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The Search Continues (Part 3)

How does one learn to define their needs? Or their feelings? What if they don’t know what they need or feel? Especially when the basic needs seem to be met. There are countless words that we can use to express emotion…

dread
suspicious
frustrated
livid
repulsed
dazed
torn
numb
withdrawn
mortified
listless
devastated
frazzled
overwhelmed

and some positive ones…

tender
loving
intrigued
stimulated
optimistic
engrossed
eager
safe
open
dazzled
giddy
passionate
vibrant
thankful
awed

you get the idea….

I was given sheets to fill out. What were my feelings when something happened, or when someone said something to me? What were my thoughts? Needs?

Oh, this was a hard assignment. How can you articulate something like this when you have spent all your life pretending that you were okay…and you were strong? It was “easy” to ignore the bad feelings, and the good ones too. Just don’t let anyone get too close, they might make you feel something. Love was just as dangerous as anger. Both of them lead to frustration and disappointment, at least that is what I told myself. This was my experience, at least.

“Common is an inability to talk about feelings and a lack of understanding of emotions – theirs and those of others. The ex-boarder may lack the ability to articulate feeling states because, at the time of the trauma, the child did not have sufficient grasp of language to translate the sometimes-violent experience into words. Therefore boarding school education produces highly articulate people with little awareness of emotions.” (www.therapytoday.net)

Hmmm…highly articulate? Yes, that’s me. Little awareness of emotions? Again, yes, sounds about right.

“Whilst appearing to conform to the system, a form of unconscious splitting is acquired as a means of keeping the true self hidden. The child then makes no emotional demands but also no longer recognizes the need for intimacy. In boarding school syndrome the memory of the losses and the associated rage are repressed and only surface later, very often with a marriage or, subsequently, in psychotherapy. (www.therapytoday.net)

Suppressed rage?

Anger? Furious? Irate? Distressed? Detached? Apathetic? Were all these emotions stemming from my childhood? How did I hide them for 40 years?

How could I be angry at something that was for the good of others? And how could I be angry when I had a childhood rich in experience and adventure? I had a loving and caring family. There was never any doubt about that.

Was I angry at God?

to be continued….