I want to talk about my feelings. Constantly discuss the ends and outs. But who can I do that with? Therapists, friends, co-workers and family get tired of discussing the same issues over and over again. I wish I had a best friend like in high school where you shared everything. Your thoughts and views and solutions. That one best friend who would never disagree with you. Do you remember those? I had a couple over the years. But as we grow older and have our own opinions it’s hard to find someone you have EVERYTHING in common with. Therefore I am left with these feelings tumbling around in my head. Causing complete havoc.
Sure I’ve tried a therapist. But I feel even they get bored of covering the same subjects. I get insecure and think of all the awful things they could be thinking about me. Sometimes I wish I had their job. A job where you could talk about other peeps problems and forget your own. That sounds like a genius plan. But getting back to the subject of my feelings. How can a complete stranger understand how deep they are? Even if I’m talking about something as trivial as what socks to wear. If that gives me anxiety than it’s obviously important to me. The therapists must think I’m raging mad. I can only imagine. Others tell me that it’s their job and they would never judge you. But isn’t that just human nature. I judge peeps all the time. It seems I cannot help it. Although I do find myself sticking up for others who are unjustly being judged. Like old peeps. Why has society lost all patience with old peeps? We would not exist without them. Have some respect.
Now to the next option, friends. Let’s just cut straight to it. Most of my friends have way worse problems than me. They suck at life and are constantly over shadowing my problems with their bad decisions. So when I try to discuss my feelings with them they just throw out some sob story that makes me feel bad for worrying about my hair until it made me sick. Who cares about my hair? They can’t pay their mortgage! Friends mean well, and they listen as best they can. But ultimately they are waiting for you to finish so they can discuss their own problems. It’s rare to find a friend who actually cares enough to listen and table their own issues for 15 minutes. If you find one of those I suggest you return the favor once in awhile so not to scare them off with your selfishness. They deserve more respect than that.
On occasion I have related to a co-worker so much that we often discuss our feelings. And while this may seem good in the beginning you quickly realize the black whole you are creating. First of all, you’re letting a co-worker (competitor) know your weaknesses. That should be enough to stop you right there. But it isn’t, because I enjoy talking about my feelings so any outlet usually gets fair play regardless of the consequences (which are immense I must add.) Just think if that co-worker decides your trust is no longer valuable to them and they go around telling others the feelings you have intrusted them with? It would be a complete office disaster. I’ve said some things I am not proud of about some of my co-workers after that third margarita. Nothing terrible or very far from the truth but nonetheless not something I should be saying out loud. And once the boss gets wind of the things you’ve been saying all credibility is lost. No one will trust you, they’ll stop talking when you walk into the break room, you’ll be completely alienated from the cool crowd. Your work life will be ruined. Sure, you’ll still take home a pay check but you will no longer WANT to go to work.
Family as a support system I believe can only go so far. So many of the feelings I wish to discuss are deeply rooted in my past family issues. All ours are. Think about it. How therapeutic or relieving would it be to discuss my daddy issues with my dad? It’s terrible to think about. The confrontation and emotion that would go into it. I’m not looking to have an intervention, I just want to talk about why I don’t have any self esteem (aka Daddy issues). So let’s try a sibling. Sure at first they are supportive and completely focused on what you are saying, because they lived it with you. But that soon changes to annoyance and more concern for the issues they’ve had with you since childhood. So somehow, during your out-poor of feelings, they turn the subject around and start pointing out what you did wrong to begin with. How it’s all your fault anyway. At best, a distant aunt or uncle could work. They know the family dynamic so they can understand where you’re coming from. Yet they are not too emotionally invested because they have their own issues with the family. This territory could be dangerous depending on the relationships in your family so tread lightly.
And where does that leave us? Therapists are ultimately paid to listen, but that’s pretty much it. Friends have worse problems so you’re often left feeling guilty when telling them about yours. If you want to keep somewhat of an enjoyable work environment you better lay off any heavy conversations with co-workers. And family, well that’s where all the issues derived from. So who are you supposed to talk to, confide in? Who really cares about your life and how you are doing more than they care about themselves? That’s a hard question to answer. Some turn to their religion or faith, others keep it all bottled up. I’m not sure what is the right path for me. I’ve never been religious and my empathetic heart finds it hard to share feelings with someone and not get the reaction I would like. I tend to tell myself I am not selfish yet in reality I just want to talk about myself. Use others life stories to help guide me on my path. Ultimately I think timing is everything. I’ve used all of the above as sounding boards, life coaches, venting targets and supporting devices. Maybe the key is to spread it around. Find what works best for you and make the most of it. Yet stay flexible because nothing is forever.
I purposely left out one example; your best friend, spouse or life partner. Sometimes my deep affection and concern for my husband keeps me from sharing all of my feelings because I know he will take them on as his own and feel a terrible responsibility to fix them. Even if it is not at all possible. Sure, the more irrational feelings, the ones he just cannot relate to, are hard for him to comprehend. But that does not mean they do not affect him. Let’s take my low self-esteem as an example. It hurts his heart that I don’t see the beautiful, intelligent, charismatic women that he sees. He just cannot wrap his head around it. His confidence comes from within and is a part of him. So when I share ALL my feelings with him I am ultimately challenging that confidence. Making him question weather he can ever make me completely happy. Which he cannot. But not because of him, because of me. Because I can see the worst in any situation. I can break myself down to a speck of dust on the bottom of a bums shoe. In a breath I can change how I feel and completely ruin a whole day. So needless to say, I don’t want to burden the one person I love more than anything in the world with all my feelings. He deserves much better than that.