Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I have always been emotional, very emotional. I also grew up in a home where being emotional was bad. I tried so hard to not be emotional. I tried to keep all of those emotions inside so that I wouldn't get in trouble for having them. The harder I tried to not feel my emotions, the more depressed and angry I became. And when I say angry, I mean seriously rage filled.
As an adult finally facing the past, there have been a lot of emotions. I've blogged about this before but there have been times that I have had to feel some of the pain of my past and I thought the emotions would carry me away. I thought they would kill me. I had bottled the tears for so very long that I was convinced that I would never stop crying if I started.
The flow of emotions started at an intensive therapy weekend. Our assignment was to cry. Yep, cry. I thought they were crazy. I curled up under my blanket and made myself cry. As I cried I felt things I had never before felt. The words I found myself saying were, "Why wasn't I worth protecting?" And I mourned not so much the loss of innocence but the feelings of being too insignificant to protect.
Since that point I have really actually had to feel some of the things I have run from my entire life. Just this past fall I ran into something I had been running from since I was about six. I thought feeling this was going to kill me. It hurt more than I have ever hurt before. I didn't think the pain would ever end. I know why I use my eating disorder for comfort. When I focus on my food, on my body, I have something tangible to concentrate on. I can avoid feeling when I am restricting.
It took every ounce of my strength to stay in the moment and keep feeling that. Every instinct said to run hard and fast from that intensity of pain. I don't actually understand how it happened, but when I stayed present in the pain, I made it through the pain. It didn't kill me even though for days I thought it would never end. And now that memory is a memory, not a flashback.
I still struggle with staying present when I have big emotions. My first instinct is to restrict, to not feel them. Some of the things I have to face come with a lot of pain but now I know that the pain won't kill me. I know that if I cry, eventually I will stop. If I hold back my emotions they only get stronger and then they come out on their own without my permission in the form of horrible, angry, awful ways.
It is ok to feel. It is good to feel. It is ok that I am extremely emotional. It is how God made me (for you Miers/Briggs people, I'm an NF, emotional to the very core of my being). My emotions won't kill me and eventually, feeling them will bring healing not more hurt.