Growing up, I was not allowed to show or express any of my feelings. The more I did, the more I would get in trouble. Of course we all know, that leads to bottling up of emotions and then becoming a ticking time bomb of when you are going to explode when you couldn’t take it anymore. My sister and brother had no problem saying how they felt regardless of what my parents said. I was afraid to go against their ways. For everything that happened growing up things just piled up and kept piling up for as long as I could remember. There were a couple of times that I did explode in front of my family because I couldn’t take it anymore. And since I held on to it for so long, their response was “well why didn’t you tell us that before?” Well I couldn’t and you probably wouldn’t have listened to me in the first place. We went through that a couple of times.
In college, my first boyfriend was verbally abusive and he would always say that “you are too happy,” “you are too sad,” or “why are you so serious?” How can you possibly figure out how to feel anything when you have someone constantly telling you not to feel that way or commenting on every emotion that you have? How was I supposed to feel to make you happy? That relationship didn’t last very long but it did it’s damage.
So now we are here… I’ve gone to therapy and worked through it with her, slowly. At first, it was hard to say stuff but then when I realized I was able to say anything and everything that I have felt and that had built up all these years, there was no stopping it! The flood gates were open and there was no way to slow it down or close it. But, I could only express my feelings to my therapist. It took a lot of time to work through everything from when I was a kid, to high school and college and even up until now.
To this day, I still struggle with expressing my feelings. I’m not good with confrontations because my mind will go blank and I can’t even begin to think of how I am feeling at that moment in time. When I get in an argument, I have to take a step back and calm down, take a few days to process and then revisit the situation and discuss it in a proper manner without screaming or yelling. Even when people ask me how I feel sometimes, I really can’t say it in right then and there. I have to think about it for a while and then maybe I’ll come up with a response? Maybe? I am slow at processing things and now I have to throw emotions into that? I’m starting to get chest pains! I avoid arguments and confrontations as much as possible because it causes me anxiety. I guess I still have to work on expressing my feelings in a healthy way.