Feelings are something that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with for my entire life. For most of my life, I haven’t wanted to feel. I just wanted to be. I built up walls so absolutely strong that nothing could break them down. Until they did crumble.
At some point during my childhood, I learned how not to feel. Not to feel the pain of losing my nephew. Not to feel the pain of parents who didn’t outwardly care about me. Not to feel the pain of the bullies at school. Not to feel the so-called friendships I had. Not to feel, just to be.
I built my last wall in late 2009 when I left my ex-boyfriend. That wall went up so damn quick, it was like it had always been there. Over the next few years, I lived an existence of not caring and keeping people at an arm’s length. I let a few friends in, but only a couple have weathered the years. I passed my idle time by partying hard. I was of the mindset that I would do whatever I wanted and would answer to no one. It felt good at the moment. But I was lonely. I wanted connection. These were some of my most lonely years. I made a lot of mistakes.
Then the walls started crumbling.
They crumbled faster than I could have imagined. Faster than I was ready for. So fast that I couldn’t prepare myself for all the feeling that I was starting to do. It took one weekend and one guy to cause my walls to crumble. I never had a chance.
For the past eight years, I couldn’t see what the destruction of those walls did to me. Others probably saw a mess of a woman. I could not handle anything emotional. All the feeling that I prevented for so many years rolled into every emotion I felt. When someone would normally expect to have a small reaction, my emotions reacted dramatically. I had no clarity. I didn’t know what was happening. I felt so alone and so lost. Something was so wrong with me and I couldn’t figure out what it was.
I blamed it on the way other people treated me. I blamed it on my hormones. I blamed it on the IVF treatments. I blamed it on how I believed other people felt about me. I blamed everything that wasn’t directly my handling of my emotions.
I started to do the work on myself, then I went deeper into an emotional hell with infertility and IVF treatments. I stopped working on my personal growth for a few years and it showed. I was a mess. I have been a mess.
Then I stopped drinking this summer. This was a game-changer. I had already committed to working on my emotional well-being, but this made the difference. When I quit drinking, I gained so much clarity. Clarity I wish I had had years ago.
I have found clarity to help me deal with feeling. Clarity to help me learn how to feel into my emotions. Clarity to help me have the internal check-points on each feeling. It may take me a few days or weeks to really understand something, but I know that will improve.
I’m flipping my story. I’m looking internally to see how I can change the blame I’ve dished out for so many years.
I blamed it on the way other people treated me. I let them treat me that way. I need to set boundaries on how I let other people treat me. I can’t just expect them to see that they are hurting me. Are they really hurting me? I have to ask myself this and so many other questions. Is it them or is it me? Is it both?
I blamed it on my hormones. In my opinion and experience, my hormonal roller coasters are affected by alcohol. Hormones have played a big role in my emotions and feelings, but they were exacerbated. Now I am letting my body heal from the alcohol before I re-evaluate my hormones.
I blamed it on the IVF treatments. Yeah, these were fucking hell. They made what was already a hormonal, emotional mess, even worse. I was not emotionally prepared.
I blamed it on how I believed other people felt about me. The keywords here are ‘I believed’. I made assumptions that may or may not be true. I have so, so much work to do here.
I blamed everything that wasn’t directly my handling of my emotions. It couldn’t be my fault. Life was happening to me. WRONG! I let life happen to me rather than taking control. The control I thought I had was such a lie. I wasn’t handling me. I wasn’t working on me.
Life happens. Horrible shit does happen in our lives. It is how we deal with that shit that determines our life going forward. I was not dealing with any of it. I was not working through it.
I let all of the years of not feeling, of not caring, come crashing down on me once those walls crumbled. When I feel something now, there is so much baggage behind it. I feel that baggage as I’m writing this. It is a weight that I could have never known would come back to haunt me later.
I have so much work to do that it is overwhelming. I need to let myself feel into the baggage and pain. I have to stop running from it. I have to stop running from feeling.