Google+ Considerings: The Silence of Deep Feels

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Silence of Deep Feels

I hesitate to blame being English.

As a nation (I believe) we have a reputation for maintaining a 'stiff upper lip', and at all times a sense of decorum and propriety. We show affection to dogs and horses, but that's about the limit. Tragedy, from a tumble and a scraped knee, to a fatal diagnosis, is met with a brief flash of panic in the eyes, and the hasty offer of a cup of tea - that balm which makes all things better. If the situation is really bad, there might be an awkward pat on the shoulder and a mumbled, embarrassed "There, there..."

Whether or not we've always been like this - cloistered from our feelings and gushings-out of affection (perhaps a result of living on a drizzly, grey little island, where everyone seems to have a perpetual cold (which, I have to say, is rather off-putting when one considers getting up close and personal with another human)) - and it's difficult to know now whether we behave like this in order to conform to stereotype, because we've conditioned ourselves into one giant, cultural expectation, or whether it's simply that we can't stand being akin to (or confused with) the overblown emotional gestures and tinge of hysteria one comes to expect of Americans. Or worse still, the French.

But there's a reason for the phrase 'still waters run deep', and I can't definitively say that as a collective, the English nation is the embodiment of this phrase, but there's a reason our poets are so well respected, 'kay?

I've never been good with emotions. I think mostly because I grew up so confused and swamped by so many conflicting ones, and so many intensely strong ones, that I didn't really have the chance to untangle them all and organise them into some semblance of use, until well into adulthood. So I learned to keep them in. They were dangerous and could easily attract attention (and thereby, trouble) and so they got bottled.

And naturally, as these things do, the bottle (at one point, years ago) burst. Badly. Damage happened, and I was left picking up the threads of my sanity, my world, and my feelings, and have spent the ever since on those feelings, chasing after them and trying to tie them back down so I can look at, learn and understand them.

There is still a fear, deep and abiding, that an emotion expressed will be met with swift and vehement rejection. So I've spent my life NotDoing it. I work my feelings out instead, doing nice things for others or expressing through action what I mean. Because half the time, when it comes to 'feelings', I can barely form the words. I certainly couldn't SAY them to another person. Not without a joke to buffer the response.

However, I'm learning. I took a long, hard look at myself and realised that as long as I kept on rejecting myself, that was all I could ever expect from anyone else. So came the slog of engaging with those emotions, then slowly, with terrified baby-steps, beginning to show them. Share them. Write them down. Commit them to paper or pixels and allow them to be seen. (I'm still getting there on the 'saying them to your face' part).

And it's worked - I have to report a success. I have been encouraged so, so much by the positive responses, nearly universally, to my attempts to connect the feels and the expressing of them, and to aim them at people appropriately. I have become more loving, more able to express those positives and expect, not rejection, but warmth and appreciation in return. My world is brighter and far fuller of light and the excitement of genuine, mutual affection, shared with more people. I have learned to hold this treasure lightly, easily (mostly) not worrying about whether or not I get anything back, but that sometimes offering love and support are a reward in themselves, and that I am now equipped to do it - that I enjoy and appreciate the ability to do it.

Yet there's been a price.

Detachment.

I can't do it any more. Or at least, not in a sustainable way.

I used to be able to choose whether the words I read or the things I saw or heard, became Real to me. Or whether they stayed as words; static within their paper-and-ink fixings, or left hanging in the air, to dissipate with time.

Now the choice is harder; less of a choice, more a clawing realisation that I suddenly need to Not Go There because if I feel  *that*, I will break. There have been those who know me well, who have advised me against sharing my time and affection with particular people. Those ones known as 'emotional vampires', who suck you dry of all you have to give, time and time again, until you crumble to dry ash. And those ones whose challenges are similar to my own, whose darknesses might tip me off the abyss into The Bad Place and leave me stranded.

But I can't do it. I can't bring myself to cut these people off, and not just the ones I've been warned away from; I can't cut myself off from any of them. Any of you. Because now I've learned how to Care, I can't stop. And with Caring, comes Feeling. And that can sometimes swamp me completely.


When you're preparing for your child's party, haunted and swamped by intrusive images of the year before, when your husband was in a coma, tied to life with tubes and drugs and no guarantees...and you keep going, keep doing, in spite of the horror and terror and unquellable panic. I'm with you. I panic for you, and feel that insistent, blaring pressure of 'what if it happens again?'

When you're required, at such a fragile age, to make the impossible choice between your parents - a choice which you know will have repercussions long into your adult life. I'm there. I feel indignance and outrage and heartbreak and the flat, numb knowledge that however impossible the decision, Not Making It won't make it disappear, and that there is only so long before an answer must be had...

When you are prised away, screaming, from the body of your sweet baby, restrained as he is removed from you and tranquilised to stop you fighting tooth and nail to hold him one last time - forever. I'm with you, and I feel that fierce rush of adrenaline and want to find some way - any way - to bring him back for you and let you keep him like you should've been able to...and I grieve with you that I nor anyone can do that.

When your lungs constrict so suddenly you're taken by surprise, and the coughing and coughing won't stop and your breath turns to gravel within you, I'm there. When your muscles go into spasm and you fall, incapable as the lack of oxygen takes hold and blackness dances before your eyes, my own breath shudders and catches and dizziness sets in.

When you look coldly at your children, who you want to (and do) love so much, but without the reminder of HIM in their faces, their voices, their movements...without the memories of being forced and forced until they came into being. Without the horror and brokenness which heralded their existence, I'm there with you and the conflict twists my gut into knots and I bite my tongue and know that you're always stretched to your limits, doing your utmost to love them, and that conflict makes me die inside.

When your father shows up at your door unexpectedly and throws your world into freefall, I recoil too.

When your ex tries to suggest that you're an incompetent mother and strip you of the rights to see your children, it's as though I've been knocked down and spat on.

When you find a lump which needs rapid investigation and removal, the abject terror of what it could be rises up in me, too, and the thousands of question marks hanging over your future begin to haunt me.

When I know that the last memory of your husband is of him signing over and over and over "I love you", and that he's gone, and you are left to pick up the pieces and somehow carry on, and don't know how, my chest feels punched through, and my heart obliterated.

When the unintended, ignorant (or just plain unkind) barbs about your ability to parent your child with special needs are brushed off lightly, but each hits home as though the comment were fired from a harpoon, I feel it. 

When I know that your love will be forever unrequited and that you're terrified you'll never hold a candle for any other, and you embrace the trauma of trying to let go, I feel it.

When I know that each day is a super-human effort for you just to get up for and that pain follows your every footstep and yet you trudge through because you know you have to, I feel it.

And when I look up and the world around me hasn't changed - cars pass outside, birds sing, the weather is still doing whatever it does, and the surroundings are no different than before my emotional world was rent into tiny pieces by the intensity of vicarious feeling - I am stilled. Stunned. And the silence wraps me up and baffles me.

And I know that when I see you next, those moments of echoed feels will press in, closing around me like vultures falling on a fresh kill, and I'll act bright and light, as though those spectres don't exist, all the time feeling their pecking. All the time knowing that you're living with the aftermath of the reality of your own life.

And it strikes me that this is why people choose not to feel. Not to invest. To limit the extent of their care to the surface. Maybe because they don't want to engage with the emotional assault which comes with caring. Or maybe because they have too much going on already in their own lives to even begin to think about taking on the feelings associated with the traumas of someone else's.

I get that.

I did that.

And now that I don't any more, and the barriers are down, the filters are off, the heart is laid bare and ready to embrace the beauty and the brutality of life - for me, for you, for anyone - I am amazed.

Because along with those pitfalls and life-traps and horrors, come the wonders.

Those shining, timeless, golden moments which radiate out warmth and perfection and seem to be the very essence of Everything Being Right-ness. Those soaring moments of joy. Those times in life when Good Things of such magnitude just explode into being in a shimmer of light, bathing everyone around them in radiance and splendour, and the veil of mystery nearly lifts so that nature itself seems to sing in triumph at That Moment.

I get to share those, too.

And sometimes, when I'm lucky, my efforts to reach out in comfort or celebration happen to tug on the sleeve of someone's soul sufficiently that they turn and see me there, with a faint reflection of their own feels still graven upon my own, they might stop, consider, and offer me their hand, in precious friendship.

Which makes it every bit worthwhile.



56 comments:

  1. I am constantly amazed at just how well you convey the emotions you claim to have trouble expressing. You're right, though. Emotions can be so overwhelming. I do a fairly good job of doing whatever it is that needs to be done in the moment, but it takes me much longer to process the emotion of the event.

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    1. I *feel* very coherently, in joined-up writing. And when I type, somehow (like the inverse of reading, where the thoughts from the page go straight to your brain without seeming to ever touch your eyes) the thoughts and feels go straight to the page.

      But in person. To speak them. To talk them. To own them and let them out. That's the bit I have to work on. That's the bit I'm still not good at.

      And in the meantime I still get swamped easily because I guess I'm just not that good at safeguarding myself yet. I've gone from very, very shallow feels to INCREDIBLY deep ones...at some point I think and hope things will reach some kind of equilibrium...

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    2. I imagine that you will reach an equilibrium of sorts. There have been times in my life when I've been in "survival mode," where all of my energy has gone into just getting my family from one day to the next. Those are emotionally draining days. Other times--most times, thankfully--life is on a much more even-keel, with no new acute challenges (though sometimes chronic ones, which have become familiar, but occasionally rear ugly heads).

      Be patient with yourself as you process through your deeply emotional experiences. Life won't always seem so raw. :-)

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    3. Thanks Kristi! The raw has its good sides, too, and I like that I'm finally able to care this much. It just does get very draining!

      I do know what you mean about acute and chronic challenges though - that's a really, really good way to describe them.

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  2. I'm here for you too, friend. I'm so glad you've decided to let people in despite how hard it can be!

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    1. It's like now I've made that choice, I can't stop them getting in! The feels, anyway. They get me. every. time.

      But the good stuff too (thank goodness!)

      Thanks though, for being there :)

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    2. This speaks to me so deeply. Sometimes I shut out the world because if I let the hurt in, I feel I might be crushed. I've found through writing, I am able to give those feelings a voice. What a beautiful thing you are doing for your soul, allowing it to feel what it feels. I love your writing. So glad that I stummbled upon it through the last FTSF hop. (And that's not just they hysteria of an American talking hahah). Thanks for sharing.

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    3. Reading that, I wonder if I meant histronics. Now I'm doubting myself! Owp!

      I'm glad it speaks to you. It's a difficult thing to do, and a really, immensely tough thing to balance (which, if it's not obvious, I've not figured out how to do yet). But I think it's important to allow the feels.

      I'm glad you like it here so much. I LOVE the FTSF for putting bloggers together. It's a hop which has a very special place in my heart.

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  3. Seriously Lizzi, I am just so amazed at how well you do keep it all together for the most part and as Kate said I am totally here and am very happy to be a friend to you whenever you need someone to lean on!! :)

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    1. 'for the most part' being absolutely operative. I'm so happy to know you Janine. Your blog and your pictures of your gorgeous girls are like a sanctuary sometimes. There is just peace and happiness (and sandwiches) to absorb :) Thanks for that. And for your friendship.

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  4. Lizzi, you just have the greatest capacity for loving and caring for others. I just know that you are meant to do something absolutely wonderful with it. Not that you don't already - like the TToT, for example. Do you even know how much good that has done for so many already? But I mean even beyond that - call it a hunch, but I just know there is something in your future that will take your huge heart and put it to work at the thing that will make all the difference to you and everyone you touch. :)

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    1. I give myself good editing. I come off online MUCH better than I do IRL...

      I hope there's something wonderful in store, but if not (because there's not for everyone, yaknow), I'm happy with the TToT and the community here, and the things that I do to try to improve the world around me in my community where I live.

      I like your hunch though. I hope it comes true :D

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    2. Well when it does and you get all famous and stuff, remember me!

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    3. I shall turn up at your door in my fancy-schmancy tour bus, and we'll go pick up everyone else and go for a roadtrip :D

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  5. What a heart-felt post!!! I am one of those people that tend to keep my emotions in check and not let people know when stuff isn't good (then I wonder why I have to go it alone - weird cycle!). I wonder what all I've missed by closing myself off?!

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    1. I used to do exactly that. I barely let MYSELF know when things were bad for me...and then wondered why life was so, so hard, and why I seemed to be the only one.

      Maybe try it sometime, but handle with caution (in a 'if it ain't truly broke, don't fix it) because this first, stumbling walk with emotions turned up to full - feels loud, uncontrolled, vulnerable. Has to be worth it though, I reckon.

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  6. I think I held my breath through this entire post. It was - no words. I have no words except... exceptional.

    You have broken the chains of your heart and it pours out raging in such love and devotion that I can't imagine you ever pulling all those flooding waters back in.

    BUT. Please do learn to set yourself some good boundaries within your means. You remind me of ME when I first became a therapist, and everything and everyone who was hurting - I took upon my heart with a fierce love and devotion too.

    There are often portholes that continue to empty you of your constant flood- and then you have nothing left for yourself. Don't run dry, or go empty as you drench your precious beloved friends with all you have. Keep some for yourself, and your husby and anyone else who deserves it and can fill you right back up.

    It's hard to turn it "off". I know. Hell, I am right there with you on this!! (You know that!) BUT- I think I have found a way during my incredibly draining and passionate years as a therapist- to find it within to 'stop' at certain times and allow my heart to cleanse itself of the outside burdens and grow my insides with the same loving and nurturing care.

    There are ENDLESS people we can immediately connect with and give to... oh I want to reach the 'end' of that endlessness! But growing weary is real...even in the good stuff.

    Pour your heart out, lovey Lizzi. Just make sure you take lots of breaks from others and feed yourself with those critical elements that make you whole.

    Nuff said. :)

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    1. Yes. That. Boundaries. There were too many, now there are none. I get that. And at some point I hope the pendulum will swing back in from 'everything' and hit 'somethings'.

      I don't *mind* all the feels, and I think it's important as part of a process of learning, but I don't think I can spend the rest of my life caring this much, this deeply...a balance will need to be found. And honestly, if you have any insights at all there, I am only too happy to listen and learn.

      Step 1 - Learn what "those critical elements that make you whole" are...

      Owp! Now how on earth would I go about that?

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  7. That. Up there. What Chris Said is SO true. I just want to reiterate that first and foremost. But I also want to tell you that I understand - fully and completely - your struggle with emotion and feelings. I think that's one reason I have trouble writing things that make me "vulnerable" when I'll have to see people IRL that read my blog. I just can't handle the thought of having those raw feelings rejected. I get very overwhelmed by emotions, too. I don't like to look at things that are painful emotionally. I don't face them. It's very overwhelming for me. I know this isn't about me, but my point is I GET YOU. So please know I'm here for you. To cheer you on. Someone to listen if you need to vent. A shoulder to lean on. Or someone to just blow off steam if you need to be silly and refill your cup. You know I'm good for a laugh. :)

    You have an incredible aptitude for separating your feelings, examining them, and explaining them. That's intense, and HARD to do. Just the fact that you can do that is huge. You know the cards you're dealing with . Most people don't even have that. And now you have the ability to take in the good even though with it comes tough stuff sometimes. Keep it at a healthy balance as much as possible, like Chris said. The yin and yang of life; that means taking care of you first. You can do it.

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    1. There are two things here...

      My own emotions (the edited ones I allow out), when they threaten to overwhelm me, are not a problem. In writing them I can pin them down and begin to understand their shape and how they relate to the rest of life. I have no problem with the idea of rejection or failure...perhaps (and thinking about this at the speed of light as I write it) because it reinforces my sense of self. So either way, I win (sort of).

      It's the everyone else's emotions which overwhelm me so often. Those vicarious 'feels' which I pick up on as they're shared, which stop me dead in my tracks and leave me on the floor, poleaxed.

      I learned a long time ago to be analytical of my feelings. The process which has taken so long is embracing them, rather than holding them at arms length or just putting them under a microscope. That's been hard and important and amazing and devastating and wonderful and terrible, And a bit (or a lot) uncontrolled, because this learning is so new.

      So maybe, perhaps, to take care of myself I need to keep working on thinking of myself as more worthwhile...worth protecting...worth taking care of...(all a work in progress). I can try that.

      Meanwhile, thanks so much for being there. That matters. That helps :)

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  8. I could do a whole post about American "hysterics". It suffices to say that from the outside looking in it appears that we feel too much. No the real problem is that we feel like anybody else: overwhelmed or underwhelmed. The difference is rather than bottling it or addressing the issue head on we deflect it. We take it out on others. Its a nasty problem. The British just do it more subtly but no less horrifically from what I see with Parliament and the Prime Minister. Canadians for all the hippie appearance are no better. Don't move fast enough when driving and they honk the horn at you obnoxiously. Encroach on their space in the check out line they get cold and yet seemingly poliet. All cultures deal with emotions differently. But all individuals have to find constructive ways not to self- destruct.

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    1. Ohhhh please do!

      I just think (in a nice way, too) that Americans (and yes, I overgeneralise HUGELY) are better at acting out their feels, good or bad, than the English. We tend to turn it inwards and have a bit of a storm.

      But no, when it's bad, it's all bad, whatever culture it happens in. Hopefully I'm going to learn to find some ways not to self-destruct, or, in this case, other-destruct.

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  9. Wow, my friend. For somebody who spent years with her emotions in a bottle, you have an amazing ability to articulate them here, allowing me to feel them along with you. I'm glad you opened up. I'm glad to know you, and think that you're brilliant and amazing.

    AND - you're right. It's worth it. All the way worth it.

    I'm a little hysterical of course, being American and all, but at least I'm not French!

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    1. I can articulate and analyse and describe very well. It's the letting myself FEEL them which is new and different. The wearing them rather than just looking at them from outside.

      It's new and often swamps me, but I think it's good. At some point I'll build some safeguards, and that'll be good.

      I'm glad you're a little hysterical (and not French) - and there - a feel - you just made me go all soppy, saying those nice things about me :D You're such a sweetheart.

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  10. I'm so glad that you've chosen to share the pain and joy of others instead of shutting it all out. Just make sure you share as much joy as pain, if not more. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the bad and let it take over, but then it wins.

    I wonder if the fact that you've never been good with emotions (your words, not mine), make you so good at expressing them in words. Because the way you turn them into squiggles on the screen is pretty damn amazing. xoxo

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    1. I try to share as much joy. I guess I'm better with pain (familiarity and the comfort zone, yaknow. And perhaps why so many of my fiction pieces aren't hugely joy-filled). But it DOESN'T win, in this case, and that's the point - the only reason I can feel much, is because I care much. And caring much DEFINITELYwins. :D

      You could be right. I can analyse the heck out of them and present them very well, but I'm often still very scared about letting myself feel my own emotions. And thanks :)

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  11. Wow Lizzi. I don't know if I've ever read a more poignant post. I think part of the reason we Americans may appear histrionic is that we have to be conditionally 'open' to almost everything that goes on in the world since we seem to be involved in almost everything that goes on globally. That's a lot of pressure and we can't hold it all in. PS: I love the English- and you.

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    1. Cheryl, I never, ever thought of it that way. Whereas I guess the English (historically) are used to being leaders, and being obeyed. So we can't possibly show weakness in form of a feeling...

      Wow! I never find history interesting except now you've suddenly made it relevant. Cool!

      I'm glad you love the English (and me!) - we're (to coin an Americanism) 'cute'.

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  12. This is so beautiful! I have been told that I'm "emotionally honest" naturally. I am. Yet, that comes at a price too. I guess that no matter where we fall in sharing our emotions, there is always the possibility of others hurting us, or we will hurt ourselves by holding it in. I've learned over the past year that being vulnerable is the better way to be. Even if it means you get hurt from time to time, it will unveil ultimately who true friends are, and where you need to invest your time. Loved this.

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    1. That's amazing - I'll need to keep out for that, and try to learn from you, because (apart from writing, which is easy because it's one step removed) I'm very much emotionally oblique.

      And yes - as soon as we open ourselves to others, we take risks, but I think in the end the risks are worth taking. Because feeling much comes from caring much, and yes, sometimes it goes sour, but hopefully the good stuff outweighs the bad.

      So glad you liked this, and thanks for your perspective :)

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  13. OMG, you grab me every time you right. I have to gird my loins always wondering is this fiction or non fiction, did it happen to Liz? Beautifully said and oh so true. When we feel we leave ourselves open to pain and joy. Love your writing. Truly touching and you Brits really are cute.

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    1. Awwwh thanks so much Sandra. No, this one wasn't fiction. This was (is) Real.

      I think (increasingly) that it's worth the feels to have the friendships and the understanding, and really, the *experience* of being in touch with one's own emotional world.

      Glad you like what I write. I'm happy to be 'cute' :D

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  14. This was a beautifully raw and honest post. I am so glad you have opened yourself up to truly feel, and understand all so well the wanted to build the wall back up instead. All that feeling comes with an exhausting and emotionally draining price sometimes. I just read James Patterson's Confessions and the main character is a young girl who hasn't been allowed to feel due to her parents keeping the children on drugs for years as their own little lab experiment. I won't say anymore in case anyone wants to read it, but this post made me think of her. Side note: my 11 year old daughter who is our least affectionate one and describes hugs as "uncomfortable after a few seconds" is obsessed with all things British and is begging us to take her for a trip out there. Hmmmm…;-)

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    1. Ahhhhh the uncomfortable hug. Yes. That's a 'thing'. See, it's SO much easier in writing than it is face-to-face. But persevere with her. Don't force her. Let her show you the ways she wants to be close :) I'm glad you're switched-on with her to know that there's something happening there.

      Bring her to England. Take her to Brighton, where everybody's FABULOUS and SO not-stereotypical. It's the warmest, friendliest city I know of.

      And thanks. I'm glad you liked the post, and I do appreciate you taking the time to comment. The book sounds really good, if creepy!

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  15. Wow, beautiful. Maybe I should be English, not American, because I am not one to wear my heart on my sleeve, and have always been a bit uncomfortable with emotional displays (left brain, blah blah). This reminded me of the scene in the Jim Carey version of the Grinch when he yells "I'm feeling!!!!" and realizes that he can't help taking in so much emotion. And you are so right about it being powerful and hard and painful and beautiful all at once. Lovely post.

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    1. I can name you an honourary Brit, if that helps. I *totally* have the power to do that ;)

      I think I might've seen The Grinch. Once. I may have been being climbed on by Niece and Neff at the time, so I can't remember the scene you refer to, but that sounds very much as though it's exactly pertinent.

      BUT. So, so worthwhile :)

      Thanks, and thanks for the Grinch comment - I'll look it up.

      YOU now need to learn how to drink tea properly, the names of all the Queen's corgis and the correct way to navigate every social situation in Britain ever (hint - you can't go wrong if you raise the subject of the weather)

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  16. Oh Lizzi I am speechless. This is so beautifully written and REALLY hit home with me. Like you, I absorb what others are feeling--I always have, but now, unlike you, I am trying to distance myself from it---been like this for too long and it's too painful. It has worn me down over the years. I wish I could just shut off the valve but that isn't an easy thing to do. I have always seen a lot of compassion and yes, emotion in you---I am so glad that you are comfortable with opening up about your feelings. You have such a big heart and there are so many people who love you. Thank you for having the courage to write and share this with us.

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    1. Marcia, I take so much comfort from that you KNOW THIS. And that I'm really not the only person who does this. Thank you so much for telling me.

      Less comfort in the fact that it's kept going and has become damaging. That worries me a little, for you and for me! How are you distancing yourself? I'd love to know - I'm still figuring out how to build those safeguards, and if I do it sooner, perhaps that'd be better.

      I'm pleased so much that you say you see compassion and emotion in me. I come off very well on paper, but it's the 'in person' bit I really need to work on, I think. That's less successful (I think) and it would behove me to be able to align my paper and my person. Or something akin.

      It's gratifying to hear that there are people who care back. I still (yes, even now, at this stage, after coming so far) struggle to hear that, and take it on board. BUT. I can acknowledge it, which is a step in the right direction, I think, so THANK YOU :D

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  17. Lovely, lovely, lovely and yes, brave! When you are in THIS writing place, I read twice and three times to make sure I don't miss any of your words. I think you are an amazing listener and a very honest, intelligent voice with lots of good to share. Feeling is the tricky part, most definitely. I feel everything extremely...love, anger, fear.... and spent years trying to not self destruct but almost did anyway. I'm better at it today, the controlling of the extremes but haven't mastered the balance. Maybe it's because I'm American :)

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    1. Awwh Sandy you're so sweet to me :) Thank you for sharing how much you like what I write. And that you see Good here. That's really lovely to hear, and what I strive for (most of the time, when I'm not being silly or grouchy) - always Real. (except when it's fiction...)

      Feeling, and taking it from an academic 'feel' to a visceral one, is what I've been struggling with. And now it's become visceral, or, I've developed the ability to make it visceral...it's 'got' me. I'm hoping that this is a 'new to emotions' thing, and that in the end, I'll achieve some semblance of balance, because I don't want to burn out, and I don't want to stop...

      And I know I give you 'Mericans a lot of grief, but you know I love y'all :D

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  18. You dang Brits. ;) You with your eloquent writing and churning of authors so incredible the rest of the world is stunned...and changed for it.
    This is beautiful, taken by an exacto blade, and scraped from the heart. Churned into raw emotion combined with a muscle of thought with nerve endings that FEEL and FEEL and FEEL and...well, you are just amazing.

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    1. *looks up 'exacto blade'*

      Dangit Cyndi - why'd you go and say something so wonderful and include a foreignism in it? :p

      But seriously, thank you so, so much. You're incredibly sweet to be so excitable about this post :D *HUGS*

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  19. Oh my gosh - I cannot believe how much I related to your post. First of all, I love your style and I also relate well with being able to share deep emotions in the written word but not as easily in the spoken word. After 40 years of trauma and a hard push by my daughter, I released my memoir this year. It was therapeutic, to say the least, exposing all the pain that I had hid so well for so many years. However, it was life changing. Now, I am on the other side and reaping the benefits of seeing many women who felt hopeless and helpless get encouraged just knowing they are not alone - and if I made, they can as well. Thank you
    (Battered Hope) I will continue to follow you and thank you for sharing

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    1. YES! THIS!

      Carol, this is one of the things which, in the beginning of my blog, I wanted to do - I wanted to post the truth (the whole truth - the bad, the good, the devastating) of my journey with miscarriage and infertility, so that if anyone in that same, terrible situation came across it, it might help them (as I was helped by so many other writers who'd written their accounts of the same kinds of things). To let them know they are NOT ALONE. That's vital.

      Thank you for recognising that.

      The emotional aspect has happened almost as a side-effect, I think, and then I gradually became aware that it was something which I needed to address, so as not to blow up again, like I did so many years ago. That was pain on a whole other scale, and not something I could contemplate a return to. So gradually I learned to get them out of me, to be honest, to FEEL and acknowledge those feelings and give them value.

      I'm so glad to hear that you've found writing useful as well, and that you've made it through to the other side. I hope that I'll make it through, and be able to offer that same survivor strength to others one day (at the moment I can only offer battlefield updates).

      Thank you for sharing all that you did :)

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  20. Lizzi, this is the perfect example of finding the good within everything, no matter how negative. We all have trouble expressing ourselves at times but you've done so eloquently. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. I am so touched by your post that I am actually running out of words.. I am an Indian and there are many many stereotypes attached or rather bombarded on us which ain't true offcourse..It happens with almost all of us, We all have the tendency of
    " Grass greener on the other side "

    I am in love with you people...I adore you guys for the emotional and intimate side of yours...Huge fan of English Literature..Be it William Wordsworth or Virginia Woolf

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  22. I have to say, I rather think that we're all staring at each other across a Mobius strip, claiming that the grass is greener over there - not realising that we're all on the same side...

    I'm glad you liked this - and English classics :)

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  23. Lizzi, I read this yesterday and then didn't get to comment (visitors arrived.) I agree with Christine - it's really healthy that you are allowing your feelings - and boundaries are important! Yes, take care of you. But, really, really yes everything is more alive when we allow feelings - because when we shut down the "bad" ones we also shut down the "good" ones. Well done.

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    1. Thank you Yvonne. I shall try to make/find/create some boundaries. But in the meantime, feeling is GOOD, and I do feel more alive for it - more connected - more in touch with me, with everyone. And I love that :D

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    2. Hum, I've been thinking, and I wonder, if we just allow the feelings, perhaps the boundaries come when we are ready. It's just a matter of balance, and after being very tightly bound (not feeling) it's not surprising you'd swing the other way. The balance will come when you are ready. Perhaps there's no need to try. (But don't take my word for this as boundaries were not my strong point for many years. I was inclined to take on everyone's problems and still can find not doing so a challenge at times! So maybe I'm just giving you advice I need for myself!)

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    3. I shall embrace it for as long as it lasts and isn't harmful, then, and do so with a clear mind :)

      I can do that - less effort ;)

      Glad you've found a way to establish your boundaries now though, sometimes :)

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    4. Lizzi, I truly enjoy going along on this journey with you as you open yourself up and allow us to peak in. Are you exhausted after your write these pieces about your emotions or energized? Thank you for sharing with us.

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    5. Thanks Tamara - I'm glad you're enjoying learning more about me and how I 'tick'. I hope I am always at least a little bit entertaining, as I do want to write so that others want to read me.

      It's an interesting question you pose. And the answer is - it's variable. It's always cathartic to write this kind of post, but I guess it depends on what the topic is, and how much I've let it poison me before I get it out. The thing I feel most often after a post like this is relief.

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  24. I can't add anything else that hasn't already been said. Brave and lovely piece, my dear.

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    1. Thanks. It's definitely been one of *those* weeks...

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