Lack of Emotions Uses
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----- Original Message -----
From: Phillip J. Hardt <phardt1@HOME.COM>
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2000 9:05 PM
Subject: Lack of Emotions

[Paragraphs added for clarity.]

For the last 6 months I have struggled tremendously with the fact that I can
feel no more emotions of love for my wife and children, that is, emotions like I used to have. My statements of "I love you" are hollow and shallow to say the least. I'm sure that this phenomena is HD-related. Although I can't make the "normal" connections that I used to be able to, I have found another way to "circumvent" these apparent lack of emotions. Although I state openly that I don't feel any love for them, yet I have had to rely on other things to "verify" that there is still love present. This has been real hard and has taken about the last six months to finally sort out.  Every time I ask myself if I love them, I get nothing back in response because the recollections, memories, and emotions just aren't there anymore.

However, I have had to resort to look at everything "intellectually" to ascertain whether-or-not there are any feelings still left. Here's what I discovered: upon looking at everything that I've done for my wife and children on a daily basis, I had to come to the conclusion that "yes" I still love them because my actions still prove this fact and I believe if I didn't love them, then I wouldn't be doing the things for them that I do.  Since the normal ways of verifying these feelings have been "blunted" by HD I have had to rely on these empirical investigations to find even the littlest threads of what I used to feel to hold onto in order to sustain me.  I think that this loss of emotions also negatively impacts the relationship or marriage that someone with HD has because, all-of-a-sudden, you feel like you don't know those whom you used to love the most.

In addition, my wife can see right through the hollowness of my repeated professions of love.  This was very hard on my wife who was trying to decide why she should stay married to me and take care of me if I didn't love her like I used to. Even though I can still say "I love you" it is void of the emotion that used to support it and make it meaningful. She told me a couple of weeks ago that if I were to die tomorrow she'd mourn the loss of her husband, but if I were to die several years from now, she thought she would simply mourn the death of a good friend!

You also end up hurting those whom you loved the most and don't even care (HD-precipitated apathy), or at least don't care "superficially." This has been a very confusing time for me going back and forth between "I love them" and "I don't" and trying to find proof. I'm glad that I have been able to find some threads of feelings that I can still grasp, even if they aren't the normal ones that I've relied upon for the last 25 years!........Phil

Phil Hardt    602-309-3118


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