Something which I sometimes find myself doing after these traumas is holding back on being vulnerable, especially when it comes down to telling someone how I truly feel about them. I’ve touched upon this before in a previous post about being vulnerable and opening up but I think there’s more to explore here.
It actually came up in conversation this week between a friend and I as we exchanged crush/love stories. This friend confessed to acting ‘bat sh*t crazy’ in front of his date, when he was actually just expressing his feelings towards said date. I can relate to this, the feeling of wanting to do or say something ‘crazy’ but holding back in case I get rejected or shamed for sharing my truth. I’m sure many of my friends will remember a similar story of how I acted ‘bat sh*t crazy’ when I sent letters to the man who I was broken-hearted over, week after week pouring my heart out, enclosing short stories which would later form part of my book. The thing is that I did listen to them for the most part but what was overwhelming for me at the time was to tell him how I felt, whether it was crazy or not it was something that felt good to do so I did it. I was expressing my feelings, as I am on this blog and I truly think the world would be a better place if we all embraced this.
The thing is, that this ’emotional expression’ thing, it’s actually a condition that many of us suffer from. It’s called being human. (Have a look in the mirror to see if you have any of the below symptoms: Two eyes, in a head, looking back at you… Yep, doomed. You’re one of us).
My question here is, how have we got to a point in the human experience where expressing an emotion is now seen as ‘bat sh*t crazy’? And I’m sure you’re reading this laughing… Until you think back to that time, when you reacted really emotionally to something and probably berated yourself after for being so bat sh*t crazy yourself. For telling that person you adore them, sending that drunken message or just putting yourself out there. Obviously, this isn’t applicable to everyone out there, you know, those extremely unemotional people who may just be the ideal well-balanced stable pillars of the human race (or they could be robots, I don’t know) in which case, good for you. Well done at not expressing emotions, I’m sure your life is very interesting and all your Worldly desires are met.
However, for those of you who do act ‘irrational’ sometimes, who throw your feeling out there and can hold both your hands up high and scream ‘bat sh*t crazy and proud!’ – I applaud you. YOU’RE AWESOME because you know what that means? It means that YOU’RE A HUMAN BEING! Welcome to the experience, sit down, have a beer and enjoy the ride. Do not, for one second, self deprecate or excuse yourself for this beautiful expression of life.
I need to point out here that although I fully support the expression of emotions, whether positive or negative, it’s important that it’s done in the right way. Blaming, shaming and imposing negativity on someone else because of your feelings isn’t a healthy expression of emotion (and trust me, I know, as many PTSD suffers will do too). But telling someone calmly that you’re feeling angry, and finding that vulnerability or discomfort beneath is a good start to getting on the path of emotional intelligence.
Maybe you disagree and think that we shouldn’t break through our socially conditioned walls and express what’s going on inside, and of course, you’re totally entitled to your opinion, but where might that lead us? Is it a happy life? A connected life? One where we share things and build on our experienced together?
I don’t think so. I think it leads to assumptions of expectations, lack of compassion and emotional ignorance in the fear of being ‘seen’.
And by not being seen, it’s almost as if we don’t exist at all.