All my life, I’ve struggled with what I like to call “feeling attacks.”
Something will provoke overwhelming emotion inside of me, and in turn I must choose how to respond while brewing with said emotion.
This made for a chaotic, insecure, controlling teenager. Couple this with the fact that I was raised in a household that taught me to either stifle your emotions or let them explode, and I didn’t have a healthy model for display of emotions.
However, this fact about myself has made it extremely easy for people to dismiss my emotions or use them against me. I made the mistake of attracting saviors for friends, constantly unloading that I wished I wasn’t so emotional, that it was a problem, that I knew I was irrational, etc. If I could beat them to the punch, I would see the hit to my ego coming. I could provide a controlled environment for sharing this vulnerability.
My sensitivity was always viewed as a negative:
“You’re too sensitive.”
“I was just teasing.”
“Why do you take things so seriously?”
“Wow, you must be pmsing.”
….and so it goes.
I learned that my gift of empathy was a burden. That me feeling the energy of others and subsequently experiencing that same emotion was erratic. The fact that I was a healer, empath, and highly sensitive person left me feeling alone and immature.
But this wasn’t the worst of it.
Subconsciously, and without warning, I invited assholes into my life.
These were the people that would make me second-guess my rational emotions. They would manipulate me into admitting fault, while their wrongs were carefully covered up. My mistake was immediately explaining my emotions as if they were a burden; a silly, childish trait. The wrong type of people latched on to this, shifting the blame to me. After all, I’m overreacting, right?
So how does one break the cycle?
1) Recognize and understand that your emotions aren’t a burden.
2) If you consciously try and avoid being irrational, that is what you will do. Don’t let anyone make you doubt your own self-control.
3) Stand up for yourself and your emotions. Rein them in, but also know that they are allowed to be released, given the right context.They are a gift in a jaded world.
4) Never allow someone to reduce you to your emotions. Never allow someone to make you feel disgusted or juvenile for how you feel.
5) We usually attract shift-blamers who will comment on our feelings instead of taking responsibility for their actions. Don’t let them do that to you.