I have gone through periods of my life in recent years where I felt just like you do and just felt, numb and emotionless. It often followed times of high stress. I think it's our body's way of coping with all that is going on around you. And I will say that at times I have been so overtaken by other's emotions that for a time I lost touch with my own emotional identity. I think an easy label for this is emotional burn out. What I found helpful to correct this was to increase my meditating and grounding out all those unwanted energies. Once I did that I also took some personal days off from work and just worked on quiet time away from others to regenerate. And I was back to my normal self not long after that. There is a good book that helps explain how to ground and take better care of yourself called "Self Care For The Self Aware". You can get it on Amazon and I highly recommend it. Best of luck.
You're not a fraud or abnormal. Quite the contrary. You are a text book empath going through emotional burnout. It's very hard after a while for your mind to deal with your own emotions when you are over run by everyone else's. I let this go one too long myself to where I had adrenal fatigue, heart palpitations, and really bad nightly sleep. My biggest block at the time was I didn't know I was an empath so finding a solution wasn't easy. Through grounding and self-care you definitely can get back to the old you and feel better.
I know, it doesn't make sense unless you understand that being overwhelmed as an empath causes burnout that eventually becomes physical and mental ailments. Your situation sounds very similar to what I struggled with for years. I thought I'd share my story as it may give you a guide on how to repair yourself.
When I went through my "emotionless stage", I found no joy in anything. My motivation was low. The anger emotion was there but that was also muted. But I did feel moody and depressed at times. And that would transition to feeling nothing or numbness. At that point of time I felt like a hermit who only felt my best curled up by myself in a dark room watching TV. If I went out I would be hypersensitive to others emotional energy and would often have panic attacks within minutes of entering a theater or restaurant. It was brutal.
So back then I did not know I was an empath. My traditional doctor wanted to load me up on anti-anxiety/depression meds. I decided to get a 2nd opinion from a naturopathic doctor. She ran me through quite a few tests and found that I had adrenal fatigue and brain chemical imbalance from all the stress that I was going through. My body chemistry was a bit of a mess. She gave me some natural supplements to rebuild and correct everything that was wrong. I also made some lifestyle changes to limit some of my work stress and fit in more exercise. And over the course of a few months I made solid improvement. However, the anxiety and crazy out of nowhere mood swings continued to be there. And that was due to my undiscovered empathy.
A couple years back I found the term empath and through research and joining this community I better understood who I am and what makes me tick. I quickly discovered and understood that as an empath you have to take care of your spiritual side or else your physical and mental health will suffer. That's where the grounding techniques come in to help rid yourself of the energy that you take in from others that is overwhelming you and numbing you. The good news is that you can improve your well being. Check out that book for some good tips on spiritual self-care. And best of luck to you.
I definitely relate to this. Have you experienced depression due to your past? I noticed that I, myself, tend to be more of a calm person. It's not that I don't have emotions, I just keep a level head more often than others. You might also be over-stimulated or on an extensive burnout. I feel so dull horrible when I get burnout... I don't think this this is relevant for this discussion but I feel like it's relevant to you so I'll explain the Burnout. I know that I experience it most when I go into crowded environments or places that are overstimulating for me. Usually, I'll come back exhausted and emotionally drained, to the point I don't have the capacity to operate. I usually just sleep it off and then the next day take it easy. It's feels exactly the same to the days after I have a migraine, I'm not actually sick, but I'm so drained it feels like it.
Anyways, you might just be a very calm person naturally, but when you're around others and you're "surfing their energy" as I call it, you totally different. Another thing you might do is mirror people, I do it often. It's when you "mirror" what others want to see. You feel like a different person with everyone you're around. I would definitely recommend spending time focusing on yourself and your needs, and make sure you get enough time to yourself. Pursue what you're interested in and make sure you enjoy it.
I definitely relate to this "emotional burnout". When I was with people like my friends, I would laugh and have fun with them or talk to them when they felt sad. But at the back of my mind, I was really confused why I was so good at keeping the conversation going or advising them, especially when I felt like I was RESPONDING to THEIR emotions, not ACTING on my OWN emotions.
A month or two ago, I felt like I had no emotions at all. When I was by myself, I felt like I had no emotions. I became really concerned that I was going crazy, or was really a sociopath because I felt like I was manipulating them (possibly in a good way) to think positively about themselves and the people around them, but was also thinking how easy it would be to make them sad or mad
But then I looked "people who are very empathetic" and up popped the term empath! Turns out I'm just and empath and was going through an emotional burnout. This ironically makes empaths, very empathetic people, seem extremely apathetic, especially to themselves when trying to figure out our emotions.