Friday, February 29, 2008

The Pendulum of Feelings

I can remember back when I was in therapy that someone, somewhere described to me that feelings are on a pendulum. They can only swing as far to the good as they can swing to the bad. If we don't allow ourselves to experience bad feelings, it stops the amount of swing to the side where the good feelings reside.

I'm pretty sure I didn't believe it at the time. It sounded like a load of bunk someone cooked up to convince me that it was ok to experience those negative feelings that I was so frightened off. But the fact is, at that time, I wasn't experiencing much of anything. I was pretty numb.

As I worked in therapy I was frightened of being swallowed up by negative feelings. Something inside me kept insisting that they were more than I could bear. Despite my fear I managed to work through some things that made a difference in that numbness of mine.

I began to experience some good feelings as well as some not so good ones. I did ok as long as the bad ones were happening in therapy. It seemed to make some kind of sense that bad ones would be connected to childhood abuse. I guess I was prepared for them.

But I hadn't really thought about the fact that those bad feelings could happen anywhere. I remember the first time something hurt my feelings that didn't have to do with my past. I was really devastated. I felt like someone had taken a knife and stabbed me right in the heart.

I can remember that I was feeling just like kahless stated in her recent post, Hurt . The circumstances leading up to this were different but the end result was the same

So these people thought the worst of me and didn't give me the opportunity to talk with them.
I didn't deserve that.
It has shattered a lot of things in my world.
I am really quite hurt.

There is an irony in that. I have paid a lot of money in therapy to do feelings and I guess it has taken me aback that I seem to be doing them.

Between the lines I read, "What's the point of doing this if I'm only going to get hurt?" I know that's exactly what I was thinking.

As I was working on my comment to Kahless, I thought about how things have changed for me. I thought about that pendulum.

I also thought about the fact I've learned that it is true. Only if you allow yourself to experience heartache, can you ever experience joy. I have experienced some pretty extreme heartache. Even as I type this I can hear the cries and remember the intensity of that pain.

The people who are close to me are overwhelmed by how intensely I feel emotional pain. But they are equally overwhelmed by how intensely I feel the good things in life. Sometimes I think I am making up for lost time emotionally, catching up on all the joy my lifetime was meant to hold.

Every time life gets rough and I want to run from my pain. I remind myself of that pendulum. Being able to remember the new found joy I have experienced gives me the courage to plod through the pain. Never again will I allow myself to escape and begin the downward spiral back to numb. Life is so much better this way.


Kahless said...

Thanks for this post.

Actually what has been going through my mind more is what is the f**king point.
Are all people like this?
Best stay away from all people if possible, toughen up and let no-one in and just be a hard b**tard.

Everybody will put the knife in at some point.

Unfortunately I am not tough. That is my dilemma. If I could stay away from people more, then I think I would.

Truly human beings in general are not nice I think. Everyody has there own agenda.

But yes, also I do think life would be cooler with no feelings.

Anyway, my two cents worth!!!!

The People History said...

Hi MiKael ,

I have spent a short time reading this blog and I am just completly blown away , I never realised how unbelievably terrible some childrens childhood can be and that some of the things in your writings can even happen.

I mainly wanted to just say you must be a strong invididual to have survived and I can understand some of the driving forces behind your love for horses.

I would just like to give you a hug from Callie and I and say we are privaliged to have found you online

Steve and Callie

Rising Rainbow said...

kahless, I can sure undestand your point. But then if you toughen up, you are the one who will pay the price. Those other people don't care if you are tough or not, they will continue to do what they do. If you shut down and don't let that in, you close out really good things as well. That would be sad.

I think I feel another post coming on. You are so helpful with assisting me in this area. I really appreciate the motivation.

the people history, thanks steve. and I truly appreciate having found you and callie as friends.

lovelee said...

I would have to say I am a feeling person. The hard parts of life hit me particularly hard, and the happy hit me that way too. It is an intense way to live, but it has enriched my life. I work on balance, but that is just too help find baseline. As much trouble as the intensity can get me in, I have found that it makes me a better person. When I want something I have the determination to go through heaven and hell to get it. I have gone through periods of withdrawel and numbness, but I find that in the end that is unnerving. I would rather live and feel my life than gray it out.

Enola said...

That's so true. Feeling the sad and hurt makes the happy and excited so much better. Because I've felt unsafe, I enjoy so much more the feeling of being protected.

Cheesemeister said...

At this point in my life I'll take muted joy because I'm way too damn tired of feeling pain.