Ocean deep : caring for ourselves as emotional sensitives.

If we are emotionally sensitive and never came to be fully nurtured in childhood, if we have a hole inside that comes from lack or loss or wounding or pain things can affect us deeply, our feelings run deep and have many layers and associations, ones that just don’t occur to others.

Reading about emotional sensitivity this week the two responses to such sensitivity are firstly over-reactivity to certain things.  I don’t know if it is true that we over react fully to things the reactions we have come out of pain of the past triggered onto now, they are not truly over reactions when the past is known but they seem to be out of proportion to current events.

The second response to emotional sensitivity is avoidance, here is where we feel things so deeply and fear our deep emotions being triggered so much that we tend to avoid or seek ways to numb our feelings. In addition we can tell our selves things about our feelings and make them worse or we can substitute one feeling for another such as anger at feeling sad or fear at feeling angry.  The anger or fear comes out of not really knowing how to manage emotions well as we never fully learned to. especially if our true emotions were consistently invalidated or not accepted growing up we may not even always know what the emotion we are truly feeling is.

We wont really find freedom as individuals until we truly come to understand how and why and when we over react or avoid out of our sensitivity.  Its a deeply complex issue and I cant go into all of the permutations of how these reactions and avoidances work but for a more thorough analysis I would strongly recommend the book I mentioned to you in my last blog. The Emotionally Sensitive Person which I have been reading and learning so much from.

I was thinking today how deeply my own emotions can run in response to triggers.  At the moment I am really aware that there is not much emotional support at all.  Tomorrow I go in for a two hour dental appointment.  I have to drive there and drive home as I don’t really have someone I feel I could ask and even that is maybe not true, if I was more organised there is probably someone I could ask but I haven’t been on the ball enough to think or sound out someone to come with me.  And I have been noticing that I have been deeply emotional over the past few days.

Also on Friday I went to see the movie Lion with my mother and it tapped into such deeply emotional themes.  Separation from mother, the experience of being lost so far from home, having no one much to support you and then being captured by those around you who may wish you well or wish you harm, then the issue of being sent somewhere so far away with a huge wound inside of you and a longing that comes from the severed connections that were the centre of your entire world when you were young.  I would defy anyone who has a mother wound or has ever felt lost or as though they don’t belong or are missing something to see this movie and not have your heart broken wide apart by it.

Luckily seeing Lion the other day I could make sense of the pain I felt for that little boy Saroo (Serhu).  The feelings the movie evoked ran deep and I was glad to see it with my Mum but so sad too for she isn’t well at all due to her own repressed feelings which seem to become bodily pain.   At the moment I am needing her support with some things and because she is aging she is not in a state to help.  Not having a father or a brother who cares I am effectively alone and that hit me really hard when I got off the phone from her just a moment ago.   I have no option but to work things through alone and I have to rely on adult me for help with this.

Reading up on emotional sensitivity this week has helped me though. I think once we can know and accept we are emotionally sensitive and can take responsibility for the ways in which at times we get confused, over react or avoid it takes the burden off outside relationships in a way.   Once we know it is up to us to understand and take care of ourselves when we are feeling extra sensitive we are in a much stronger position of realism.  One that no longer leaves us with no skin or balm to cope with our wounds and sensitivities which run so deep.

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