Monday, November 8, 2010

The Exorcist

We stuff ourselves with our unresolved feelings. What happens when we stuff ourselves? We feel full, dull and weighed down. We are too busy to delve into those “feelings” that stalk the recesses of our mind. We are too busy to be derailed by actually feeling the sadness that is wrapped around our heart. We are too busy to feel...maybe another another time or in another place. It sounds simple enough but what do you think happens to those repressed feelings? Do they go away quietly? Do they vanish into thin air? Think again...
Just like a balloon, if we keep on filling it with air beyond it’s capacity...the pressure builds until it can no longer contain the air and the balloon pops with a loud noise, startling everyone within ear shot...We are just like the balloon. Eventually, we are going to “pop” and scare everyone around us. You know who you are...stuffing down those feelings...a ticking time bomb...waiting...waiting for the right moment, waiting for the least insignificant thing to set you off. And then...BOOM!  You are in an all out rage, spewing venom, torching villages, head spinning. You’ve become Linda Blair in the exorcist. Your eyes bulge and your claws come out. You are ready to strike at the first person in your vicinity. You go for the jugular. You are letting out years of frustrations. If looks could kill, everyone would be dead in your immediate line of sight. You don’t even know why you are mad. You just know that someone wronged you and you are going to make sure they won’t get away with it. You don’t care that the person in front of you was guilty of only one transgression.  You are still going to let them have it for all of those that came before him or her. And then after you’ve simmered down and taking a hold of yourself. You realize, you’ve annihilated and cut down with a machete another human being. Was it worth it? Do you feel light and completely free? No. Now you have do deal with the guilt.
Or you do what I use to do. Stuff, stuff and stuff myself like a Christmas turkey until I was bursting at the seams and then the dam would break and there is nothing, I mean nothing to stop the flood from coming. Years ago, I was at a wedding. It was a beautiful day, everything was perfect or so I thought. I was sitting there enjoying the ceremony. Taking it all in, the flowers, the joy, the happy couple, everyone smiling and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My eyes started to mist and this undeniable dread started rising from within. It felt like waves, tsunami like waves coming towards me, full force. And I knew, that no amount of squeezing my eyes shut or breathing deeply was going to stop the torrent of tears that were about to be spilled. So, I got up quickly and headed straight towards the restroom. I must have been in there for at least an hour...sobbing uncontrollably, letting all those suppressed feelings I had, out. Let me tell you that after that, I made a promise to myself to deal with my feelings as they came up. It was an utterly humiliating and humbling experience to be so raw, vulnerable, to have red puffy eyes, globs of snot everywhere and everyone asking me what was wrong. 
“Good girls” are not suppose to express their feelings or speak up.  All of us to some degree, are raised not to express our true feelings. Men are told not to cry and girls are told not to show anger. So, the majority of men are good at expressing their anger, dealing with the problem and moving on. They are not so good at expressing their “sensitive” side because that’s just not what men do. It’s okay for women to cry but not express their angry because we don’t want to be labeled as a bitch. So then no one is expressing or dealing with their feelings in healthy ways.  I’m not saying that anger doesn’t serve it’s purpose if used wisely. Anger like any other feeling, is just that a feeling. Feelings are neither right or wrong. They are  just feelings. It’s the action or actions that we take because of the “feeling” that  can be wrong or detrimental. We are angry because our needs are not being met. We are angry because we give our power away and let people overstep our boundaries. We are angry at ourselves because we don't love or respect ourselves enough to speak up. If we use our anger to propel us forward, it can be very empowering. Why are you angry? Where did you not speak up for yourself? How can you use this awareness to have your needs met in a healthy productive way?
How do I diffuse my anger so that I don’t go Mt. Vesuvius on anyone? I have an "anger hour." I learned this from a fabulous trail blazing woman. I time myself. It could be for 5 minutes or longer. I prefer five minutes. When the timer starts, I let it all out...everything that has been bothering me, is released. I’m mean full blown. It helps to play really loud music. One, to get in the mood and two, so that the neighbors won’t hear you. You can use a pillow and smack the bed or use your fists. You can kick and scream...jump up and down, whatever works for you. I also go to the gym put on my boxing gloves and release it on the punching bag. Just be careful not to hurt yourself or break anything. A friend of mine broke a lamp while she was smacking her pillow around. When the time is up, I stop, take a few deep breaths and center myself. I let it go and move on with the rest of my day. Maybe I’ll revisit my anger tomorrow...but I sure won’t let it lurk in the dark, ready to pounce unexpectedly.
In order to let your feelings move through you and out, you have to feel them. Let your body process them. I wish there was another way but there isn't.  Give yourself permission to own all your feelings, so that they don’t hold you prisoner...waiting to escape.

in love and pleasure,

The Twinkie Angel