My whole life I have been sensitive. It’s just a fact of life about me.
Growing up, this was portrayed to me as a bad thing…Don’t be so sensitive! You are so dramatic! Stop crying.
I am good at hiding my emotions, most of the time. I have learned, through the years, to swallow most of it down and keep it in.
Interestingly, I am also sensitive to other peoples’ emotions and feelings. Sometimes, I feel almost like I over-empathize. It is boundaries all over again. I become a sponge…soaking up the feelings of those around me and noticing small changes in facial expressions and body language.
As a child, this was a skill I had to learn. It helped me predict the unpredictable behavior of those around me. It may have started with a deep, irritated sigh. A frown. A crossing of arms. Learning to read these behaviors early helped me learn to diffuse situations, mold into what I needed to be, and become the peacemaker by blaming myself for whatever was irritating or annoying the other person.
I am smart. I think. A lot. Too much. I have a deep desire to understand a situation–to be able to predict and control my own role.
I cannot control other peoples’ feelings or their reactions. As hard as I might want for someone to see something from my perspective–I cannot force that.
I cannot take away the feelings–anger, irritation, anxiety.
Trust me, I will try–so hard!! But they are not my feelings to take away.
The problem is that my body doesn’t always get this. My body takes on those emotions. Feels them. Wants to make them better. Gets anxiety when I can’t.
Yesterday, I had an appointment with my therapist.
I cried–much more than I normally allow myself to. I couldn’t help it–the tears–the confusion and pain–they were bubbling out of me. I still swallowed a LOT of it back down…but I let some of it out. And, as much as I hate doing that in front of someone who is looking at me while I ugly cry, it did feel like it helped. (Though I totally try to hide my face as much as possible when this happens!)
I felt puffy and emotionally drained all day after. But releasing some of it did feel better–and real.
My therapist spent a lot of time trying to convince me that it is okay to feel my emotions–really, I can voice them because they are MY feelings.
Still, this is a hard concept for the person who is always trying to make other people feel better and comfortable.
I am, still, searching for that connection–that safe person with whom I can share my feelings and ugly cry with without feeling awkward and, instead, feeling safe.
I struggle, still, with needing and relying on my therapist. I feel confused about how much to talk to her. I find myself missing being able to have that connection between sessions, and then I feel guilty for wanting to reach out.
I seesaw between telling myself to tough it out and go cold turkey–and just genuinely being unable to make it through the day without talking to someone who understands…and she does. Yet, I feel shame for wishing she could care about me more than she she can and knowing that she can’t makes me feel like I need to stop relying on her at all. Plus, talking with her about this makes me fear that she will take away what support I do have (even though she tells me this isn’t true!!) and then I spend time over-thinking a response and convincing myself that it sounds different because she wants me to STOP.
They are confusing feelings.
I am a validation person. I need to talk to someone–tell them what I am feeling when I feel vulnerable and hear them tell me whatever “it” is, is okay. Right now, these people are hard to come by–and she is one who does it…and it matters to me. Some days–many days, lately–it is what get’s me through.
Sigh…I’m rambling here. I don’t even know exactly where this post is going. Mostly, I’m just trying to say that I am struggling with feeling too much of what other people feel, AND taking responsibility for those feelings.
I am also continually struggling with the concept of worthiness–feeling like I am worthy of my own feelings, of someone else’s care and concern, friendship…whatever…is something that I battle with daily.
…Tonight, I just wish I had someone who could take care of ME.