Feb 10, 2013

Emotional anesthesia

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” 
- Friedrich Nietzsche

I went through a whole lot of pain in the past couple of years or so, and then a few months back I told myself I would stop letting my feelings for anything grow. Never get overly attached to things or memories or people; that way, you wouldn't get hurt. It worked for a while, and the freedom from pain was bliss. And then I stumbled into a pit again. And again. You know the feeling of getting stuck in a rut that you'll never get out of - when you feel a certain way for someone and you know it'll never be reciprocated; when you've lost the precious ones around you too far to do anything about it anymore; when you really want a long hug from a friend but can't bring yourself to ask; when you look back at pictures from secondary school or JC and wonder what happened; when you look at those around you and feel infinite and then a pang strikes you when you wonder how long it'll last after you move on to a different stage in life. When any friendship is imbalanced, basically, and you're on the losing end.

I keep telling myself to stop letting my heart get close to anyone who won't feel the same way about me. I do yearn for the old and now-distant friendships, and I do wish friendships were always balanced, but I'm trying to force my brain into the heck-care attitude. If they don't care about you the same way, don't care about them, too. Stop letting your heart get run over by people who don't even notice; you're only doing it to yourself, after all.

I'm still not very good at this whole letting-go thing, but I'm improving. My heart still stumbles, but my brain is quite good at forcing myself to let go. The less I love, or feel closer to anyone than they do about me, the less I hurt. It's quite good just going about your days happy like that, and not thinking about the if-onlys.

Hsieh Wen noticed that about me, and he said it wasn't good that I was trying to hurt less. By shying away from hurt, I was forcing my heart to stop loving, and by doing that, I was numbing myself. I didn't agree with that. I was still able to feel intensely; I was just really sick of the pain, and the only way to stop my heart from wrenching all the time was to limit my own feelings to the boundaries set by the other half of the friendship.

But I guess now I realise that I am, in fact, just forcing myself into numbness, going through rounds and rounds of anesthesia. Trying very hard to distance myself from people and get caught up in everyone and everything else, spreading my heart out so that I don't give too much to anyone who won't give an equal amount back, so that I'm safe. I just don't see it as a bad thing right now. I'm very very sick of the pain, and I don't want to make my friends feel weirded out, because they probably will if they realise how much I feel for them. How much I wish we were closer. I don't want to seem like that kind of weird or clingy person either, someone they might find annoying more than a friend they'd like to go out with too.

I'm trying to make myself feel less and be content. It will probably be something I'll come to regret in the near future, when I look around and realise I don't know who to go to at all.

I'm thankful for my capacity to love and hurt - it is, after all, what fuels all my writing, and what helps me realise I'm never strong enough. It makes me feel human. Everyone has a curiosity about the human condition, about the full range of emotional experiences. But I don't know. I'm just really tired of yearning and dreaming and getting disappointed.


J said...

Hi Karen!

You are blessed with the capacity to love, feel (and hence hurt). Like you've said, it makes you human. It's way better than feeling listless and apathetic all the time!

I pray and ask god to grant me the capacity to love even though I know it entails hurt etc.

As Your friend (hsieh wen) pointed out, you are probably numbing yourself out. This I believe is not healthy haha!

Perhaps you give your emotions too much control over you? Like it gives you the capacity to do great stuff if channeled correctly. However, if it is not in check, it could potentially stress you out.

...and don't sweat the small stuff! ;) Chill and live life!

Remember that all things work for the good of those who love Him! Don't forget to pray :) trust me: it works.

Your friend,

J said...

And, Somehow I wish we could still be friends. We were hmm.. kinda friends back in AC. You prolly wouldn't remember me now! Anyway, I was pretty frivolous and didn't really take my friendships (or anything else) seriously haha.

I like your writing, I like you as a friend, and I just realize we like the same kinda movies!

I don't have the courage to say this to you in person (nor such stuff to anyone else) partly cuz it will seem so contradictory to who you knew me to be that it'll be a joke lol. So the veil of anonymity shall not be lifted ;)


Your friend,

Hannah Karen Ho said...

Hi J,

Thanks so much for everything you've said, it really means a lot to me. :) And I do wish you'd tell me who you were! It wouldn't be a joke at all; I'd just be really happy to see this deeper, touching side of you. Now I gotta look up all my AC friends on Facebook and find someone whose name starts with J...