You effectively “shut off” your emotions, so that you did not have to feel the emotional pain associated with your father and being raised in your home. The “switch” was essentially a tourniquet. It was a defense mechanism. Defense mechanisms have a purpose but they can be costly. The “switch” served its purpose but now it is hurting you. You have seemingly lost your ability to have a full range of emotions.
The most efficient solution is psychotherapy. A psychotherapist will be able to help you explore your emotions in a safe environment. Feeling safe is important. Part of why you developed the “switch” was likely because you were fearful of strong and painful emotions. It is important that you receive guidance in this process. A psychotherapist can provide this. It will be a difficult process but one that is necessary.
Your second question is related to your inability to concentrate and focus on your studies. There may be two explanations. One is that you may have depression. The second possibility is that you may have an attention deficit disorder. I would recommend having a psychiatric evaluation before you make any major decisions about your life circumstances. You are concerned that engineering was the wrong career choice but it is difficult to know that when you are experiencing possible mental health symptoms.
It is important to keep in mind that engineering may not be your “dream job” but it might be a wise career choice. You worry that it may not be the right choice because you feel drawn to more creative outlets. You can still explore your creative interests while working as an engineer. Career choices need to be practical.
I’m not familiar with the mental health services in your country. I hope that you will consider having a psychiatric evaluation and meeting with a therapist. I wish you the best. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle