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When 'I Don't Know' Is Really How You Feel

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I’m constantly being attacked with question after question. What emotions I experience, why, why, why, what else, why.

The therapists ask why I feel this way.
I don’t know.

The dietitians ask why I eat this way.
I don’t know.

The doctors ask if I am OK.
I don’t know.

I’m angry at you for sitting like that and bouncing your leg like that. I hate you for asking me insulting questions. I hate you because when I don’t answer, you stay quiet. I am overwhelmed because the light from the window is blanketing me and constantly changing as cars drive by. I feel empty because it is all too much and all I can say is “I don’t know.”

I am not numb. Look inside and you will find a part analyzing everything you have ever said to me — my overflowing, unhealthy love for my best friend — and you will see my insides desperately pleading for my brain to shut up and you will see my exhausted mind. You will find me being smothered by rage at my family and friends.

I feel happy, then I don’t. I remember the time I refused to give my dying grandfather a hug the night before he died. I remember when I wrote a suicide note. I remember when I got so angry, I told my mother to go to hell. I feel every emotion all at once that I don’t know how I feel.

Honestly? I feel guilty, empty, mad, destroyed, powerful and powerless, unimportant, love, disgust, gratitude, hate, contempt, grief, remorse, elation.

When I don’t answer the doctors and therapists trying to help me but are only hurting me, move on. I’m not answering because I don’t know, or I don’t want to tell you. I can be thinking of so many things all at once that I am trying to think of a way to tell you the answer, but I can’t focus because my mother is sitting too close to me and she is breathing too loud, her lips are moving and her eyes are staring straight into me.

All I want to do most of the time is run out of the room. All I would have to do is stand up and turn the doorknob, and I would be free. But I am stuck in this chair, grasping my arms and twisting my legs up while tears keep on falling down my cheek. I have stayed in the car for an hour while my mother went and talked to a therapist. She made me come in at the end. I sat and said nothing and ran back down three flights of stairs as soon as I possibly could.

I don’t know. Those three words are the only ones I know that will describe how I am. It is not because I am a measly teenager who is silly and naive.

So, am I OK?

I don’t know.

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

Originally published: November 27, 2018
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