From the U.S.: Two years and seven months ago I started really looking at who I was and now I don’t know who I am anymore. I have gone through thinking I was heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. Now I have no sexual interests in any way.
Sometimes I feel uncomfortable in the male gender role but I am unsure how I feel about the female gender role because I don’t really know how to think about it. I am constantly thinking about every thing I do. Am I walking to feminine/masculine? Is this stance too feminine/masculine? Do I sound too feminine/masculine? Is my voice too feminine/masculine.
I feel as though my identity is tied to other people, my twin brother in particular. I feel like all I am is the disappointing copy of him. He is outgoing, talkative, and seems to be happy with who he is. I am just the shy, antisocial brother who hides his depression every single agonizing day. It feels as if I didn’t have a brother nobody would know me and I wouldn’t have what few friends I do have. I would just be the quiet weird guy that works at the cash register.
My thoughts betray me from the time I wake up to the time I finally fall asleep. From thoughts of sexuality to what gender role I fit into. I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere. Every day is the same thing over and over again and I don’t know how much longer before I can’t hide my thoughts. I used to be happy with who I was but now the only time that I don’t feel like I’m going insane is when I am listening to music. It’s not that the music calms me it is just that with music going, my thoughts are focused on the music and not on everything else. I feel like I don’t belong anywhere and I am afraid to actually go to a therapist because that will turn me into the psychotic twin that couldn’t deal with life.
You are a man in anguish. That does not make you psychotic. I wish there was something I could say to help you stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and start taking care of yourself.
Twin relationships can be joyful but they also can be terribly complicated, especially when the personalities are more different than appearances. Sometimes twins unconsciously develop opposite ways of being in the world just to have their own identities. It’s the obvious solution. It certainly makes the point that the two people are different. But sometimes people take it too far. They don’t do this on purpose. It just happens. There are more subtle and more satisfying ways to be your own self than to be a mirror image of your brother. I think you need help finding them.
The way out of this is to see a therapist. I hope you can reconsider it. Yes, we therapists do see people with significant mental illness. But we also see people who are the “worried well” — people who are not mentally ill but who are troubled and who need the objective eyes and the information and support we can offer. You fit into that group. I am concerned that if you continue to withdraw and spin around and around in the same tortured thoughts, you will become ever more depressed. You need someone to help you break through the spin and start you on a path toward healthy self-discovery.
I wish you well. Dr. Marie
I Don’t Know Who I Am
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Don’t Know Who I Am. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/10/06/i-dont-know-who-i-am-2/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 6 Oct 2014) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.