When I was dating my now ex-wife, I once told her that I set my moods from the music I listen to. She never understood that. In hindsight, I wonder if I was simply a mirror of emotion. I was never really sure of how I felt about things and would take on the mood and attitude of those around me. I would pick friends and dates that displayed the emotion I wanted to feel. I had no autonomy of emotion. I simply didn’t know how to allow myself to feel. That sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to be mad. We were sent to our room to think about it. I wasn’t allowed to be sad either. As a kid, I was a bit of a crybaby. Unfortunately, every time I cried I got a bloody nose as well. I don’t know why. When I was upset about breaking up with a girlfriend in college and cried, my mom asked me to stay away until I could smile again. My wife used to tell me to not feel someway or another. I assumed that was how everyone did it and so I felt the way she told me to.
This last weekend I had the occasion to be around some pretty angry people taking pot shots at me. I felt a little like wonder woman deflecting bullets as I chanted that the emotions they ascribed to me were not mine.
I wonder if that is part of the reason my marriage ended. I felt unable to share true emotions with my ex, despite repeatidly trying. I was shunned. My need for intimacy left unreceived. I tried to set up emotional boundaries for myself. I needed to feel as I felt. I laughed, I rejoiced, I wallowed, I cried all when I needed to. I was empathetic but not sympathetic. That didn’t go over very well. I tried to explain that if I didn’t do that, I would retreat back into myself and stop living again. I needed to be alive. There was lip service to understanding and an undercurrent of hostility.
My wonder woman esque bracelets are getting a bit fatigued. IT is hard work deflecting emotions that aren’t mine. I defend my heart by waving my bracelet clad arms around. I know that I cant feel for other people. I try and understand their feelings without absorbing them. IT isn’t easy for me. I seem to be a sponge…a mirrored sponge. There are times the bullets ricochet off my bracelets and lodge in my brain or heart. I am getting better about combating the onslaught.
Victory comes more and more often. My ex saying that I am a deadbeat but admitting she doesn’t send me bills. “That aint mine.” My daughter spewing venom to cover her fear and hurt, “That aint mine.” The ex-in-laws (outlaws?) saying nasty things about me and to me, “That aint mine.” The medical boards rejecting me. “That aint mine.”
God telling me I am loved, unconditionally. “That’s mine.”