October 15, 2009

stuffed feelings don't shout in your face

The past few weeks have really been a time of very intense processing for me. I've realized that in the past I've had trouble voicing my feelings, desires, and hurts. So many times when I thought I was expressing my feelings (like on this blog) I was either making intellectual statements (ie "I think") or making excuses for other people (ie "they didn't realize"). So rarely do I ever say simply "this hurts." If you put a huge pile of guilt and perfectionism on top of that you sort of have my everyday life. Pretty exhausting. And it plays out in the strangest ways. For instance, lately I've been thinking it would be all kinds of fun to try backpacking for a few nights. Allen says he's up for it, so away I go researching lightweight sleeping pads, wind/rain shells, water filtration systems..... the whole kit and caboodle. At first it's fun. "Hey look, REI has their BA insulated air core pads on sale right now -let's sit down and have a talk about how we see ourselves camping in the future." In a way research kind of appeals to me. But then I find myself spending five or more hours a day (yes I said a day) trying to find the perfect wind/rain jacket that's breathable, lightweight, inexpensive, etc. I need to get this right. Things will be very wrong if I don't get this right. Because of various influences I can be highly tempted to point of being absolutely compelled to sit down at the computer and painstakingly research water filters or vacation destinations while dishes and laundry pile up around me. By the time I tear myself away I'm stuck feeling lethargic and guilty with a huge pile of work that I am now mentally ill-quipped to handle. It's no fun. And now that I'm trying to express my feelings and really work though some of this junk I feel sort of like a roller coaster that's lost it's brakes. For instance, I often feel very apologetic about stuff like having a bad day or wanting to do something, and I hate feeling the need to compulsively apologize for stupid things. I really, really hate it. Lately I've found myself apologizing for stupid things and then feeling resentful about it. And if my counselor is right about anger often masking unhealed wounds then I' guessing this will only stop once we've gotten to the festering, bleeding core of things. I thought I had gotten the anger out of my system a long time ago, and here it is coming back. It's like picking at a scab that won't quite heal. I don't like feeling this way. Of course this is where my counselor would be asking "feeling what way?" Anger and resentment are pretty ugly emotions. I suppose I would say that I don't want to be feeling my feelings. And then we get back to where I was when I started going to counseling. It seems like I have to feel the feelings to get through all this and become the stronger Natalie that I hope to be one day. It's just that this stretch of the road is kind of bumpy right now.

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