There must be something in between feeling everything as if you are raw and unprotected - a wound that will not heal... and not feeling much of anything. The second is certainly easier in many ways. But I can't tell if I have reached a state of apathy or a state of health. Apathetic or healthetic.
Cat euthanized and I felt bad, but aside from the actual surrender, I was not destroyed by the occasion. This in part was because of my deliberate distancing of myself from an animal that was on its way out. One of the principle reasons that I would make a terrible hospice worker. The nearer you are to the end, the less I want to care about you. Classy.
Things are going wrong--not terribly wrong, just the usual sort of wrong--and I am not paralyzed by fear and anxiety. Instead, I can just say, "whatever." Only, what if there should be some small bit of panic? And how would I know?
Job stress, death in the family, sick child, anxious child, teenage child, sick friend, very sick friend, even sicker friend. And I am not happy about any of these things. And I can express the appropriate measure of concern. But it doesn't penetrate beyond the surface. I can say, "Boy, that really sucks, I'm sorry" and then go back to my regular life without sparing much thought beyond that. Or I might even do something sort-of helpful before going back to my regularly scheduled program.
And as I write this it all seems terribly normal. Mundane. The way things should be. I don't want to be destroyed by any of these things--because bad things happen and will continue to happen.
But it seems false, in some way.
Not the lack of self-destruction, mind you. I'm totally fine with that. But the fact that I feel like I am pretending to feel things instead of actually feeling them. I know I am supposed to be sympathetic to my crying child, so I do the things that a sympathetic person would do. I know I am supposed to be sad about something, and so I say the things and do the things that a sad person would say and do.
Normal? Or a fog of medication? Or a sign of a downturn?
Start of school for children had no emotional impact on me. It was like any other day. Drove them to bus and picked them up.
I think it feels like I don't have the full range of human emotion at this time. That there has been a narrowing of the spectrum. It is not that I am apathetic, but that I don't feel things as strongly.
Well doesn't this sound just like a bipolar person who isn't happy about losing out on the highs--and even the lows.
NOTE: not about to mess with my medications. Not interested at all in bringing on a full-on cycling from Manic to Depressed. Because that is worse and dangerous and hard for me and everyone around me. The fuzzy apathetical stuff is really just a problem for me, I think.
Here is what I keep thinking about: at the beginning of the summer I was an emotional wreck FOR WEEKS about a dead caterpillar (I kid you not). Now I am able to take the death of the family pet in stride. Dry-eyed except for a few odd moments here and there. These seem like extremes-- like neither one is quite right.
But it is probably something like having feet that always hurt. Or a back that always hurts. People ask you if your back hurts and you say, "No!" because all you know is the pain. So maybe this feeling that I have is just the absence of extremes. Or maybe it is because my sleep has been super-erratic this past week. Seven-plus hours alternating with four-hour nights. I know. Irresponsible.
Unconscionable. Unacceptable. Upsetting. Undesired. Undermining. Ugly.
Quaker, teacher, parent,