3 - DisaffectationI've spent much of the past few months agonizing over a certain emotional state that I simply could not name. I knew what it felt like, and I knew it contained a lot of frustration and strong emotions... but what the name was for those feelings?
Trying to figure this out sent me into so many spirals of thought, normally resulting in a complete breakdown of function. I called those "Error 11" or "BSOD" or my favourite, "Kernel Panic"... My thoughts, emotions, and actions were quite incredibly disconnected, and everything about it felt and seemed logically like a paradox.
Occasionally, if I was tired and cognitively fatigued, the results of trying to figure things out would be me lashing out in anger, my emotions and actions connecting in ways that my thought processes were left very viciously out of... Similar to a system dump when a computer crashes, complete with bizarre output of numbers and words. I simply could not understand how these two things correlated beyond the frustration involved in trying to interpret these feelings, whatever they might have been. I wasn't angry, so why was I acting angry? I had no idea.
A week or so ago, after another one of those BSOD instances, I wrote a lot about the situation and some of the feelings I was having and how I could not define them... Then I thought about it some more, from a different perspective... Then I talked to a friend, describing some of those feelings and emotions. I came to a conclusion.
It was anger. Plain and simple anger. Pent up, repressed, and very strong... Anger.
I had said many times that I wasn't angry and that my actions didn't come from anger. I firmly believed that there was no anger behind things I said or did. Why would I even think that if what I was feeling was so simple? This is where the mind gets interesting.
I had no name for the emotions I held. I knew logistically what anger was, as a concept, but my understanding or concept of what anger FELT like was completely different than what I was feeling. What I felt did not FEEL like what I knew as "anger" so I spent months denying it, both to myself and others.
This is actually a very weird concept even for me to understand: I did not know what anger felt like. Even reading that seems a bit absurd, but it has happened to me with a few other emotions already. I suppose this is just another that I've figured out.
It should come as no surprise to me though that the areas of the brain that manage every other problem and issue I have dealt with (frontal lobe and amygdala, specifically) also manage emotions and our understanding of them. It just seems so "second nature" to us though sometimes... We feel something; we know the name for that feeling; we do something about it. I never expected that the one strongest feeling that I've had the most difficulty defining would end up being something so simple as just plain old-fashioned anger.
And what was I angry about? Well, it's actually a bit personal between a friend and me, but suffice to say that it's something embarrassingly dumb. Granted, it was something very important to my mental state and the struggles I have gone through, but it's also so very stupid in hindsight.
I'm pleased to say though that since figuring this all out, I haven't even felt this "anger" anymore, and I am no longer frustrated by trying to figure out this weird emotion. Now, in regards to the situation and the results of it all, I simply feel sad... but maybe that too will pass.
At least I know what sadness feels like.