it’s hard for me to tell, since blending in and not drawing attention to myself are big motivators for me. The therapist didn’t say much in response to that, so I assume she agreed with me. I kept getting irritated during therapy today and thought she was acting like she was bored. Logically, I know she wasn’t, but I wanted to start cursing and getting angry and telling her to fucking pay attention and that if I was boring her maybe I should just leave. Luckily, I reined in those impulses. See, these are the sorts of instincts I have, and with very little justification, and that’s why I feel I’m a bad person.

Then I talked about how hollow I felt, and she asked if I’d ever found anything fulfilling. I said writing, but then I’d sometimes begin thinking it was pointless and lose that fulfillment. She said she thought I could talk myself out of feeling fulfilled. That could perhaps be true. She asked if the point could possibly just be the fulfillment itself. But I can’t fully buy into that, because why should the point just be to make myself satisfied? If it doesn’t serve some other purpose, if all my writing does is sit around and no one ever reads it, what’s the use? It’s a lot of work for very little.

Anyway, back to the big break. I’m afraid. I’m afraid if I have any ambition, reach for anything, I’ll have another big break, and I’m not strong enough to go again through whatever that was.

For some reason, toward the end of the session, I started feeling emotional. We were talking about my upcoming visit to my family, and suddenly a rapid montage of the past played in my mind. I remembered everyone not getting along. Then I imagined lots of shouting and me inwardly cowering and wanting to run away and not get involved. Brief feelings that everyone hated me, intense feelings of self-worthlessness. I didn’t explain all that, though.

If you read my blog at the beginning, you might dimly remember when I used to whine about my childhood. All of that just briefly took over. That’s not a can of worms I’m going to open right now, ha.

Now, my family never hated me; I just felt that way. If anything, these days there are moments when I can almost feel their love radiating off them. This has to do with what I wanted to say about empathy–sometimes I feel as if I can perceive people’s emotions radiating off them when they speak. Maybe that’s absurd. I don’t know.

Oh, gosh, I can’t believe I wrote so much. I’m done with my random rambling.

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Filed under General Musing

Glimpses of the Past Week

This is not going to be cohesive, just a few snippets of things relevant to my past week.

I saw my pdoc Thursday. I told her about my steadily high levels of anxiety. It keeps me from sleeping at night because my jaw is constantly clenched. I have a perpetual urge to grind my teeth, and sometimes I feel a tingling in my teeth because the urge to chew is so strong. No matter what, I can’t see to relax my jaw. She prescribed me guanfacine, explaining to me some basic facts like it used to be a blood pressure medicine but sometimes it’s now prescribed for anxiety and ADHD, etc. We’ll see how that goes.

I haven’t been able to see the therapist in the past two weeks, and I’m a little sad because I thought we were going to talk about Asperger’s next time we saw each other. The first week, she had to cancel, though I don’t know why. She was out for some reason. This past week, I had to cancel because my plumbing needed fixing.

I’ve been thinking about this Asperger’s thing, and my mind has fixated on something the therapist said, that Asperger’s basically means a person is wired differently. I can’t quite articulate the import of this idea yet, but I feel like it could relate to me. Maybe this is why CBT is something that rubs me the wrong way–it assumes people inherently operate similarly, that thought structures/influences feeling. But as I told my last therapist, I can’t just believe something because I think it. I believe things only if I can both feel and comprehend them. She didn’t think that made much sense. It’s sort of like an intuitive method. I don’t believe something if I merely feel it, and I don’t believe something if I merely think it. I believe it somewhat, but not all the way. Skimming through some things on the Internet, I found something written by someone with Asperger’s, and that person said they had a similar way of forming beliefs. I can’t remember where I saw this now, but it gave me pause.

I’ve also discovered something else about Asperger’s that bothers me. There seems to be some content about how people with Asperger’s feel more deeply than others but that they just can’t express it (despite common conceptions). That sounds like me. From most of what I’ve read, though, people with Asperger’s lack empathy. As I’ve mentioned, I think I have more empathy than the average person. And if I have Asperger’s, I’m afraid it would imply that my empathy is somehow false, that my belief that I can easily understand other perspective is somehow false. What would this mean for me as a writer? Because that’s the force I draw on as a writer, and I think it’s something a writer has to possess. If I don’t have it, then there’s something not genuine about my writing. My creative writing, anyway.

I’ve been continuing to watch Supernatural. More slightly spoiler-ish rambling here. The episode “It’s  a Terrible Life” (Season 4, Episode 17) reminded me of myself in a way. The message was that being a hunter is something that’s in Dean’s blood, and he’ll find his way back to it no matter what. That’s how I feel about myself and my creative writing. It’s in my blood, and even when I foreswear it, for months or even years, I find myself coming back to it.

I think “On the Head of a Pin,” Season 4, Episode 16, is my favorite episode of all time. So far, anyway. There’s a lot that happens in it. At one point, Dean is torturing a demon, and the acting is superb. His expression is so cold, as if there’s nothing inside him. And what does it say about me that I thought it was kind of hot? There must be something wrong with me, lol.

I like Castiel a lot. Dean is still my favorite, though. Of course. And I’ve never liked Sam that much. I mean, he’s okay, but I much prefer Dean. I think I might be more like Sam than Dean, so what does that say about me, once again? However, I do think maybe I’m more like Dean than Sam emotionally. Maybe that’s why I find it easier to put myself in his place.

I think Season 2 is still my favorite season so far, but Season 4 is definitely spectacular as well.

Well, I rambled more than I meant to. I guess I just wanted to say these things.

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Filed under Mental Health

Anyone Other Than Me

Sometimes I wish I could be anyone other than me. I shouldn’t. My life isn’t so bad. But I am, and my destiny is to be completely alone, always.

I’ve known it ever since high school. I’ve known that, once I got out into the “real world,” I wouldn’t be able to function like an average human being, that I’d never make connections, ever, that my life would be one of neverending failure and isolation.

It is, but it’s because I’ve done it to myself.

But I can’t do otherwise. I can’t be anything other than what I am.

I can’t form connections with others. If anyone engages me in a conversation, my instinct is to flee. How am I ever going to find friends if all I do is run away?

But I can’t do otherwise. I get too nervous. I choke up, have nothing interesting to say. I enter Awkward Annie mode.

Then I’m afraid of the person eventually finding out how pathetic I am, the fact that I really have no friends, that I’ve lived here for over two years now without forming any connections.

If they knew that, then they’d know there’s something deeply wrong with me.

And even if that weren’t a factor, it’s just . . . I can’t form close bonds. I’m incapable of doing so.

I crave them so much, but they’re something I can never have. It’s impossible for me, like it would be impossible for me to magically become six feet tall. It’s not something that’s inside me.

I’m destined for a life of loneliness. All my dreams of making human connections are silly, childish. The idea of finding a “true love.” That’s not only childish, but it’s also something that can never be for me.

I have more empathy than the average person. Lately, on occasion it’s as if emotions radiate off of others and I can feel them. Yet no one will ever know that I have even an ounce of empathy because I can’t express it. I can’t even express my own emotions.

It’s not possible to dig them out of my soul.

I instinctively know it. If I live until I’m, say, sixty, I’ll have lived a life in which I’m always alone. My need for a human connection will never be met. Writing, reading, films, TV shows, all stories, they just serve as a poor substitute for something I will never have.

I’ve been feeling odd all day. Maybe this sounds idiotic, but I feel as if I’m on some predetermined trajectory, like a storyline that is manipulating me, keeping me in motion. And in this storyline, it’s certain that I’m destined for a life of coldness, one in which I receive no (or very little) of affection’s warmth.

Most other people get at least a semblance of that at some point in their lives.

And thus, I wish I could be other than me.

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Filed under Mental Health