I’ve always found it funny that self-expression or the expression of any emotion can be deemed ‘too much”. I mean, I guess it makes sense because we’ve been in a sustained trauma for years now, with no real resolution or solution and we’ve been told that this is “normal” when it is anything but, and to some degree, was avoidable. Watching people continue to not deal with all of their traumas and issues has created a powder keg situation of emotion, ego, and temper-tantrums in nearly every arena. We mask it by citing business or necessity or believing there isn’t time to deal with it when the truth is we were never taught to process emotion and we are expecting people to operate business as usual when we are dealing with an emotional state. The expectation to move on without addressing what is happening and what the emotions are that are there. The sadness and feelings that people have that get repressed and suppressed for the sake of moving on and pretend that everything is ok. That isn’t handling ANYTHING.
Pretending something didn’t happen may be an effective strategy for some, but it doesn’t work for most things. The bill always comes due as they say, and even if we are able to push away the feelings in the present, they will eventually come back to us. They will manifest in other ways like in control dramas or emotional breaking or extreme insecurity or lack of self-worth. Ignoring the truth for the sake of peace doesn’t create peace in the mind. We need a break and we need to acknowledge that we need help. We need to acknowledge that we are human. I’m no longer interested in performing in order to gain acceptance. I shouldn’t have to drain my energy to the point of not being able to see straight in order for you to tell me that I’m worth my existence.
Dealing with emotions is tricky when you haven’t been trained in what they really are or to acknowledge them effectively. I admit that. It’s also really hard to acknowledge them if you’ve never been allowed to express them or if you’ve ben dismissed when you express them. I think that’s what started this whole piece for me: the outright dismissal that anything happened. I’ve been surrounded by a group of people, including in intimate relationships, who feel the best way to move on from something painful (even if they caused it) is to pretend it didn’t happen. I’m a lover and user of words so that literally doesn’t work for me. I don’t enjoy harboring resentments or unexpressed anything and I know that the way to move forward effectively is to work through it whether we want to or not. The truth is, you pretending you didn’t do something that hurt me doesn’t take away the hurt.
Perhaps it’s that person’s way of coping with their mistakes—a ton of people do this, it is completely normal. But just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it’s healthy or right. We are human and we will naturally do things that hurt each other whether we mean to or not, that isn’t the point. The point is there needs to be a mutual understanding of what happened and an acceptance of how to rebuild the trust in order to move on. For some people it’s as simple as saying sorry. For others, it takes time. We all process emotion differently and we all feel it differently. You don’t get to dictate how someone feels…anything. And you don’t get to ignore how they feel as a result of something you’ve done. Sometimes all it takes is admitting we’re wrong—and that hurts the ego more than anything. And I’m here to say take the hit to the ego because worthy relationships are harder to come by than how you feel about yourself.