Emotional Bypassing

I’ve always had a hard time sharing my feelings. Keeping a stone face was ingrained in me from a young age and throughout my entire life. A a child I wasn’t allowed to cry, sob or throw a tantrum. I had to hold it together.

I have a lot of shame and trauma around crying.

My mother was a working mother and went back to work when I was 2 weeks old. I was cared for by my maternal grandmother. She was kind but stoic and always with an undercurrent of dissatisfaction or sorrow. When I was around 3 or 4, my care shifted from my grandmother to a paternal Aunt. I remember so vividly, my mother dropping me off and the terror I felt that she would never return to pick me up. I would follow my Aunt and cousin into the bathroom crying and get yelled at for being a baby, which made me cry more. My cousin, 2 years older would giggle, point and laugh at me. Eventually I’d collapse to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably, chastised by my Aunt. Then left crying on the floor until I passed out. cold. She would simply shut the door and leave me on the bath mat, sleeping. This wasn’t a singular occurrence, it happened with frequency .

Eventually I stopped crying in front of people.

The irony is, I am a crier. My eyes gush my emotions, all of them. The full spectrum. Happiness, joy, sorrow, pain, fear, loneliness. Every aspect of the duality. I’ve adapted to sharing the light side, and share tears of joy with profound frequency. I can now openly cry while watching movies and experiencing the profound love shared in a wedding ceremony. It took me almost 20 births before I cried as a doula -that’s another level of unpacking I am not getting into today. And I still deeply struggle with the dark side of my tears, with all the things you’d typically associate with “negative” emotions. That type of crying is a vulnerability I do not often share.

A few weeks ago, a close asked me how I was via text. She had been entangled in unresolved emotional upheaval for a few weeks involving me another friend (through no fault of her own). This was the first communication I had from her in 9 days, which felt like a lifetime. I wanted to honor myself and her with my truth, so I shared openly my anger and hurt. It was raw. I wrote and rewrote it. I cried while typing it out. I felt a sense of relief. It felt good to share.

Until it didn’t.

Ultimately, the share of my emotions was not received well, at all. And I was left with regret for sharing. Regret for sharing ultimately a piece of who I was. Two steps forward. one step back. Sometimes, even though people ask you how you are, they don’t want to actually know. And instead of listening and holding space (because feelings are always about you, not them) they are met with judgment and shame and then redirected. I didn’t need redirection, coaching, or to be shamed for answering honestly.

I just needed to be heard. To be seen. And to be accepted for every piece of who I am, lightness and darkness. Spiritual bypassing, comes in all forms. If someone can’t see you through your shadows, how do they deserve your light? If you no longer speak the same soul language, stop trying to translate it.

Little Terra was silenced and shamed for crying. She was laughed at when she felt abandoned and alone. It’s my responsibility to protect her and to heal her now. I will not continue to bottle my negative emotions. I will not be shamed for sharing how I feel. I need to continue to openly express all aspects of my duality. I need to remember, if you can’t sit with me in my pain, how can we dance together in the glow of joy?

Talk to me!

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