I have spent so much of my life running and hiding from emotions. I prided myself on being a hardass who didn’t get emotional. I essentially prided myself on being dead inside.
But I wasn’t dead. I took all of those emotions and I locked them up behind walls never to be found again. Except those walls crumbled. And now I am no longer that hardass who doesn’t get emotional. I am more often than not, an emotional wreck.
One simple feeling that I have, has so much baggage behind it that years of emotion suppression is surfacing. It pretty much doesn’t matter what the feeling is.
I was happy being this strong woman who didn’t cry. I would not let people see me cry. Crying was a sign of weakness. Crying was absolutely unacceptable.
I was taught this. From a very young age, I was taught that crying was unacceptable. I was taught to be the hardass who didn’t get emotional. I was forced to be that hardass.
Anybody else hear “you better stop crying before I give you something to cry about”?
That sentence, that threat, probably didn’t affect everyone the way it affected me. I was an impressionable child. I wanted to please. If not crying meant I could be loved, I would shut it away forever. I was not willing to cry if it meant I wouldn’t be loved.
I was not willing to cry if it meant I wouldn’t be loved.
I equated crying with not being loved. I didn’t feel loved. I still don’t feel that I was loved.
I so desperately wanted to be loved that I would not let myself cry or feel emotional. In my young, impressionable brain, I associated crying and love to the detriment of my future self. I kept this notion of not being able to cry and turned it into a bigger notion of not allowing emotion at all.
I wanted to be tough. I wanted to be seen as more than just a girl. I wanted respect. I didn’t want to be weak.
So I was hell-bent on not being emotional.
That was destructive. That is destructive.
Being emotional doesn’t mean you aren’t tough. I am learning that you are tougher the more you embrace your emotions and work through them. Embrace emotion. That is new to me.
Being emotional doesn’t mean you are just a girl. Whoever created the societal norm that only girls are emotional is a fucking asshat. Every single person can be emotional. Not just girls.
Being emotional doesn’t mean you can’t be respected. I am working towards being more respectful towards myself and others who show emotion. I have a long way to go, but the times I can say I truly did this are some of the best feelings of closeness I have had.
Being emotional doesn’t mean you are weak. Working through emotion is a thousand times more difficult than burying it. Weakness is, in my newer opinion, a subjective measurement.
I am emotional. I have tons and tons of emotional baggage. I am stronger every day for working through my emotional baggage. I am stronger every day for feeling into my emotions.
I am emotional.