Sadly we interpret things through very strange lenses as children. We catch statements and make them our truths even when they are meant to be a statement or information for the time. Things change, and statements said are sometimes said carelessly.

Thus it was, yet I took it to heart. My heart has always been soft.  Life has taught me to be tough and so I can be, but beneath is a soft heart, full of passion and compassion. Yet as a child, my heart was prone to crying when scolded which was followed with “Stop crying or I’ll give you a reason to cry.”

Along the way the words became twisted, especially when the emerging hormones of teenage life took over. It was bad enough, feeling out of control, wanting to cry one minute and be happy another. The “Stop crying” ruled me, and watching Star Trek I realized that Vulcans had emotions long ago, and learned to control them.  Nothing said it could not be done inside myself.  This made sense to a child who had always been far more serious than her age.

So I learned to stop crying.

At 18, a guy finally was interested in me. As the first guy interested in me, I ignored all our differences. He sexually assaulted me one day. Since it wasn’t rape, I didn’t know what to do. I told no one, but hate raged. I locked it down, and with it, love.

It seems emotions are yen and yang, in my youth I did not see the alternative loss.  A few years later I married. The marriage should have been annulled just days later, but I foolishly believed things would work.

He did not have “needs” nearly as often as I. Sadly I shut that “need” down. If what I did made him unhappy, he withheld other affections and attentions as well. So we did what he wanted, shutting out my family and friends. Rather than be filled with unfulfilled wants, I shut them down, one by one, while opposite emotions disappeared. It seemed he often made me terribly angry, so I shut that down, but it shut down my happiness. (Later friends would say, it was like he was intentionally pressing my buttons.)

There were still some emotions however, until the day I realized I was pregnant and on the road to death. Everything reawakened with the desire to protect this child. Then 5 days later; a miscarriage, and all emotions were gone. Every emotion anyone saw was faked….

inside there was nothing… for five years.

My 29th birthday, my employer/ friend found out I’d never been drunk. They promised my safety and drive home.  So she and her friends took me drinking.  Then they left me. Suddenly I was scared, the guys at the bar kept offering multiple drinks, but I refused them, trying to sober and decide what to do.

Walking home that late was not safe. No cab service in town. Standing near the hall to the back door, a guy grabbed my arm and started pulling me down the hall. I told him to let me go. He kept pulling, I kicked him and started screaming, he threw me into the wall. Guys broke it up, and the bartender took me safely home with bruised ribs, back, and a gash on my hand. Anger woke up.

Suddenly seeing light for the first time in years, I started letting emotions come out, although it would often scare me and I’d close the box, thus it took more years for the other emotions to wake up. Sometimes suddenly and without warning, sometimes slowly. There were massive waves of hatred and anger when I realized that the boss I had called friend, made arrangements with guys at the bar to leave me.

Unfortunately the tight controls over emotions meant they had not aged appropriately. Some days they seem overwhelming, some days they leave me confused. So much of me has been built on protection, it’s hard to accept when I let my guard down and allow life and emotions to happen naturally, that things actually do…

in this case it was something good….

but something for which I was not prepared. Thus the next post is about doing some serious soul searching to see where the problems were in my past and how to correct them moving forward….

Live, learn, Love,

MJ Schrader