the fear of emotions
Before leaving my session today, my therapist said to me, “either you are going to write the best blog you have ever written because of today, or you won’t be able to find the words”. It was that big!
He was right about both. I at first couldn’t find the words, and now, as I sit with today, it’s all coming to me in a way that I have never been more present than I am now.
Today I felt emotions so big; that eventually it slowly melted away the fear I have had towards emotions for a very long time. I didn’t just cry and have tears behind a wall or that wall of fear, I truly had emotions and felt every single drop of a tear.
It was the kind of tears that left me with splotchy cheeks, puffy eyes, a red nose, and a feeling of complete exhaustion!
Today I cried and felt true emotions, and also came relief that I never expected.
Today was my longer session that I have on Tuesdays. On my way in, I knew right away that something was going on inside. I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and I knew something wasn’t right inside. I wasn’t my usual strong and optimistic self.
When I got there, I was trying hard to blame it on the “bad energy” in the room; when in fact it was me knowing within that I was holding a lot, but wanted to stay strong.
I have been on this constant push for 2 months now since I came home from my visit to NH. I haven’t stopped running forward since. I have been writing, connecting, being with, talking my work out, doing the timeline, and finding new ways to push through this path I have been on since coming home.
I have had this constant Adrenalin rush of finally having power over my healing and my past; that I haven’t wanted to stop. To be honest? I haven’t stopped at all since, and I found myself to be growing very tired over the past couple of days!
Today in session, my therapist said to me “it’s time to slow down and honor what’s inside. You are holding hard hard emotions from the past 2 months. It’s time to slow down, and check in with yourself to see what needs to be said”. He said “Strength can also be found in honoring the emotions of what is going on inside”.
Just hearing those words, my heart was racing and pounding. I felt like this huge wave of darkness came over me. I felt sick and ill, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath.
I don’t like emotions. In fact I hate them! emotions scare me. I can feel emotions to a point, but then it stops at a brick wall and wont let me to go any further ahead. The emotions I do have, I have to be alone with them because I hate people seeing me have emotions! I will find myself crying sometimes and not truly allow myself to feel it or understand it; but I know it’s there and I just go through the motions.
Tears were like acid to me, I was fearful of crying my whole life. All these years of therapy and every single time I felt emotions coming on, I would stand up and pace the room back and forth, with him pacing with me until I forced them out. With that I went into this anxiety ridden circle of suffering during the emotions until they finally came out.
Old messages always showed up when emotions were at the surface. I couldn’t even hear or say the word “crying” just a year ago – but that did not happen today – I felt, understood and honored it with no fear today.
Today while fighting it and fighting it, I was asked, “whats there? talk to me”. Something happned inside, I felt fear, I felt the need to run and leave – but I finally gave in! I crawled up into a ball, and just put my face into the back of the couch and just CRIED! I let go! Support sitting right next to me – offering a hug and a hand, but I didn’t want it at that moment. I wanted to feel and be with what was going on inside. I didn’t want comfort or words to cover what I was feeling. I felt I needed to be in that moment that held onto me for all these years – it was me letting go!
For the first time in years working with my emotions, I didn’t care that I was being seen sobbing into the couch! I cried for over an hour, and this feeling came over me that I have never felt before. The fear of emotions were leaving me, the old messages were finally packing up and leaving me since the age of 5 – I was no longer scared in the emotions that I was having. For the first time I didn’t want to get up and run for the door, or stand up and pace in circles!
I cried out my feelings with words (or trying to get words out). I was thinking about all the things that hurt inside that I was holding onto since coming home from NH. I allowed myself to be seen in my mess of soaking tears; finally allowing support to comfort me, but then going back to my face in the couch, and pillow.
I stayed with it knowing exactly what I was going through. I honored it, and for once I had no fear of the one thing that has held me back for almost 40 years – EMOTIONS!
I was finally able to look up and face the room and my therapist sitting next to me; knowing that I allowed myself to be so vulnerable! I allowed myself the comfort and support sitting there in realization. It’s almost as if all the lies and old messages up and finally left me. I not only released emotions, but I released the lies that held me captive – the fear was melting away.
I don’t know all the things I said while crying, but I knew that I felt every bit of it (all the stuff I held since facing my past up in NH 2 months ago). I think I lost 50 pounds in emotional fat today!
In the moments of emotions, I really understood the depth of what I went through, and how much it hurt inside. I felt bad for myself this time, not for them. I felt bad for myself this time, not “her” the 9 year old, or the 5 year old, or the 13 year old – I felt bad for ME and all that I went through. I kept saying over and over “I didn’t ask for this, I am a good person, this was not my fault”.
Another wound open, another wound closing to heal with truth, but this time, I felt everything!
I think I made a joke at one point in the end and said “there you go, I felt the emotions, can I go back to being strong now please?” (In my Karen sarcasm that I pull out of my pocket once in a while) which was then followed by complete laughter after a hard 2 hours.
My therapist being the goof he can be sometimes, he actually stood up and did his own little dance in celebration, because I actually came out and said “I’m not afraid of the emotions in this moment”. It only took 5 years to get to this point. I needed that laugh.
Another wound open – another wound to healed with truth.
I didn’t work on my timeline today, but then again, I Did. This moment that God gave me allowed me to gain yet another foothold going forward.
“Finding Strength in Weakness”
I am blessed by the support, and like Andy said today and always has said, “God is always here with us in these hard moments”. I believe that today more than anything.
In this moment I am experiencing an “emotional hang over”. I am relieved yet feeling how hard this truly was today. I know in time over the next couple of days, I will gain strength from this, and it will help me to open another wound, and close another wound with truth.
As I am writing this, tears are finding my eyes again, I finally let GO of the fear behind the emotions! I let go today and chose me over them!
Tomorrow is another day. I show up again, and I now come back with more strength – moving forward into another part of my healing; another part of my story.
I sit here and breathe, knowing that I am supported, loved and cared for by everyone, and that finally it’s MY TURN to heal!
I’m truly relieved in letting some go – to make room for more goodness.
February 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM
KAREN – BIG HUGS!!!!! to truly have emotions for the first time feeling them, I cannot imagine! what an amazing story! you had my eyes fill up with joy for you!
February 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Karen, I dont have words but to say what brave soul you have! thank you for sharing your story with everyone, and your stories are truly helping others who are in the same place you are.
February 28, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Karen – in the therapy world, emotions are always the hardest to open up, especially in a case like yours. What you did today was open a door for you to feel all the wounds fully now. You needed to get those emotions out in order to honor yourself. I bet it was scary and relieving at the same time.
I am so proud of you. I love coming here and reading about your progress.
a BIG hug out to you tonight … I bet you therapist is proud of you tonight, as I would be if you were my client
vulnerable in my sleep | Finding The Grace Within
November 14, 2015 at 10:56 PM
[…] Emotions and showing emotions have always been something I struggle to show or be with. I have written about this a couple of years ago called “Fear of Emotions” […]
Jane A. Weiss, LCSW
April 1, 2016 at 9:40 PM
I’m so pleased that I read this today! 🙂
Amazing writing – so real, so raw…
As a therapist, you confirm for me the transformational power of a good connection between a “trained” ally … and a willing client.
Thank you for sharing and God Bless your courage! 🙂
April 4, 2016 at 1:39 PM
Thank you Jane . . . that means a lot to me … therapy is hard work – but work that is worth the process if you just give it the time needed .. and the trust of course.