High And Low


Compensating for something?

When I was at high school and sixth form, friends and peers teased me and created a number of nicknames for me. While there were variations, they all centred on one apparent aspect of my personality. “Ice Queen”, “Stone Maiden”, “Heartless”. Those are just a few things I’ve had thrown at me over the years.

Basically, people decided that I didn’t actually feel things. That my heart was so stony, hard and cold that emotions were alien to me and that therefore I could not be hurt, could not feel the keen slice of emotional pain. Well, here’s a newsflash; of course I bloody could. I still can. But back then, well, I sure as hell didn’t want anyone to know about it. But I’ll tell you now, I feel things extremely. I’ve always been a very emotional person. Not in the crying getting hysterical lets get all involved sense. I’ll make it clear now that I’d rather not be emotionally involved or attached most of the time. No, I’m emotional in the sense that my emotions hurl themselves at me in droves, all clamouring to be the loudest and most important. I feel things so very strongly, and until I learned how to hide them, my emotions would affect the people around me because they came off me in waves. My mum used to say that she always knew when I was miserable or angry after school before she’d even seen me. She could feel this stormy black cloud enter the house and settle over everything and her stomach would sink with the realisation that ‘something’ had happened.

As I got older, I learned ways to cover up more effectively and hide how I felt. To the point that now, I’m almost too good. My mum can often work me out, but she’s about the only one and nowadays even she struggles sometimes. I sometimes forget how to uncover, how to let the emotions out again, how to let things reach me. But that’s beside the point.

A new thing for me is this sudden swoop I seem to get after something has caused me to live on the edge of my emotions. When I’ve been at the point of emotional stress or strain, I seem to drop down into a state of emotional vacuum. A part of me worries that I’ll fall into depression like I did at Uni, but then I realise that because there’s a part of me worrying about it, that’s not going to happen. More likely it’s just my brain trying to compensate. “Oh, you look emotionally tired. Have a sleep, put all those pesky things to one side and rest” So I go for a few days feeling a little peculiar, a little bland and fuzzy round the edges while my brain reconfigures.

I had some down-time recently. I stopped it from getting to the point that I struggle to come back from, but I allowed myself to be blank and empty for a bit. While it didn’t feel good, I think I needed it.

I think I’m happy though. While there are niggly little things here and there that make me frown or make me feel less than happy or make me wish there was something I could do to change the circumstances, in general I think happiness is the prevalent feeling in my life. And why shouldn’t it be?
Which means that even when I’m on down-time and allowing myself to be void of much emotion, I’m still in a good space. And that is of much relief to my family I am sure.

Clap along.


6 thoughts on “High And Low

  1. I feel the same way at times. I get the numb, emotionally detached kind of sensations and while they are scary, I have also realized what would be scarier would be if feeling numb and detached wasn’t worrying me.

    All we can do is keep on going, cherish our loved ones and not worry about the small stuff. Thank you for sharing. xx

    • Yes, at least worrying about it means there’s awareness there. It would be very scary not to have that.
      Absolutely, don’t sweat the small stuff. 🙂 Thank you for reading. x

  2. Very interesting. Up until recently I had the opposite expression of the same problem – I had turned off my emotions inwardly not outwardly. If you asked me what I felt about something I didn’t know the answer – I didn’t feel anything, but anyone looking at my face saw all the feelings I didn’t know I was having. It’s very odd to have someone tell you that face is doing scared/unhappy when you thought you were inscrutible and not feeling any discerable emotion!

    The sudden swoop thing is normal for me too. Once I understood that I realised that I needed to accommodate it rather than trying to battle through it. It’s just an emotional hangover – unpleasant and inconvenient but ultimately not serious because I know what caused it and I know it will pass.

    • Emotional hangover – I really like that phrase. It’s perfect! I’ve not suffered many real hangovers in my life but emotional ones have been all too present.

      Oh dear, it must be very strange to be told by someone else how you’re feeling! I’m not sure I’d like that at all! I hope you’re back in control of your facial muscles now though 🙂

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