Feeling feelings.

May I start by saying how much I HATE to cry? I do it very rarely and often don’t cry even when discussing the biggest horrors of my life. There is just no emotion at all. It is like I am on one side of a wall, the event is in the middle built up like a tall and thick brick wall and my emotions live on the other side. I have no way to touch them, feel them or even know what they are.

I talked about everything that is going on right now in my last blog and forgot to even mention 2 big things if you can believe that. A good friend of mine passed away from breast cancer after a 2 year battle and I am dealing with a severe and painful kidney infection. I am sure you can see by now that if I am going to have a rough time in my life? I go all out!!! I am not going to say it can’t get worse because I have proven that just saying that as a statement causes something else to happen. Superstition? Perhaps but I am not willing to test it!

I am sitting here writing this as my daughter will begin her prom (Thursday evening at 6pm). They will all be at the church now. I wish I could say I am okay with it all but I am not. It hurts… deeply.
I’ve done my best to fill my day with positive events. I had a craft afternoon with my friend Mary which was a very uplifting way to spend my afternoon, my husband will be home soon and I should be making his supper rather than sitting here writing this blog but how much fun is supper if you don’t have to rush around like an idiot to get it ready on time? I mean really…

I have a chat with my friend Diana set up for later. She is a C-PTSD friend and we went through the same program together so she will be able to make sure I am taking good care of myself. I do the same for her during rough times. 🙂
She will be calling right around the same time as the pictures and dances with the parents will be at the prom.
The only really crappy part about our conversation is that she will want me to allow myself to feel my feelings. OH YUCK! Feelings. GROSS feelings. HORRIBLE feelings. UNPLEASANT feelings.

If I back up a bit, I remember being told how important it was to feel my feelings. I’d heard it a thousand times from friends, doctors, therapists, articles, self-help books, other blogs and I am somewhat certain that someone recorded then placed it in my head stuck on repeat.
It is not only negative emotions that I find hard to feel. It is ANY emotion. Even true happiness. I wear my happy face but to allow joy really in to touch my heart is not something I was able to do for a very long time. Emotions just felt too big, too overwhelming, too “dramatic” to allow in to my life. I am sure there are many of you reading this that can relate to that.

Well… “they” were right. We do need to feel our feelings. The truly happy, the honestly shocked, the heart-wrenching sadness caused by losses of any sort, the disappointments and the achievements. I happen to know what happens to people who do not find a way to express how they feel. I was one of them and still am in many ways. I know that most addictions (alcohol, sex, drugs, food, gambling, and so forth) are at least partially caused and are hard to break because they help dull things down for us. Then we are often depressed and anxious as well. It is really a terrible spiral downwards.

I am going to be honest and tell you that for the past umpteen years, when I was told to “feel my feelings”, I wanted to but I had no idea how to do that. Seriously no clue. It was like telling me to grow fins and turn myself orange. How the heck do you accomplish that? I tried though. Believe me I tried. I just couldn’t do it.

I finally learned that in order to feel your feelings, you need to stop running from them first. You need to stop and just live in the moment you are in and do not do anything to distract yourself. It is hard to do and it hurts like heck when the circumstances are painful like this dang prom.
My feelings right now? I feel like a failure as a mother, as a person and as a woman. I feel like no one in this world will ever truly stand by me. None of which is true but it is how I feel. I also feel deflated. I am angry that I am being robbed of this evening with my daughter after spending every single day of her first 18 years raising her the best that I could. I am feeling sorry for my husband who spent the last 17 years of his life raising, loving, and providing for this child by choice and not by biology only to have reached this special day and then be closed out. I feel intense anger towards my mother who has managed to get in to my daughters mind and make her think the worst of my husband and I. Oh boy! What a mish-mash of intense emotions eh?

The good news is that for the first time in my life I am actually feeling these things. I’m not going to lie or pretty it up. Its been a horrible week. Monday I cried all evening after my husband came home from a long day at work. Tuesday I cried at my therapists. Wednesday I teared up constantly in my car on the way to town and just about every other time you can imagine. Even looking at hair elastics yesterday made me weepy due to the fact that I bought and she lost at least a thousand of them in her young years. Today I teeter on tears constantly. They have not hit yet but they will.
So yeah… it sucks. I feel like crap and I hate my life right now but by feeling what I need to feel? This week will eventually end and I will have worked through everything that I needed to work through. It won’t be yet one more issue buried deep in to my mind and never dealt with. Feeling it actually allows it to leave that place where it can hurt me in the future.
Nothing can make today better for me but that is okay. I will live. Not very long ago, living through this might not have been possible. So here I am a year or two later and actually allowing myself to just be sad, depressed and angry without being suicidal, self harming or drunk.

So my advice today? Try to allow yourself to just sit in the moment. If you are happy? Allow happiness. If you are sad? Allow yourself to be sad. Stop running away. Stop masking your feelings with addictions or keeping busy. Just be.
If it is too overwhelming for you at first? Ask a therapist, good friend or loved one to just be there for you even if by phone.
Your feeling will come and eventually it will go only to be replaced by another emotion. No emotion no matter how strong can live forever if you actually feel it. It can only live forever if you spend your life trying to outrun it.

Now I am going to go back to feeling like crap.
Tomorrow will be a better day because today will have been fully lived already and I will be happy to say goodbye to it.


5 responses to “Feeling feelings.

  1. Such an honest blog Heather. I am so pleased you can now embrace your feelings, though as someone who tends to “over-feel” I’m sorry for the pain I know this can bring. Many hugs to you.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was good Wendy. A horrible week but I am really proud of myself for learning how to run away a little less. I feel much better today now that the prom is over. That was just the worst…
      Hugs ❤


  2. Powerful work Heather. Thank you for being so authentic and vulnerable. I’ve been reminded of many important things through your words lately. Hugs Sue


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dancing butterfly

    Love it love it love it!!!!!! So well said.
    I kinda wonder how you’d look with fins and in a nice shade of orange!!!
    I remember hw giving us the abcs of feeling feelings. It felt like kindergarten for feelings. I knew nothing. Nada. Zilch and so did the rest of us.
    Amazing how far you’ve come.
    Amazing how hard you work at this.
    Amazing that you are able to not only identify the feeling but stop and sit it in until the feeling has said what it needs to. Then you are right. It won’t chase you.
    And the feelings seem unreasonable and unfounded but that’s part of it I think. And having a listening ear on the receiving end can be so important in that process. Listening. Non judgementally. Supportive. Asking questions and trying to aid in unsticking the deep feelings and allowing them a safe place to come out.
    This was difficult and painful for you. And I can well appreciate the superstitious behaviour. 😉
    So happy you are in my life.


    • Oh D. You are always such a great supporter and thank you. I am blessed to have you in my life as well. We are both blessed with a good group of friends around us and I know you appreciate your circle as much as I appreciate mine. Thank you for being a part of it.
      Me? Orange with fins? It was a horrible look. I had to take it off.


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