Into the Depths: Feelings Aren't Cool

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feelings Aren't Cool

You'll recall I'm sure, that I mentioned a few weeks back that I was planning to start going to therapy again. A big reason for that is how I feel, or don't feel, whichever. Stepping out of the boat into the vast ocean that is my emotional life, well those are tricky waters for me. I typically stay in the boat, not just on the boat but in the cabin, completely sheltered from any emotion that may try to slyly splash up on me when I'm not looking.

Enough with that analogy it's making me sea sick.

I typically don't know what I feel. So, in my emotionally ignorant mind, it is better to bury the unknown feeling than to fight through my terror of the unknown and learn what is actually going on inside me. To be frank, beyond mad, sad and happy I am pretty much clueless. Anything bigger or more powerful than that and I am checking out.

Perhaps another key to it is my tiny fascination with control. I like it, I like it a lot. To me, in order to experience feelings, emotions, whatever you want to call them, would mean being forced to give up control. That terrifies me greatly.

I get it. I understand why I am so reticent in this area. It makes sense that someone abused as a child would grow up to be especially controlling. Defense mechanism, self preservation, I get it.

But do I want to continue to live it.

I of course say no. I say no verbally and I say so by action in my beginning counseling again. I wonder, though, what it will actually take to get me out from behind these towering walls I've called home for so long. What will make me want it more than I fear it? What makes the pain worth the pay off?

I don't know I got off on this tangent because since I left counseling yesterday I've had that familiar weight that sometimes comes to rest dead center in my chest. That feeling that isn't a feeling like happy or sad, it's a feeling telling me there are real things that I need to be feeling. There is a lifetime of emotion buried below this weight and it seems to want to be let out so badly that it's willing to tear a hole through my chest if that's what it takes.

But you can tell by the fact that I said the word feeling 87 times in one paragraph that I don't really know how to respond to the weight. Whatever it is. I look at those silly little papers with the different faces all listing a 'feeling word' corresponding to the facial expression......I see Chinese. So while all that is in me is crying out for me to just....cry, scream, yell...I don't know. I know the safe thing to do.

Push it down. Do something else. Read a book, watch a movie, buy something, clean something. Do anything that puts my body's focus on something other than, well, me.

I just started reading a book that my
friend suggested. And I wonder how this girl is so normal. The life she's had so far, how is she hopeful. Why aren't I more like her? I love the character; I want to be more like her. And really, these days I certainly have more hope than I thought possible. Again, though, I am stuck with my same old questions. How do some people move through the pain and the chaos and the trials of this life so gracefully? While others, me namely, we just seem to get stuck.

Admittedly I'm only seven chapters in, maybe she'll surprise me and become more like me.....hope not.


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