Stranger

“How does it feel to you?” she would ask.  “What do you mean ‘how do I feel’, I feel nothing” I would respond.

“What emotion are you feeling?” she would ask.   “ I’m not sure”. “I think I feel something but I can’t explain it to you” I would say.

“Where do you feel this in your body?’ she would ask.  “That’s kind of a strange question”, I would reply.  “I feel nothing in my body except maybe general anxiety all over”.   “Is there anywhere else you feel this in your body?”  “No” I would say, “I don’t feel much at all.”

“Where do you think this comes from?” she would ask.  “I don’t think it comes from anywhere”, I would reply.

“What do YOU think about this?”  “I’m not sure what to think,” I would say.  And more than once I would say “How should I think?”

These were some of the questions my therapist would ask when various things would come up in conversation.  I found them frustrating and I had a hard time answering them.  Even after the session I would think about what she asked me and could not come up with any answers.  Besides being frustrated about it I also found it puzzling.  Why can’t I answer them?  What is wrong with me?

Before I started individual therapy I went to a 12-week therapy group.  I would remember when these questions came up within the sessions most of the people could answer them.  How could they answer and I couldn’t?  I remember thinking that the reason I couldn’t answer these questions was because I didn’t need therapy after all.  What I went through didn’t affect me like it did the other people in the group.  After all I didn’t feel anything.

In individual therapy these questions kept coming up and as I started expressing my frustration my t would help me explore them.

I did learn one thing.

I am a stranger…to myself.

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This entry was posted in Anxiety, Control, Dissociation, Therapist, Therapy, trauma, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Stranger

  1. JBR says:

    Wow powerful last words there! Yeah, that says it all. Some times we do not even know ourselves and we are the most person that hangs around ourselves the most.

  2. Ellen says:

    While being abused as a child, we learn to shut down our emotions, or if they are there, at least to pay no attention to them. Maybe that is the feeling you are describing. I certainly have trouble figuring out how I’m feeling often times.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I realize now that I shut off my emotions at a young age. I tend to stay in a non feeling state a good part of my time. But I am trying to change that. It’s hard though.

  3. willfindhope says:

    I can relate a lot to this. When I’m in therapy too, I find it hard to describe what I’m thinking and how I feel and a lot of the time I’m not even sure. x

  4. lostinamaze says:

    hope: sometimes when I couldn’t describe how I was feeling my therapist would try to help me out by naming different emotions. Even then I had a hard time picking out which one I was feeling. I think it”s good that I’m at least feeling even if I don’t know what it is.
    sanity: I agree. Most often other peoples feelings come before mine and I often sacrifice mine for theirs as well. I’m not so good at paying attention to my feelings at all.

  5. maryann says:

    You are not alone in this, I struggle with this constantly. And I am always amazed at people who really understand themselves and what they’re feeling.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I agree, I remember being surprised the first time I was asked by my therapist how I felt about something and I came up blank. I didn’t even realize before this question that I would be unable to answer it. I guess I hadn’t given it much thought before. It’s sad that so many of us struggle with this.

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