How do you feel?

Published January 25, 2014 by Malia

At the beginning of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, we see Spock retraining his brain on Vulcan.  The computer is running him through all these exercises, and then it stops and says, “How do you feel?”  Spock becomes quizzical and replies, “I do not understand the question.”  Spock’s mom then shows up and explains how being half-human means he has feelings.  This leads into a discussion about the illogical-ness of human feelings.  

And then Spock and his friends go back to 1984 to get some whales.  

I’m  ashamed to admit it, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit numb.  Okay, that’s an understatement.  I am numb.  It’s been coming on gradually, and it’s really been the last two days that I’ve noticed how numb I’ve gotten (I’m not really sure how long this has been going on, either.  I do know it’s been a long time since I truly felt anything.). Emotion-wise, I literally feel nothing.  I don’t feel happy, or sad, or sympathetic, or anything that I should be feeling.  In fact, when I get into situations where I need to show some sort of emotion, I find myself mentally saying, “This is a sad situation.  Be sad.  Remember sadness?  You need to act like you feel that way right now.” 

Unfortunately, I think my brain is just wired wrong.  No matter what emotion I tell myself I should at least act like I’m feeling, the completely wrong one makes an appearance.  As of right now, I’m sure that there are probably some who think I need to be locked up in the loony bin.  Normal people don’t smile when they talk about how a family member has just died (y’know, unless the dead family member was horrible, which hasn’t been the case regarding my dead family members).  

I wasn’t always this way.  I used to feel emotions.  I used to care.  The thing is, it’s been a brutal ten years.  Ever since March of 2004, for every moment of happiness, there’s been overwhelming heartbreak (and yes, I know some of it has been my own fault, and I’ll gladly take responsibility for it, but quite a bit of it hasn’t).  I think I’ve been trying to defend against further heartbreak by giving myself an emotional lobotomy.  If I can’t feel, then I can’t be hurt anymore, right?  I know it’s a bad way to handle things, and completely immature.

 Fortunately, I never said I was mature.

 However, I am interested in remaining a member of the human race.  Which means, like Spock, I must rediscover my humanity.  Because, like Spock, when the end of the movie comes, I would like to be able to say, “Tell her…I feel fine.”  

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