i didn't understand why i didn't understand i was depressed when i was 7 until i was 22, sitting in a therapist's office, struggling to access my emotions by trying to understand them. it allowed me to at least understand the emotion indirectly. memory becoming a proxy for emotion. cognitive-based therapy felt sort of like reverse engineering. or like when sherlock holmes acts out a crime scene to catch the clues. the clues were the therapist's questions and my answers were my best attempt to communicate emotions i did not understand through stories of my past. but many therapists ask the wrong questions to the right patient or the right questions to the wrong patient. i judge i was in that latter category. i have felt like i was always the wrong patient. the result was that i didn't meet them halfway. but i'm glad i always went because the best moments, like the best bars of a verse, eventually, after a lot of spiritual-emotional growth, made me double take once i understood them. like wait, what was that again? and then the lesson starts to shape throughout the verse. emotions are stored in my mind as a set of experiences. each experience is stored with 5 types of sensory data.
i don't know about you, but i think of sound, sight as "in my head up here" whereas taste is "in my mouth a bit down there" and touch is "on my skin all over me". but after thinking about it some more, touch is not just "on my skin" because i feel sensations throughout my body. so how i feel, in the sense of touch, is in the whole of my body. we're a meat bag of sensors that store data in our flesh wired up to a blob which also creates this non-physical mind that has it's own non-physical eye and non-physical world of thoughts corresponding to physical sensations.
the body and the mind. the beautifully tragic 1-2 punch of thoughts and sensations. for most of my life, i thought emotions were memories of the past combined with the sensations of the present. but what i've learned is that association is learned and reinforced over time. it's something that's full of so much information that the mind and body have to offload it to some automatic reflexive system. if thoughts are proxy for emotion, then what is emotion? i'm honestly still not sure at all. i'm starting to experience that it has to do with allowing the body to perform certain automatic responses (such as crying or whatever the body does when we feel relief) in order to allow the sensation to pass through the whole body in order to complete its processing and clear up space more sensation storage and processing. it's what leads me to relief. nothing feels as relieving as grief and joy.
i would have to assume that my resistance to feeling emotions is because i am scared to feel them, because i was mocked when i expressed them as a boy. i was afraid of myself. i was afraid of other boys. i was afraid of men. the closest thing to loving a man i could come to was awe.
i was equally maladaptive in my reaction to women, as i saw them as someone who felt good to be around and who felt good to abuse because sometimes i needed the rage to pacify my covert depression for a few moments. you know, blow off some steam. i judge that all men can relate to this. i was a jewel (who might as well have been hollow) surrounded by mirrors, projecting on and reflecting myself from them in order to observe and learn what gives me anxiety and what gives me relief. that's the spectrum i measure experiences on. anything that gives me relief is fair game. finding something that does without it becoming the next addiction takes healing.