I’ve been told that I’m unemotional. Last time I heard this was when I was getting dumped. Don’t worry, this wasn’t painful at all. I’ve used my lack of emotion as a tool to deal with life. So I never had a problem with “unemotional”. I liked it. I owned it. It defined me. But frequently I found that people define emotional differently.
Then as life would have it, I started writing a book. The book is written from the point of view of a 10 year old boy. I found out soon enough that the little boy, Farai, was just like me – or just like how i thought I would react in the situations he found himself in. It took a lot of help, reading, emotional thesaurus and creative acrobatics to make him more realistic. I essentially resisted this at the beginning because I felt (and still do feel) that there are situations where kids his age would react that way in Zimbabwe (i.e. unemotionally). I was trying not to turn him into a pussy little boy. I think I managed.
I recently started an autobiography “idea”, and I ran into the same problem. However, to every problem there is a solution. I listed three solutions:
A personal “emotions diary”
I did three days. Everyday for three whole days, I wrote up to three prominent feelings I had. I had to think about questions like: What did a feel? What physiological changes did I experience, increase in heart rate, body temperature, tensing of muscles? What thoughts were going through my head and what did I say? How did I say it?
After three days, it wasn’t working so well. Ignorance had been bliss. I operated under the idea that “I don’t think about my emotions so therefore I don’t have any”. There were also events that happened through that short period that made me scared of myself. I will likely come back to that on another day.
An emotions diary about my relationship
I’m dating a truly amazing guy. He makes me happy. I decided to start a diary tomorrow on how he makes me feel. I plan to start with the positive feelings (thats just taking the path of least resistance). Maybe a daily log of our life would be a great gift for him one day. I’m curious to see whether I can be honest. If I can be honest about a situation that brings so much happiness to my life, then I expect that will be a training ground for my autobiography. I can start with the happy times. I wasn’t always unemotional.
Someone once said to me “there are people who go to school for years to learn how to deal with people like you EJ.” Well – my ex-therapist acquired his own therapist….Only joking, I’m not that broken. Therapy is not an option because I don’t trust that I will be able to open up to someone who essentially couldn’t care less if I walked through his door or not. I don’t think you can pay someone to care. I can understand their value, but in my skepticism, its not for me.
I went with the boyfriend diary. Stay tuned for how much progress I make.