When I was younger I was repeatedly told to “stop crying.” I was told that I should get my emotions under control. I blame my divorced parents for my mental issues. They separated before I was born, shortly after my brother died. They fought all the time. My father always telling me to “stop crying, to get a grip on myself, there is nothing crying will do to solve the problem.” Looking back I think this is where I developed the unconscious belief that my emotions were not valid, not important to anyone, not even myself. My mother would hug me, hold me before my father would remove me from her and she would cry and cry. It took my years to be able to hug people. To this day I refuse to hug my mother. I do hug my children and my Liege (spouse).
When I was an adolescent I had only two emotions. Anger & sadness. When I wasn’t feeling either of those two, I felt nothing, empty and void. I also didn’t know why. I would fly in to fits of rage around to age of 8. I would wreck my bedroom, clothes and closets. I didn’t feel the need to hurt myself, cut self. I would have mood swings from that to sadness, depression and feeling so alone.
Nowadays I still have issues with some people and emotions. If a friend calls me to tell me what an asshole their spouse is and they are upset I pick up their emotions and double it. I get all worked up, then it takes me time to settle down. Certain people (Charlie) have a way of pushing me backwards, into that uncontrollable whirlwind of emotional instability.
I have found that with my Liege, that if he remains calm (and most often he is) I can deal with, sort through any of my family drama, friends gossip, etc. There are times when he gets angry with something someone does and he will tell me, explain it to me and then I tend to feel the same way he does. But not all the time. I often lean on him to keep my emotional instability in check when dealing with the kids. I have him talk for me instead of me cussing out one of the kids for something, he says something very differently. Which is a very good thing. Sometimes my emotions sweep me up and it’s all out before I can think.
Another thing I try to do is limit my amount of time with people in general. At work, I say hello, etc but won’t stand around long enough to get in to the gossip. I have noticed that when I do hang out with people socially (without alcohol) it is very draining on me. I need a nap afterwards. I also use my spouse as an emotional outhouse when I get home. Spewing out all the crap I stored up throughout the day. He sits there quietly, listening and when I’m finished he hugs me and says something to make me laugh. We joke about my flirting with other men. He says “if they only knew what or how you really are.”
My emotional instability is a real part of me. I try to hide it, but sometimes I can’t control it. Most days if you were to ask me how I feel I would respond with “nothing, blank, empty.” Which I consider to be my normal. For me it means that my emotions are not overreacting, not of control or causing me pain. I will pretty much do anything to prevent emotional pain. I will continue to learn how to live with all of this. I can tell you what works for me, may not work for you. I like saying I’m just a little high-strung at times.