Asperger's,Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hyper-empathy And Numbness

These last years I have been trying to learn more about my feelings and what they are. To be entirely truthful, it’s really not something I ever wanted to learn. I always liked the idea of being a purely logical being, not hindered by emotions like pain, love, hurt  – all that kind of stuff.

The thing is, I never wanted to be cold either. I want to feel empathy, compassion and care for others – just not to the degree that it directs all my actions. To be kind, I felt, was a choice more than anything else. One should always do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and therefore, emotions are only something that makes it harder to do anything.

You can’t really have one without the other, though. If I want to care about others, I need to accept that caring sometimes hurts. It hurts a lot, actually.

I don’t believe it can be any different. Even if nothing bad happens between people, if you care about someone, you’ll miss them if you don’t get to see them for a long time.

I miss my friends very much. I haven’t seen them for years and years, but it only recently I have opened myself up to actually feel this emotion instead of trying to fight it or numb it.

I don’t like feeling this emotion, not at all. But, on the other hand, having these wonderful people in my life in this way is better than having never met them at all. So, I guess feeling things have to become a more regular experience for me – even if I am slightly against the idea.

Talking about emotions and feelings is also something I hate doing. I prefer to show people I care through my actions and NEVER mention it all. This, not surprising perhaps, is not always enough for people to understand that I do care.

I told my best friend, who lives in Japan right now, how much I miss her and it actually made me feel better. I have been sad for quite a few days now, without understanding the reason I was and it just suddenly hit me, that I miss her. So, instead of pretending I wasn’t sad and instead of trying to suppress those emotions as I always do, I just told her. I don’t know if it matters to her, because I don’t understand social cues and such, but it made me feel so much better.

What I did was really just accept and acknowledge my emotions once I understood them and then I acted on them in the way that was possible for me.

Doesn’t it soundly oddly simple when I say it like that? How come I never thought about that before?

Well, I still don’t feel “not sad”, but it is a different feeling of sad. I think I am okay with this feeling, because I know I only feel it because my friend is a part of my life.

This, however, made me worry about whether or not I have subconsciously been suppressing emotions I don’t understand or don’t like for most of my life. I feel a lot, not very many nuances of feelings, but I feel very strongly when I feel anything. Often, I have a very hard time understanding if something is my own feelings or if it is the feelings of others and since that makes me uncomfortable, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had chosen to suppress all of it as much as I can.

I used to wonder if I was even capable of feelings emotions before, you know. Funny, really, considering that I am very likely what is called hyper-empathy which is literally caring too much. I have never been able to separate my feelings very well from the feelings of others, and it was always like that.

It was always so unbelievable to me that anyone could hurt another creature, because in all honesty even though it might make me sound crazy, just the thought of it makes me almost physically sick. It’s not fun living like this. The thought of me hurting someone to the point that they feel sad makes me feel so, deeply sad myself I can hardly bear it. I hate feeling like this, because people are not very nice to each other most of the time.

I saw a man yelling at someone else because they were accidentally in his way, the other man yelled back and they both got very upset – for no other reason, I think, than that they had both had quite a surprise almost colliding with each other. Even now, thinking about it, I feel so sad. The stupid thing is, those two people probably don’t even remember the incident now – things like that are apparently very common.

I could never live like that.

In stead of hurting, for what seemed to me no reason at all, it was much easier to just suppress it. Ignore the churning in my stomach and move on, think about other things. I don’t like to think about my past, because a lot of bad things happened to me. I don’t want to talk about it or think about it. Just forget it all, that would be best.

Well, I think it’s time to change that. I believe it is best to acknowledge what I feel, accept the feelings and then let go of them. Why? Because there are good feelings out there. Just because the world is mostly fluffed up now it doesn’t mean there is nothing good in it at all.

I have met great people, as well as horrible people. I have been happy beyond belief, and broken hearted and depressed to the point I didn’t see any point in life at all. I have felt numb for many, many years – or at least pretended to feel numb.

We live in a dualistic world, and in my mind, only thing we can do in such a type of world is to try and find a balance. Maybe, if I accept my feelings and try to think about them, to understand them instead of suppressing them, it will be easier to judge whether something is my own feelings or someone else’s. If it is not my feelings, but in effect no one’s feelings (as I am feeling my own and others feel their own), I want to learn how to let go of them. Other people carry their own burden whether I carry it or not, so really, I am helping no one. Perhaps, learning how to not be overwhelmed by the emotions and feelings of others will help me be better at helping someone instead of just suffering silently by their side.

This has always been one of the reasons I don’t enjoy social interactions. It is terrible hard not to get emotionally overwhelmed and feel horrible for days because I struggle to push it down since I don’t want to feel it.

Do you think it could make social interactions easier for me? I am not sure it is even possible to really understand feelings, they always make me uncomfortable. Maybe I would just end up feeling even worse.

Suppressing it or pretending to be numb is not working, so I guess I’ll have to try and see what happens if I do things a bit differently from now on.


Life with Autism Spectrum Disorder is not always easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Since I was diagnosed myself, I have been trying to raise autism awareness and share my own experiences and thoughts about life as well as my search for a happy and fulfilling life.

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