I talked with my therapist today about wanting to feel things. Specifically, I want to feel like my parents did their best with what they were given when they raised me. I can say that in my head, but I don’t think I feel it in my heart. Unfortunately, as a result of my sexual abuse along with a great deal of other events in my life, I don’t experience a great deal of emotion in my life.
When my children were born, I felt things. I was excited, I was proud, I was scared, and I was thrilled to have them be a part of my life. When I got married, I was excited, happy, and terrified about my new life. Outside of those times, however, I don’t have a lot of emotions.
My body shuts down my emotions as I am engaging in them more times than I would like to admit. For example, I was feeling emotional about some event that happened recently. I remember beginning to feel sad and that sadness was evoking some tears. Almost immediately, I could feel my body shutting down that emotion, starting in my gut, quickly traveling through my heart to my brain to make sure that I couldn’t experience any emotion. The thing is, though, I wanted to feel sad at that moment. That event should have resulted in that emotion. Yet, my body would not allow me that experience.
At one time, being able to control and shut down my emotions served a very valuable purpose in my life. That ability allowed me to function from day to day, so that I could be productive and not fall apart every time there was an obstacle in my life. However, now I really want to feel genuine excitement when something good occurs. I want to experience sadness and cry when tragedy takes place. I want to feel as much about this life as possible without my body telling me “no”.
If this is something you’ve experienced or are going through right now, believe me that I understand your frustration. I’m no where near where I want to be, but hopefully through my journey, I’ll be able to discover the kind of emotional experiences that make life abundant and exuberant.