Think of yourself like a black box - a computer, of sorts. Inside of your mind, you have a whole bunch of cards plugged into a motherboard (read: a whole bunch of parts of your mind that specialize and communicate). The "driver" in your mind is really just the CPU - you'd think the CPU was running the show, but it's not. It's really transforming information that is pulled from various locations, sent to specialized areas and then putting it together. The CPU really does nothing in and of itself, but if you asked it, it'd say it runs the show.
The way this "box" works, hardware aside, is by having you act. If you act and it "hurts", you record this information elsewhere (ie: cache/write to permanent memory). The next time you go to act in the same way, you don't rework the outcome rationally (ie: CPU doesn't get the information from specialized inputs/hardware), you "short cut" by pulling the outcome from your cache/hard drive and present the decision... a de facto decision.
That's how normal people work. But if you were to start caching in a way that bypassed the dedicated hardware (that specializes in, for example, social situations) with a complex emulation, you end up with an approximation of what the outcomes would be.
I can use myself as an example here. When I was young, I was bullied, and my "extroversion" hardware got jumped over entirely, to the point where social interaction was always cached as "avoid, hurts". It didn't hurt my ability to be social
, however, it only stopped me from genuinely being able to relate to others. (See social anxiety: behavioral impact)
Each situation is fairly unique and complex, but... that's what I'm getting at. Chances are that you have attempted to bypass your base impulses by creating a... "firewall" (wrong context, but close enough)... around the bridges that lead to your dedicated hardware. Instead, you are interacting with topical input and dedicated routines that you created to bypass and replace dedicated hardware... simply because the dedicated hardware gave you "painful" (dissonance counts) outcomes.
/abusing analogies, one day at a time. Hope that makes any kind of sense.