Do you know the exercises that we did when we were little where a teacher would show you a face and you responded with which feeling it displayed? It was commonly happy, sad, angry, confused, and afraid. In school, we are constantly taught to recognize others emotions and how we are supposed to respond to them. But why am I 22 years old, able to recognize others emotions, help them when they are in need, but I couldn’t tell you my own feelings and I can’t seem to help myself? (Man, I need to go to therapy.)
I am in this class. I’ve spoken about it before. Diversity and Advocacy in Education. Our final project is due in five days (eep) in which case I have to submit an art journal that expresses my emotions about race, gender and class but also bullying, shame, and vulnerability. Let me just share with you what my vulnerability page looks like: It is a brick wall from top to bottom with a hole smashed through. An arm pokes out holding out a heart that is beaten and broken. This is what vulnerability looks like to me and as of now, I am in my fortress and that hole has not been broken through yet.
We are taught that being vulnerable means expressing our thoughts and feelings with someone else. However, all I can do is sit in frustration (that’s a feeling!) because I’m too confused (there’s another one!) about what my feelings even are. Just like elementary school, I can tell someone when I am happy, sad, angry, confused, and scared. But what is it when all I want to do is laugh while I’m crying? What is it when I am so angry that I scare myself? What is it when I’m sitting on the kitchen floor, staring at an open refrigerator trying to decide if I am hungry? What is it when I’m driving in my car trying to decide if it’s worth driving off that bridge?
AND IF I CANNOT FIND WORDS, HOW IN THE HELL DO I TELL SOMEONE.
Therefore, I turn the feelings off. I pack them up in boxes, put them in the back of the closet, close the doors, lock the key, throw that key off a cliff, weld the lock, and move out of the house.
I am a cold person. I keep a straight-face. I am classified as uptight, determined, and unfeeling. That might be because no one knows that it’s me writing this. Looking at my posts, there are a lot of feelings. But no one can know about them. That causes expectations. Expectations to tell people I’m having a bad day or even a good day. Expectations to smile when I see someone I know. Expectations to share. I like being on my own and I want it to stay that way.
I am that 13 year-old emo kid. I just wear adult clothes now.
Keep to your roots,