I am, in many ways, terribly frightened of emotions. Thinking about it, I can probably pinpoint several reasons for this.
Number 1 would be the relationship with my family - in particular, my parents. I love my parents - they're good people. But like everyone, they're not perfect. I realised some years ago that through my life I've played the role of the "peace-maker" in the family. My mother and father are two very different people, and conflict often happens. In these situations, I've always tried to calm the waters, to avoid or put a stop to arguments, to keep them both quiet and not fighting.
I have known for a while that my wish to avoid involving my family in conflict meant I kept a lot of things from them, so they wouldn't get mad at either a) me, or b) each other. I'm not talking about "Help, I've spent all my money on shoes, I need a loan type stuff". I mean personal insecurities, hang ups, what's-going-on-in-my-head type stuff. I didn't want them thinking I was crazy (Mum), telling me I was crazy and to stop (Dad) , or worst of all, accusing each other of being at fault for my craziness (both).
Thinking about it further, I think this role has made me terribly afraid of facing strong emotions, and more importantly, confronting them and dealing with them. When I was younger I remember my parents would have arguments of biblical proportions. My Dad can be over-bearing, and thinks (read: knows) he is right about everything. My mother gets frustrated with this. She can also be stubborn and too quick to criticise. When I was younger, my mother went through early menopause after an operation. She didn't know what was happening, and it was a horrible time. Dad was confused - and none of us ever knew what to do. I feel so bad that she had to go through that. Perhaps in a way I thought it was my fault - I don't know why. I guess when you're young and someone yells at you your first thought is to think it's your fault. Perhaps I never grew out of that.
Living with strong emotions seems to have made me respond with strong emotions. I'm a naturally over-sensitive person (thanks to Mum), with a loud mouth (thanks to Dad). When I was younger I found it very difficult to control my emotions - particularly outside the home. At school, with friends, with various community groups I got involved with. I have a few key people to thank for helping me realise that tendency was controllable, and I will forever be grateful to them.
But still, I cry easily. And I don't like it. Possibly it has something to do with being a Libra - or at the very least, possessing character traits commonly associated with Librans (astrology being, by and large, just a roll of the dice). I like harmony. I think if I had to sum up my life goal in a sentence I would say "in pursuit of harmony". I don't think that's a bad thing, but I don't think it's a good thing. I want to try to be peaceful, but I don't want to be a robot.
So I still don't like conflict, and try to avoid it, because I don't like to cry. You automatically lose something when you cry. Most people take it as a sign of weakness, no matter how sympathetic they are to the reasons why you're crying. And I think - in fact I know - that I'm terrified of strong emotion, because it places me back in that peace-maker role of thinking "I have to find a way to bring this strong emotion under control". And sometimes that's not a good thing. Sometimes you have to experience the strong emotions in order to come out wiser on the other side.
I could compare it to plane travel. I really don't like plane travel. But I will undergo it any day of the week because I know I'll reach an exciting destination at the other end. However, emotions are not guaranteed like destinations. I'm terrified of changing for the worse. Of becoming embittered, shallow, scared, timid, overbearing, unlikeable...pick one. I'm terrified of the plane crashing.
Then I look at all this stuff that I'm pouring out here, and think - am I just a wanker? Am I just another self-obsessed whinger adding more dross to the already crowded internet? I like writing these things down, and this just seemed like the forum. I can type faster than I can write anyway, without my hand getting sore. ;)
I guess I am just one of the multitudes. But like everyone else, I am an island - and the internet allows people a forum to say "Hello! Here I am! I'm an island!" I also think I'm scared of being that island, of having to look deep inside myself and confront the parts of me that I dislike the most. I think I'm a pretty good person and a pretty ordinary person at the same time. I think I should be treated much better by everyone, but kind of feel like a fraud if that happens.
I want to do the right things by people, but I also want to stand up for myself.
Sometimes - most times? - it just sucks being human. I wish I was a cat. A cat sleeps all day, eats, can act as haughty as they like, picking and choosing who they want to spend time with, not caring if they're rejected because they're fabulous all by themselves and just don't give a damn.
I gotta start spending more time with my cat Mollie. ;)
Time investment really. Seems to be what it's all about. What and who to invest time in. And when. And why. And that sucks too, because as anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm terrible with time.
My upcoming 25th birthday has been playing on my mind a lot lately. Really, I should have left home 3 years ago. Possibly even 5 years ago. I've been looking at real estate, trying to buy a house to move out into. If I don't find one soon, I'm seriously considering just renting somewhere for six months. My parents are going overseas this week for 6/7 weeks, and it would be a good time to just pack up and go so that by the time they get back I'm gone, and they can't protest.
This has been a long and rambling post, and I'm in two minds as to whether it's been of any use. I'll let you (or at least myself) know at some point, I'm sure.