I have trust issues. It’s one of the reasons it’s often so difficult for me to make decisions. That I have trust issues with other people shouldn’t surprise you at all. But. I also have trust issues with myself.
Often I feel like I’m the only one I can trust. Then again. Often I feel like I’m the last person I should trust.
I can’t trust my own feelings.
When I can’t trust my feelings it’s because I know how poor my decisions have been and what has happened to me because of my decision to act on certain feelings. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions based on how I felt for someone and it’s turned out really, really painfully for me. This has happened so many times I’ve begun to question my own judgment in matters of emotional context. I can never be sure if I’m making a decision that is actually good for me, if it’s one that just feels good, or if I just want it to be good for me. So many times I’ve wanted something to be good for me, felt that it was what I wanted, when I could see how detrimental it would turn out.
My emotions often steer me in a direction opposite of my cognitive knowledge. This is when I’m the hardest on myself as well. When I cognitively know that something is wrong for me, but emotionally it feels right for me. It’s that emotional pull that gives a decision a sense of reality. It FEELS real. Merely knowing doesn’t have the same full body connection that feeling does. Emotion is the chemical reaction, the response, that shocks through your body. It’s why it’s so much harder to ignore the emotional decision in favor of the logical one.
Conversely, I can also be so guarded, protecting myself so much, in terms of how I’m feeling that I don’t have a full grasp of the range of my emotions. I’m trying so hard to protect myself that I subconsciously ignore flags that indicate positive or negative issues.
Emotional invalidation is a problem when it comes from the people we need to support us. Emotional invalidation is also a huge problem when we do it to ourselves. I’m famous for this. All too often I find myself saying I shouldn’t feel this way, I shouldn’t react this way, I have no right to feel this way, I don’t deserve to feel this way, so I shut myself down. Or try to. I try so hard to shut out feelings that I “shouldn’t” have, and in doing so, shut down my ability to feel properly on all levels. I try to shut down one thing, but emotions for me are like a faucet… they can run hot, run cold, run lukewarm, but if you try to turn the faucet off, you don’t get any emotional temperature at all. So everything you experience has the same, flat, room temperature appeal, without the benefit of full sensory experience to aid in decisions. Where I might react strongly, or at least decisively, in one situation, my reaction now becomes something nonchalant, disinterested, or halfhearted.
I’m much better with this now. Emotions are essentially a chemical response triggered in your brain. Chemicals don’t care if you “should” be better or worse than someone in a given situation, all they know is that they’ve been set in motion; that they are. How you feel, is how you feel. And that’s okay. How you cope and ultimately react to the event that set those responses in motion is what you get to control. That’s where you can sit back, take a look at what’s going on, and ask if how you’re responding is appropriate or not.
|Can't I just have a clone to do all the|
other options for me?
It can get even more “fun” though, when on top of everything else, I can be conflicted and feel multiple ways about someone at the same time. I might really like a lot of their attributes for one situation, not like those same attributes for another hypothetical situation, be unsure of others, and then second guess whether any of it is right at all, even though they have all these other things that I really appreciate. It’s a big messy mental collision all happening at approximately a million thoughts per second.
Emotional ambivalence at its finest.
How you feel should be pretty straight forward. But when you often have all of these things bouncing around in your head at once, it quickly becomes convoluted. It’s confusing to not have emotional consistency…