Tell me, what are these feelings you speak of?

Where have all my emotions gone?
They won’t come out to play.
Not grief, or joy, or love,
They’ve all but gone away.

I struggle with emotions, this is not a new thing, looking back it started early on though I note that thought and behaviour patterns of the sort appeared around the age of 9. At around that age I started to reject physical contact with people, hugs from family etc. I distinctly remember telling myself that I wasn’t going to display such weakness. To this day I’ve no idea where the attitude came from, only that it did, and still is a part of me.
As a teenager friends thought it was a bit odd, they’d try hugging me just to see what reaction they’d get, they gave up when they realized that their repeted attempts had done nothing other than to desensitise me to the contact. Awkwardness gave way to indifference, a running theme in my life. This isn’t to say I’m completely void, more like the range is limited, expression is dulled, accept for random periods of quite intense mood, the cause of which is often unknown.
I cannot sympathize.
I can empathize on a cognitive level, but 99% of the time, I seem to lack the emotional element that is apparently supposed to tell me I should care about the understanding.
I tell myself I should care, but telling myself doesn’t make it happen, so I try to fake it… And fail spectacularly.
I sometimes have to remind myself that other people are actually affected by things such as family, relatives dying. Grief is a foreign concept for me.
I’m sure that another aspect to all of this, is the fact that consciously or not, I try to remain somewhat detached from people, a source of internal conflict.
On the one hand, there’s the part of me that believes that there is something not quite right with me and wants to change, fix it, and on the other hand, there’s the part of me that is quite happy the way it is, nothing is wrong, nothing needs fixing.
Maybe one day I’ll work it out, I’m trying.

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