48. Crummy introspection

2nd Jan 2018

I’ve not been feeling very well the past week, and I put it down to increased social activity, and the burden of the festival season with the material pressure that comes with it. But as the kids have started school, I thought that the crummy feeling would lift.

It hasn’t.

I’m very well aware that I’m more in touch with my darker side, and that there will be expected side effects of that. My therapist wanted me to observe and reflect more on what’s happening, and I was struggling with that. Today, two friends of mine suggested that I write whatever comes into my mind. As I was preparing to write randomly, this blog post basically solidified and wrote itself.

I’m not sure who I am anymore. The darkness is pervasive, like a foam cloud that lives around me. It blocks me from feeling the reality of who I am. For example, I know that I am a child of God, but I can’t feel it. When I try to feel it, I hit the foam cloud, and I can’t break through to the other side. It’s a muted resistance yet it doesn’t give way. In a sense, I feel like I’m punching in the dark, when I try to reach through and understand myself more.

Without fighting or debating this, or even trying to make sense of it, this is my current struggle. The crumminess comes because there is a basic wrongness with the whole setup, and my mind is aware of it, even if I’m not really putting my finger on it. I feel uncertain about myself because what I know and how I feel about it has a huge gap and that gap doesn’t really seem surmountable. Sometimes, that gap is breached when reality and feeling happen to coincide, such as when I’m with the pigs, and I smile at their antics. Other times, I feel like I’m living in a bad dream that I’m not waking up from, without really knowing why this dream is bad.

So here are some things I feel the disconnect with:

  1. I know I am a father, but I don’t feel like I’m a good enough one. Sometimes, I wonder why I dare to call myself a father.
  2. I know I am a husband, but I feel like I’m a terrible one.
  3. I know I am a child of God, but I don’t feel like I deserve to be.
  4. I know God hears my prayers, but I don’t feel like He should, and if He doesn’t that’s alright. That’s normal.
  5. I know I am recovering, but I don’t feel like I am.
  6. I know I am taking time off to heal, with the support of friends and family, but I don’t feel like I deserve any of that. I feel like I’m abusing the trust of others, even though I am doing exactly what they want me to do, which is to recover.
  7. I know I have certain IT skills, but I doubt whether I am good enough in IT.
  8. I know I can speak well, but I feel others won’t want to listen.
  9. I know I can write well, but I feel that my writing isn’t good enough.
  10. I know my comics make sense, but I don’t feel like they would make any difference to anyone.

All these things I know but can’t connect with. CBT helps to some degree, but it’s not totally effective when the messages are mixed and complex – e.g. the one about being a husband, and what it means. So I feel like I’m caught in this limbo where everywhere I strike out, I hit nothing, and get nothing, and end up just being very confused as to who I am, my identity, what I’m good at and so on.

Definitely something to talk about during therapy, but for now, at least I feel a sense of relief that I understand a little better why the crummy feeling isn’t going away. I mean, I know I set out on this journey partly to find myself, because it seems my psyche isn’t going to let me get away with a half baked answer before I will be able to stop what is effectively my brain strangling me. So at least I know that I feel crummy because the disconnect is huge, and that I’m not able to breach that gap.

The dark clouds and rainy weather in Singapore nowadays definitely doesn’t help either.

Anyway, I shall try to take time to just rest, and just be present with my thoughts somewhere quiet, and maybe draw some comics. Not for others, but so I feel better about myself. I doubt it’ll work, but no harm trying.

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2 thoughts on “48. Crummy introspection

  1. “I know that I am a child of God, but I can’t feel it.” – I can relate to that, and the feeling of not being able to sense God scares me. I’ve even wondered if God is still in my life – perhaps He has left me – even though people and scripture tell me otherwise. Anyway, I just want to encourage you to hang in there. I’m in a better place now and things have gotten better for me. And I pray, I believe and I know that things will get better for you as well…!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. Contrary to how you may feel and think of your writing, keep writing. People do read. You write and express yourself well too and I envy you for that. And another reason why you should continue writing is you give people like me the opportunity to care… like coming back to your blog to check on how you are doing, and for allowing me to pray for you and your family – even though we’ve not met.

    • As mentioned in my last reply, your encouragement is much needed. I’ll keep writing for as long as God allows, and thank you for praying for us! We really really need it.

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