Flatliners: Emotionally Gone
It didn’t take long after my fugue before “I” (remember, “I” am a multiple personality) began to notice something odd.
I had no emotions, none, nada, zip. Oh, on the surface they were there, but something was gone.
A few weeks ago “I” finally realized what it was, something I’d begun suspecting while in the insane asylum, but it didn’t happen there – it happened later on, after we’d been released, when the ‘need’ for so many alters to handle the cuckoo clock that is The Cuckoo’s Nest had passed. (Meaning the State Mental Institution. For two weeks of ‘observation’ and nothing more.)
Somehow, someway, most of my alters have gone missing.
So I went exploring for them.
Know what I found?
The “Fugue Alter”, for lack of a better description, and it is strong, and it has apparently ‘separated’ me from “my selves”, many of which are responsible for – well, a lot of things, mostly “remaining human” (In a way. I know I am. A human, that is.) But the emotions and the emotional contexts are “gone”, though I can access them if I try. And my ability to multi-task has been greatly shot to crap and back. Where I used to be able to handle and/or juggle about a six to a dozen tasks at one time now I can only handle 3 or 4. If that, sometimes.
At first glance, it doesn’t sound so bad. No real anger, rage, fear, and certainly no depression, sadness, regret, or anything like that. Nor much of anything else, including love, joy, excitement and some of the others. As well as boredom: it’s not there. Just a big fat “nothing” blander than cream.
That’s not to say I can’t enjoy a good laugh. The sense of humor, often wry, sometimes dry, or in an obscure form, seems intact. I DO seem a bit meaner, and nowadays I have to carefully judge my every reaction and sentence to somebody – making sure I’m not doing anything wrong, saying anything too hurtful or outlandish, and try to make it where it pleases them in some way, or can make their life better.
On the other hand, I can (due to this lack of emotion) become an instant self-contained son-of-a-bitch – no anger there, just (perhaps, and for example) frustration over someone or thing wasting my time, or making my views known regarding social things. I can become hard somewhat in an instant.
I have no “care”, and therefore, very little sympathy for someone. I can feel a bit of empathy for them, but mostly it’s “some kind of idiot” or “something someone’s doing to themselves” – and I’m fine. I don’t care. I don’t give a damn. About anything except: Why? And what’s up with this “fugue” personality?
That one’s a toughie, one I’ve yet to explore. The boundary between me and ‘it’ is almost paper thin, and that paper gets wet if I’m around it too long. The danger there is this:
Every time I try I begin to get into a “fugue” state; I can ‘feel’ it taking over my mind. ‘This me’ gets lost in it, overwhelmed, and it’s so huge! It’s like I can ‘see’ it through a transparent veil.
Imagine if you will being some kind of sentient being that doesn’t give a damn – about anything. Not that it’s wanting to harm! – but it’s looking at things in the sense of “a world” and “10,000 years”. It’s not like ‘me’. It’s kind of religious – hell, in some ways it kind of resembles in thought like a god would: overviewing all “I” and all my alters know about creation (and it’s quite a lot by most folks standards – I’ve taught myself school after 12 years of college, and remember everything I’ve read) as a “flash in the pan”.
It is making life seem senseless in someways, except for one thing: “being happy” and bringing happiness, or some kind of joy, to others. Nothing special, just “doing my thing” and maintaining old habits, such as this one I told my psychiatrist:
“I still remember to buy flowers for my wife at the supermarket when I go,” I said. “It’s something I know I’ve always done. (I laugh.) That’s how I’ve managed to stay married for over 30 years. But I’m not picking them up for any emotional basis, not on my part. Its because I know they’ll make her happy. I, on the other hand, don’t feel a thing, No love, or any real affection – unless I try and feel it. And it’s hard. And even then it’s kind of like remembering the feeling.”
“Well,” she answered, “you must feel something! Because you do it, you know.”
“No,” I said, getting a little serious. “I’m just going through the motions without E-motions!”
“I love that!” she said, laughing. “Going through the motions without THE emotions!”
“You can keep it,” I said. “Apathy is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t solve the problems.” I frowned.
She nodded, and we laughed some more.
But here’s the thing (she’s helpless to help, I think – she’s with the VA) – I don’t dare try and access this “part of myself” that went on this strange and wonderful but oh-so-much emotionally damaging to other parties “fugue” that we all went on. I, for one, don’t like the idea of surrendering myself up to this “thing” (it takes about 15 minutes to ‘get there’, on the border) which views everything as “interesting” but “unimportant” in the long run. It literally would take me out on the road walking (west most likely) with little to nothing but what I wore (a nice suit last time) and some survival gear. Walking away from everything off to the horizon, and keep on walking on.
It’s a painful tug, in some ways, and very hard to deal with, this side of ‘me’; yet we all kind of know better. “What’s in it for your own good?” I keep asking my rational selves. They are hard to get to, more like a memory of “my selves” and barely any feeling when it comes to being “multiple”, but there’s some there: the basics – the Notetaker, the scientist self (but many are in hiding).
I don’t dare dig too far, not because it’s going to hurt, but because of the threat I’ll get “lost in there”.
That led to something interesting with my talk to the psychiatrist. (and dang it, don’t you know: I forgot what that was as soon as I wrote the previous sentence. Who knows what it was? I’ve forgotten.)
But I’d like to recover my emotions, please, LOL.
At least I’ve got a sense of humor about it. That much seems to have been left me, along with just a hint of a ripple of the emotions before, for the most part. I’m only able to access them “at will”, meaning I have to exert some willpower to ‘feel’ my love for my wife & family, and “we” have no real interest in anything (or doing anything, which is worse) at all. No depression! mind you, nor even boredom. Often I just sit, no lights, TV on, not paying attention; or turn everything off. It’s almost like becoming catatonic, but “I” am still there. I just don’t give a damn or a sh** about moving anywhere, that’s all, with little or nothing going through my mind – unless and until I reach out and ‘touch’ that fugue state, which we refuse to do.
So there you go: I have a ghostly hint of frustration, some “dissatisfaction” because “I” know this is not the way to be human, though I do know this effect is often observed in folks with DID like me: pale-to-no emotions, no real feelings at all.
But I can fake it rather well, so I do my best on that score: still present a happy human face, but inside? . . . . . I don’t care. About anything anymore, it seems, which is, I know, wrong to feel. But you have to care to feel, it appears, and due to that fugue state – it’s like I can almost sense ‘other’ emotions, my ‘other’ selves, on the other side – I cannot access mine.