I guess sometimes it takes a few good men to get a strong woman to talk about her feelings. First, one male reader of this blog suggested I write more about my feelings from these experiences. Within days, a second male reader suggested the same thing. Sheesh. They certainly picked up on one of my Achilles heels — feelings are not my favorite category. Here’s why: My mind took over and my feelings froze. My memory is that as I burned on that stove, there was a moment when it no longer hurt and I accepted that I was going to die. I could think clearly but didn’t feel anything anymore. Intellect first, feelings sometime later. Even now, when pain or emotional distress come my way, the pattern returns and I freeze. It makes me adept at “compartmentalizing” those pesky feelings. If and when I’m ready to make sense of the feelings part, I find I can go back hours, days, weeks or months later to open that emotional valise and address it. Or not. There are a lot of theories on delayed reactions like these and I have to work harder-than-the-average bear to connect hurt-to-feel. Anyone else experience something similar?
- Hurting Back (malouatienza.wordpress.com)
- Judith Orloff MD: Gusher Or Empath? How To Identify And Master Your Emotional Type (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Achilles In Us All – To Our Own Demise (friendtoyourself.com)
- Feelings (English File) (englishelxni2.wordpress.com)
I can so relate to the coping strategies we use that just become part of our life — ones that are such a part of us we never even think about them until we read an insightful post like this. I am mentially reviewing mine to see if they still serve me…
As I get older I think our coping mechanisms change and we have to constantly sift the wheat from the chaff just as you suggest; merry.
Hello @AnneonFire. such a treat to meet u. thank u for the ping-back. your story of courage is one i am better for sharing. connection is such a miracle. keep talking.
Sana — your site is great and very motivational. I agree that connection is a miracle.
thank u so!
I think we learn to express our feelings (or not express) from what we learn from our parents/families. I learned early on to stuff it as did you. Expressing emotion led to vulnerablity – so why go there. I agree, it can definitely work in our favor to keep emotions in check, especially in business but what I found is that sooner or later they come out. And/or you get to the point where you don’t know how you really feel about anything. I think that disconnect causes a lot of mid life crisises.
Eva — as usual, your comment is very perceptive and I wholeheartedly agree. Emotions have to be emoted and they will come out no matter how hard anyone tries to push ’em down. Think you are right about the mid-life crisis aspect.
Out of curiosity, how have your children learned to deal with physical and emotional hurt? Do they emulate your “delayed feelings” or express them “in the moment?”
Happily Kris, the children appear normal in every respect. Though I wonder what “normal” is — since everyone has their own personality and coping mechanism. In my case, my “delayed reaction” approach can serve me very well at times.
You are the goddess of compartmentalization, yes it’s true. The scars from my childhood “fires” made me just the opposite – I wear my emotions on my sleeves to a fault. A little ying-yang goin on here.
Merry, I think you would agree that the key is to “know thyself” and that allows us to have a choice over our response. When you are aware of your patterns, you can shift them. Most of the time. It’s always hard to control immediate reactions but I’d say we both do a darn good job.