I'm a very emotional person, I know that surprises you all terribly much. But I don't hold much back, well that's not really true, because I do actually censor myself a lot or else I'd have no friends or family left at all, but for the most part people know how I feel most of the time. This came about due to a childhood where I felt unheard and invisible, my reaction was to shout louder so maybe someone might hear. The less I felt heard the more I cried and yelled and talked about how badly I felt, hoping surely if I got dramatic enough someone would react.
No one really did. They just didn't have the capacity to see someone else's pain, they were too wrapped up in their own mental illness, alcoholism or narcissistic way of life. They were not going to take notice, and thank god I didn't do the final act I dreamed about: doing some dramatic suicide attempt so they could discover I was really in trouble and finally do something about it. Knowing my luck and circumstance, no one would have found me in time, and just look at what I would have missed.
But I have noticed that there are three kinds of people I run into who react to me totally different regarding my emotionalism. It's pretty easy to categorize them:
1. The over-reactor. This is the caretaker person who can't react in proportion to the problem at hand. A splinter in my finger is a code blue emergency that must be handled immediately with bandages, pain killer, ice cream, calls to the ER for backup, a police escort and possibly even a helicopter evacuation. This person drives me crazy because I then have to be all "my head hurts -butI'mreallyokpleasesitdown." My mom used to hear I had a headache and call me the next day to see whether my migraine had gone away. No, mom, headache. I'm fine.
2. The under-reactor. This person is pretty much totally uncomfortable with any display of emotion whatsoever due to whatever their upbringing where they were taught that stuffing their feelings waaaay down deep and showing nothing in public is the 'right' way to handle things and you should just pull up your big girl pants and get over it. Well I disagree. I respect that this is another way to handle your crap and sometimes I wish I could just shut the heck up but I also don't have some nuclear quality bomb growing inside me that might blow up on the wrong person and I don't need to be passive aggressive about my anger. I am healthier when I can express myself, I just think I could use a little calming down. I don't hurt people's feelings, I don't scream in the middle of the grocery store, I cry in my own home amongst family. That seems fair.
3. The just right reactor. This is my best friend. This person listens to my crap, lets me get it all out and moves on in her life without worrying too much. She knows I can handle pretty much whatever is thrown at me and just need to vent to someone safe now and then. Or all the time. Whatever. However, when I get down at the bottom of the pit and can't find my way out, she'll call in the national guard to get me out. She reacts when the time is right and she'll react with all due speed and force necessary, but she gets when and how the reaction is necessary.
We all have our own ways of dealing with life's curves, but sometimes life hands you so many lemons you get buried. When that happens I talk about it. I try to find someone who will listen. And if I feel no one is listening I lose my cotton picking mind. I just want an ear.