Taking Care of Myself

I Had a Chance to Feel…

Feelings

I did it again. I had the opportunity to feel emotion but I wouldn’t allow it to happen. The emotion was fear.

I had a good Thanksgiving with most of my family members present. It was a Thanksgiving for which to be truly grateful, not because of the gathering and sharing of food and conversation, but because of what my mother and step-father did for me.

My only income is my social security disability insurance, which is considered to be at the poverty level (though I never feel poor).

I accumulated credit card debt when I opened an account to pay for make-up artist school. I had a job at a spa waiting for me upon graduation – I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be any good at it. Then the alternator in my car went, then the brakes, then a vet bill… the credit card total exceeded $3,500. I had 0% interest for 18 months. When that ended, my monthly minimum payment increased by $50/month in interest. I was having trouble making ends meet. I would pay the minimum, but then need to use my card at the end of the month because I’d run out of money – I couldn’t get the balance down. I got another credit card with a $3,500 limit so I could transfer the balance at 0% interest for 15 months. But, I was informed by the company that at the end of the term, any remaining balance would become a cash advance with interest accumulating daily – this was not an option. I also owe $1,800 on my mother’s VISA – she lets me use it for emergencies, but I would end up using it for gas and food come month’s end. This was a vicious cycle, one from which I saw no way of getting free.

My stepfather told me my mother would pay off my credit card from future inheritance money on the condition that I close the account and hand over my credit cards. He also said that I need to pay $50/month on my mother’s VISA, to stop relying on her card, and start putting money into savings for car repairs, vet bills, etc. I thought, no problem, I can do that. I was wrong.

I sat down on Friday and wrote out a budget of all my expenses. Then I  wrote out a food budget from the receipts I had saved, listing only basic food items, trying to keep nutrition in mind. The balance was a negative $26 per month. The budget of expenses didn’t include items like shampoo, dish soap, or deodorant. The food budget didn’t include items like fish, or veggies (other than salad), or walnuts. I realized how much I had been relying on the credit cards to get me through month-to-month. I began to panic as I went into survival mode. My eyes began to mist as fear started to rise within me. I quickly shut it down, telling myself that I was feeling sorry for myself, that many people have it much worse off than I. I laid down on the couch and fell asleep for three hours (my therapist said I do this to avoid feeling emotion).

I awoke Saturday morning with an excruciating migraine, complete with nausea and vomiting. My repressed emotions, as usual, expressed themselves physically. I was bedridden for the next 22 hours. I forced myself out of bed at 6:00 a.m., hungover and in pain from lying down for so long. I had to get functioning. I had a reading and book signing that morning. I was able to push through, but am now exhausted and drained.

I don’t know why there is such an intense resistance to feeling emotion. Yes, I know it will be uncomfortable, but I also know the feelings will eventually pass. Maybe it’s just habit. I’ve been stuffing emotions for as long as I can remember.

Hopefully, next time, I’ll be able to allow my emotions to surface, process them, and release them. I’m just trying to not beat myself up, to practice kindness, patience, and gentleness with myself – something I constantly struggle with.

It’s just so frustrating. I got a new therapist with the express intent of connecting with my emotions so that I can stop going through life numb.

Any suggestions?

9 thoughts on “I Had a Chance to Feel…”

  1. My body often registers emotion when my psyche cannot. It is a wonderful protection mechanism. That you sleep instead of feel gives your body a chance to rest up before the feelings arise. It still comes and with it all the pain, angst and sometimes such a chaos of overwhelming emotions, but since your body rested beforehand you are better prepared to feel all that finally comes.
    In my twenties away from home in college my back hurt so painfully I went to the emergency room. It hurt almost that severely when a brother died. I could not face the overwhelming grief. It was a survival mechanism that happened subconsciously. There is nothing wrong with my back. (other than arthritis now, but not then)
    Maybe part of it is conscious resistance, but a bigger part might be protecting you in a way that is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone mentioned to me about the need to rest, but no emotions surface later on. When I wake up, it’s like the feeling was never there. There probably is a great deal of protection happening – I just wish my feelings wouldn’t manifest so strongly in my body. When I get migraines, I’m incapacitated for days. My back pain is intense. The only feelings I experience are anxiety and sometimes anger when people don’t behave as I think they “should.” But that’s imposing my personal belief system on them – though sometimes my anger is warranted, like when I witness abuse. Other than that, I’m numb. I’m tired of feeling numb. What I really want is to be able to feel love and joy. My life would be so much richer if I could. Thanks for your feedback – always appreciated. 🙂

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  2. Have you ever used Tapping, also called Emotional Freedom Technique? There are many, many videos on YouTube that describe what it is, how it works, and have scripts to follow along for all sorts of things. I’m so sorry such intense fear came up for you. And yes, we store all sorts of emotional pain in our tissues. I used to get migraines that lasted on average for 3 days. And my back constantly talks to me. Are there any programs in your area to help you with food and basic necessities when you need help? Some sort of community services and/or food bank? Sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard of Tapping – I will look into it, thank you. We do have a local food shelf, but people get there two hours early to be the first in line, standing outside in the cold and rain and snow waiting for it to open. With my back issues I can’t stand for very long. Thankfully, I get assistance with my electric bill. Thanks for the hugs! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Im so sorry! Its really hard when the emotions manifest in physical symptoms or body memories.
    I had to train myself to understand and trust thats its just feelings and emotions and to let them come. I had to learn to believe that they would be time limited, they wouldn’t kill me and that I wasn’t weak for having them. At first it seemed like my insides were splitting apart, like I was gutted but now (even though the feelings can be intense) I just let them come. It took a while, but I just trusted that what my therapist said about getting my feelings out were true.
    There are still times when I try to smush them down, but its not as easy to do that as before.
    Sending you lots of love and support! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

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