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Okay I am a 15 year old boy, My father left me before I was born and I only met him when I was 8 because my mum took everything to find him again. I never understood it before but I feel no emotion. I do not feel love or happiness or in fact emotional pain itself yet I know it is there I know I do not feel it. I have watched a lot of movies and hear explanations of what the feelings are, emotional pain is like getting your heart ripped out of your body apparently. Alot of bad things has happened in my life and I used to cry all the time without realising it but now I only really cry to the littlest from physical pain. Most people say I am a clingy guy around girls and guys (yes I am bi-curious  and I think it is because I cannot feel anything emotional so I become a touchy guy because I can only feel physical stuff. I do not know what is wrong with me and it hurts my girlfriend a tonne and we are seeking help. I don't know any more and I don't know what I can even do. It is horrible. I can't feel it but I suspect it is. What should I do?

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Hi SomethingHappened,

 

I just want to start by saying- just cos you can't vividly feel your emotions, it doesn't mean they're not there. A person deviod of emotion- of empathy, guilt or sorrow- is better known as a psychopath...and psychopaths don't usually go on message forums expressing their annoyance or guilt at not being able to 'feel'! 

 

Don't go by what others say you should feel- ie, you say that you hear explanations about emotional pain being like getting your heart ripped out. That's not the same for everyone. It depends on what kind of emotional pain you are talking about- what caused it? How can it be dealt with? etc, etc. Feelings and emotions are an individual phenomenon- no one feels the same emotion to the same degree for the same stimuli. For example, you could have two siblings (adult age) who both adored their parents, parents die in car crash. Both siblings are devastated, but one is so devastated that they contemplate taking their own life. The other, however, becomes contemplative- they take control and arrange the funeral, become more thoughtful and loving to those around them, looks at life in a different, more thankful, positive way. Both siblings are grieving, but function and feel their grief in different ways. It could be said that the second sibling is blocking or repressing the grief by looking at it in a different way. Nevertheless, the same emotion, but felt in different ways.

 

Reading the bit of you post where you talk about your background (dad left before you were born & you met him at 8, because your mum made the effort to get in touch with him) sounds very, very familiar to my own son's background. He's coming up for 13 and his dad did exactly the same- left before he was born. And I, as his mother, got in contact with his father when he was 7 and he met up with him again. However, the 'happy reunion' wasn't to last as his dad is a selfish, egotistical t**t- he'd let him down, tell him he was skint, yet have plenty of money for the pub, didn't really talk to him or do anything with him when he did see him, didn't feed him for hours on end and a number of other selfish actions. It wasn't long until his selfish characteristics became overwhelming to my son and he chose to stop seeing him.

My son also 'came out' as bi-sexual, six months ago and is a very loving young man- likes lots of hugs, declares his love to me every day, has quite a few girlfriends and is very generous. There's absolutely nothing selfish about that kid at all! Does this all sound quite familiar?

 

You- and my son- have attachment issues. I happen to specialise in attachment issues of only-children and you haven't mentioned any siblings. However, what I say doesn't really only apply to only-borns, as I'll focus more on your attachment issues per say.

 

I'm guessing you have what is termed a fearful-avoidant attachment: you fear feeling emotions for people as it puts you at risk of being hurt by them. Thus, your unconscious dulls  them - makes them not so vivid or long lasting- or avoids them completely and instead, you feel numb. Tbh, this is unsurprising seeing as your main male role model rejected you before you were even born. Boys need fathers- they need that blueprint on how to act, how to interpret other mens emotions & behaviour and how to, in a sense, 'be a man'. You haven't had that- you haven't had that close bond with a trustworthy, connected male to show you all of those things. Men and women are different in the way they percieve and deal with emotions, whether this is socially defining or biologically, and despite having a close bond with your mother, her lessons would have been different to what you would have been taught by your father.

I also guess you've had to be emotionally 'hard'- you've had to deal with your fathers rejections and close yourself off from him emotionally hurting you again. You've probably had to do this so much that now you can't switch them on when you want to.  

 

I'm also going to bring your hormones in to play. You are 15 years old and while you think your body and mind are mature, they really aren't. You say that you touch people because you can only really feel physical sensations; at your age, your body is more sensitive so this is not just because your emotions are dull. However, you may be overdoing the touchy feely behaviour to compensate for a lack of emotion or to encourage some emotion.

 

I would advise you to err on the side of caution and go and see your doctor; a lack or dulling of emotions is also a sign of depression. But that said, I don't think medication would be your answer. I think you'd benefit from a psycho-dynamic or gestult therapy, as your emotional issues appear obviously linked to your parental attachment style.

 

I really do wish you loads of luck and hope that you can start to become 'One' (no more seperate mind & body!). I also want to thank you for your post, as your background situation is strikingly like my sons.

 

Good Luck- sending lots of love your way.

 

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Hi Violet_Ivy ,
I like your discussion & hope that it was helpful to SomethingHappened. .
Thanks ,
Ava
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