November 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm #44826HannahParticipant
OK this topic probably seems quite confusing. Its one of those things that I understand in my own mind but find it hard to verbalize. So I’ve read and mostly believe that our natural state of being is happy – I know that naturally I am a happy person. As a baby I was very happy. But when things happen to me that affect me emotionally and I am unable to BE my normal happy self I somehow don’t feel normal and it seems like I don’t actually know how to be sad! I have trouble expressing my feelings so if I’m sad I won’t want to be around people as I don’t feel comfortable and don’t really know how to be so it makes me feel even worse. If I want to cry I will do that when I am on my own. I find this makes it even harder for me to overcome whatever is making me sad – does anyone understand what I am TRYING to say and anyone who has had similar experiences their selves? It makes me actually feel like I’m crazy, I can’t think clearly and terrible trouble concentrating. I have grown up with a family member who is very negative and moans a lot which can affect the moods and feelings of other people in the family. I think that maybe that is part of the reason I feel this way – perhaps somewhere in my mind I refuse and cannot relax when I am sad in the fear that I’m doing something wrong and I will be that person who affects others moods etc. I do not want to be like this – I know that its not natural because it feels so unnatural in every part of me. In the first instance it seems like I would definitely benefit from some type of counselling/ talk therapy but it seems to me that doing that is a hard thing to achieve – physically and financially. I try and use Yoga as an outlet for me from home and starting to try meditation but feel like I need something else. Anyway I hope this ramble is somewhat comprehensive! Any advice is greatly appreciated. PeaceNovember 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm #45131ReevaParticipant
Hey! I think what I’m hearing you say is that you aren’t sure how to comfortably express your upset emotions because you, A) have been in the close presence of a family member who is emotional and complains often and then B) you don’t know a good, respectable way to release these emotions. Am I right?
IF I am right, then I have some advice for you. If I’m not, then what I’m about to say may not be exactly what you’re looking for. I grew up with quite a few people who weren’t comfortable with themselves or with life for that matter, so they were all highly emotional and complacent. One of these people was (and still is) extremely anxious and worrisome and would verbally express her fears all day long. I couldn’t go anywhere with her without her worrying of at least 5 of the following: her looks, her hair and makeup, if she exercised enough, if she turned the stove/oven/toaster/washer/dryer/any appliance off, if she had enough gas in the car, if I was going to leave my purse in the car where we went to (what if someone broke into her car to steal it), if her other family members had contacted her and if they were alright, if the car in the lane next to her was going to crash into her, if I was mad at her, etc. It was only reasonable that after experiencing life with a family member like that, I had a LOT of trouble expressing fears or personal problems to anyone without worrying that I was going to look like that crazy person in front of them. I learned to ‘put away’ my feelings instead of expressing them in a socially acceptable manner right off the bat. But that wasn’t healthy because holding your feelings in isn’t healthy!
After experiencing several years of sudden emotional attacks that would have me crying about everything that had made me angry or sad or frustrated in the past year, at least once a year, I decided I needed to stop stuffing my emotions away because it was causing me stress. I think that’s what you meant by feeling crazy and having trouble thinking or concentrating because even if sometimes you can’t clearly feel it, the back of your mind is all clouded and full of pent up emotions! It’s very important to allow these emotions out in the form of a comfortable release. Not knowing how to let them out makes finding peace very difficult. And I do know what you mean by this habit making it difficult to find help for your personal problems because if nobody knows that you’re sad how are they going to help?
But my advice to you is to start by letting them out when you’re alone BUT ALSO writing down how you feel. It helped me to write down my feelings because then I could make sense of what was really troubling me on paper and single it out away from the rest of my thoughts. It is okay to cry. Everybody cries. Even men cry sometimes. They just don’t talk about it. Crying is embarrassing when it’s in public and no one else is crying. Crying in front of someone randomly is embarrassing. There is no easy way to just cry in front of others unless that’s what you grew up doing but it sounds like you didn’t grow up doing that. You’re doing what most people do. You go cry about it in a place where nobody else will bother you or ask you questions or watch you as you scrunch your face up weirdly and water comes out of your eyes. MOST people do not cry in front of others! That’s totally okay!
I think that you should follow your intuition about seeking a place to talk about your emotions. It doesn’t have to cost money. There are plenty of support groups and meetings that happen all over this country that do not cost money. I actually think it’s a better idea than counseling because then you meet others who are experiencing your same situation, you are totally allowed to cry in front of everybody, and you don’t feel alone. You don’t even have to have that pressing of a problem to be in a support group or meeting! I hope this helped! Good luck 🙂
-ReevaNovember 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm #45134MattParticipant
I’m sorry for the confusion you feel and the difficulty with emotions. Many people have difficulty expressing emotions, and you’re not unusual or odd. Consider that being honestly sad is better than being falsely happy, for you and for them. A few things came to heart as I read your words.
Perhaps you take pride in being happy, such as wanting your friends and other loved ones to think of you as happy and together and peaceful. This is normal, we often put on a smile and try to give light instead of sorrow. However, the light doesn’t really come from the smile, it comes from the authenticity. If you’re happy, be happy. If you’re sad, be sad. These emotions are what make you real, make you human. This basic humanity is what inspires joy in others. For example, my wife used to hide when she was emotional (such as hormonal fluctuations when she is having her period). She felt ashamed of her crying, as though it would “bring me down” or something. What she found is as my heart sees her sorrow, it is very powerfully moved to caring and compassion. In that way, her crying is a gift to both of us. I feel overwhelmed with warmth and the desire to nurture, and she feels loved and tended. Its a win-win!
Of course, if the environment is not open or supportive to emotions, such as at work or with acquaintances, then finding a quiet space to let your emotions out, be, and settle is a good plan.
Another way of helping this settle would be to look back at the times when your family member was “bringing everyone down” and offer an apology for your apathy. When people are negative, its because they feel crappy and are searching for relief. Instead of “don’t bring your stank around here”, consider “I’m sorry for your pain and suffering, I hope you find love and peace.” Its plausible that your judgment for the “stank” is fueling your shame of your own “stank”, and dismantling them together could be helpful. Sorrow isn’t stank inherently, its just sorrow. The body get overwhelemed sometimes, and that is OK… it is part of our beauty, not an exception to it.