I had a rather startling realisation today, which I may never go into on my blog. However, it was enough that it's got me questioning some things.
I have had experiences with people that have - whether on purpose or not - have made me feel like it's not okay to show emotion; like it's not okay to be an emotional person.
At one point, when I was in the depths of depression, I realised I couldn't feel anything. In a way, it was bliss. A respite from the turbulence. But then I realised that I didn't want this absence of emotion - I wanted to feel. I wanted to display those feelings and not care what people thought.
But after so many years of training myself not to show too much - not to show fear, excitement, anger - I am, even now, finding it hard to break out of those well-worn patterns.
I was told recently that I really play it down when I'm scared - to that point that even those close to me can't tell that I am panicking on the inside. And I needed to hear that, because I was getting to the point where I was getting upset as to why people weren't helping me when I 'clearly' needed help (clearly in my mind, but obviously not outside of it!).
I do wonder if this has gone past a defense mechanism - a way to avoid social ridicule - to something that is ultimately harming me. If I can't communicate when I am scared, how will people know when I'm truly hurting and need help? If I hide my anger, it just boils away inside me, making my soul sick and destroying my affection for others more effectively than any assumed-betrayal. And to hide my excitement? Well, that just doesn't bode well for someone with such a love of books, flowers, animals, of life! (Excuse me for getting expressive there, I'm watching a Disney movie as I write this...)
I know that, for some people, keeping your emotions and thoughts to yourself is a way of survival. That's okay, really. For me, though, it doesn't work. It means more pain, more suffering. And I'm going to keep working on expressing myself more openly, and ignoring any naysayers.
Love to all who read.