Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.
I’m realizing more and more that I have an emotional dam.
I’ve never exactly been an emotional open book. But lately I’ve been feeling a looming sense of emotional build-up. Not that I’m an automaton, I don’t necessarily have trouble showing my emotions or talking about things - I just don’t have as much opportunity at this phase of my life as I have had before.
One reason I think is because I’m not married. Most married couples will spend some time talking over each other’s day, discussing family issues, or just simply talking about things. Sometimes that’s good for their relationship and sometimes….well, usually it’s a good thing. But I have been married so, unlike the never-been-married folks, I got used to the talking and notice its absence. I do have a good relationship with my kids, but they are still young enough that there are some things that they just don’t need to be burdened with yet – and can’t relate to anyway. I want them to be caring and aware and all of that, but I don’t want them to have to feel emotionally responsible for me.
In the past I have had those close kind of sharing relationships with co-workers. But that isn’t the case right now. I’m kind of isolated in my day-to-day work. I will interact with the kids a bit every day which I enjoy, but I’m not in the classroom on a regular basis. And, because of the nature of my job, I am kind of separate from the faculty…which, I’m sorry to say, I am really ok with.
And finally I have to take some personal responsibility for being kind of isolated too. I’ve had a series of not so fun events in the last couple of years that have shifted my life a lot and I just haven’t had the emotional wherewithal to connect or in some cases re-connect with people. Plus it takes me a while to get to a place with people where I feel comfortable opening that emotional vault.
So, the combination of past emotional turmoil that I may or may not have fully dealt with, few opportunities for the human interactive relief valve, and then just the general wear and tear of day-to-day living have led to this vague looming sense of emotional pressure. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised yesterday that after talking to my ex-husband on a subject about which we disagree, I found myself feeling cracks in the dam and the leaks starting. I was crying – well weeping actually. It wasn’t really the Ex’s fault. We have a pretty good relationship all in all and the thing we were disagreeing about isn’t life or death. I would like him to see my point of view and it is troubling that he doesn’t but in the long-run it isn’t worth a battle - I may even be wrong. But I was upset last night and unfortunately every single emotion I have seems to be connected to every other in some hazy, indistinguishable way so just as one thought leads to another, one emotion leads to another and threatens the structural integrity of the dam.
I don’t really have a resolution to this. I did some crying last night and I did some resealing and cementing of the dam as well. I realize that I am gong to have to do something about this so that I don’t find myself at some point running someone off the road in a rage or weeping uncontrollably in the grocery store isle.
Fortunately for me life itself can be a pretty effective therapist.