Monday, January 10, 2011

Nothing More Than Feelings

*disclaimer:  things are going to get a little touchy-feeling.  Consider yourself warned.

Why do I find it so hard to talk about my feelings?  For as long as I can remember I have been terrified to show my emotions.  It doesn't matter if these feelings are happy or sad or angry.  I seem to want to present myself as being on a even keel most of the time.  The reality, is that, like everyone else, I have my ups and downs. 

When it comes to sharing negative emotions or negative things in my life I feel like admitting I am scared (or sad, or angry) is the equivalent of saying I am failing at something.  While I am by no means a perfectionist in all areas of my life I have certainly spent a lot of energy working hard to be the best sister, daughter, girlfriend, manager I can be.   

I find it excruciatingly painful and awkward to bare my soul to anyone. In my mind, any admittance of emotion is an admittance of some sort of failure - feeling like a loser (because you are) for not being able to resolve my issues on my own goes against all my perceptions of self preservation.   There are very few people I am able or willing to open up to.   If you don't already know this about me my mother is my best friend.  I love her dearly and the thought of living without her seems impossible.  But, even with the woman who birthed me and raised me I find it hard to share because of this embarrassment.  Luckily for me, after getting to know me for 33 years she is able to read me like a book so I don't always have to say anything to her for her understand what I am feeling.

My mom and step-dad
Another reason I find these types of conversations to be so hard is that I avoid conflict like the plague.  Ever since I was very little, I have done everything I can to avoid confrontation.  When others are angry, even if that anger is not directed at me, I am extremely uncomfortable.  I actually have a really hard time watching reality programs like American Idol because it makes me physically ill to watch some poor person bare his/her musical soul just to be ridiculed by the sometimes cruel judges.  So, when a conflict arises in my personal life I am very quick to shut down.  I will leave the room or avoid the conversation altogether. 

Needless to say, this is not a healthy way to deal with conflict but it's what I have been doing for 33 years.  It's a hard habit to break.  But, now that I am acutely aware of my issue I can take some steps to deal with it.  But, I will admit, it is hard.  It is hard for me to understand how sharing my pain with others will actually make me feel better.  It's hard for me to put myself into a situation that will make me feel so uncomfortable.   It's hard for me to deal with such a grey subject matter as feelings - I like my life to be very black and white and emotions just do not let me do that. 

So,  I am doing what I can, in baby steps, to improve in this area of my life.  I am talking to friends and family about issues I have been having.  Writing in this blog has also been helpful to some degree.  For some reason, writing about how I feel is so much easier, since I am able to edit myself and make sure my message is always clear before pushing that publish button.  But, at least it is a start.

Thanks for listening.


  1. Always have an open ear if you need to share/vent as I'm sure the rest of your friends and family do.

  2. Unfortunatly the post above was anonymous - so I don't know who wrote it - but thanks for the support regardless.