Thursday, January 27, 2011

If I got one wish...

Most people if given the chance at one free wish would choose fame, fortune or material gains. If I could get my genie to pop out of the lamp I would forgoe all those choices to be able to read other people's minds. Not for some strange lurking or bad movie plot reason, the reality is I pretty much don't care what others think day to day, but I would like the ability to read other people's minds to figure out my own thoughts.

Three times in the last week people have made comments to me about my feelings not being unique, that I am not as different as I think I am. While my instinct has told me for many years that I don't think and feel like others, that other people are happier, have it more together, are better able of capable of managing life's stressors, that keeps getting called into question, to the point even I am unsure anymore.

I try really hard not to spend my life looking backwards, the past is the past and leaning on it is a crutch with little benefit, but the reality is that our past does make us who we are. And if I am honest I have to face that my ability to know whether my feelings are normal or abnormal comes from how I grew up, and in this I know I am not unique. Many people grew up like I did, in families where feelings weren't shared, where showing emotion was a sign of weakness or worse yet a risk. There are many downsides to this kind of childhood, but one of the biggest is never really learning what are normal feelings and what are abnormal. And when every emotion is shot down, they all begin to feel abnormal. Just feeling begins to feel wrong for even happening.

I've overcome a lot in my life time, more than most people luckily will ever face, but I have never gotten past my inability to deal with my emotions or to express them to other people, especially when face to face. Don't get me wrong, I can express opinioins on a situational and logical level. No one ever has to guess if I like something or don't, if I agree or disagree. But when it comes to what I am truly feeling about a situation it is a totally different ball game for me.

And the older I have gotten the harder it has gotten. Any time I have taken the risk and tried to let someone in to that part of me it has seemed to back fire. Too often in life when people say they want in, they really don't once they get there and they walk away, just reinforcing that my feelings must be wrong or abnormal. It has become much easier to hide what is truly going on than to risk driving people away.

I fear saying that comes across as people don't care. That is not what I am saying at all. I have many people around me that care. But caring does not always mean being able to handle hearing the reality of people's feelings, sometimes it is actually easier to talk to those who don't care so much, they seem more open to hearing where I am at and letting me be there in that moment. Too often when people care, they want to convince me to feel otherwise, that I shouldn't feel what I do. And I get it, no one likes to see people they care about upset or hurting. But the reality is when we try to talk someone out of how they feel it doesn't change their feeling, it just drives them to hide it better, or at least it does for me.

I know many times what I am feeling is NOT what I would like to be feeling, I would like to be happy when I am sad, I would like to be content when I feel anxious, I would like to be accepting when I am frustrated. But there is a reason why I am feeling what I am and I need to stop running from that and face where I am. It's time I start dealing with that and not just writing it off to be something else for others. Since I don't know how to do that with other people lately I just keep it to myself.

Is that normal or abnormal, I still don't know.

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