When we (or others) don’t have language for emotions or frustration

Parental attunement is all.that helps a child develop language and insight around her feelings, needs and behaviour, lacking this we cannot live or deal with life effectively. Misattuned parents may shame or punish a child, they may ignore him or her if the child acts out in ways not understood thinking in this way to ‘correct’ the child. This is why time out or sending a child to her room to ‘think things over’ before a certain age in emotional development only makes the situation more unbearable and confusing. The child does not feel heard or seen, and the problem is compounded. Feelings bank up inside the child, in time making them resentful, clumsy or accident prone and making it even harder for them to find language or skills around coping,, addiction and relationships with other troubled kids may then follow.

When a child cannot get heard or seen he or she naturally gets frustrated if that frustration (which is a form of messed up protest as well as a cry for loving attunement and connection) isn’t understood and is punished or shamed the child may then move from acting out with explosions into a collapse or fawn response. The child starts to feel helpless, inadequate and totally emotionally abandoned. Identifying the solution under the problem of all of this acting out is what Ross Green deals with in his book The Explosive Child. A post on some of his findings will follow this one in a day or so.

As Brene Brown points out, even in adulthood we must make an effort to understand where someone else may be coming from, even if their behavior seems problematic and perplexing. That said some have narrow ‘windows of tolerance’ for certain emotional displays that occur in the absence of helpful language.. And people have the right to boundaries and safety too, if someone is getting violent. Never the less a capacity to wonder about another’s inarticulate experience will take us deeper than just feeling put out or offended.

The following reading from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book How to Fight shows how anger or explosiveness from accumulated frustrations or emotions gone underground that never found language may push someone away when really the cry is a scream for understanding connection and closeness. It may not seem that way but a soft inquiring approach may help to get under the hurting persons armor to show them you actually do care. There are some lovely words Thich uses in his book on anger “darling I can see you are suffering, I am suffering too, what can I do to help?”


When you contain too much violence and anger within yourself, you become so tense that you are like a bomb ready to go off. You suffer very much, and your suffering spills out all over the people you live and work with. People become afraid of you, they don’t want to approach you. So you believe that everyone is boycotting you. You become extremely lonely. When we suffer, we have the tendency to blame other people and to see them as the source of our suffering. We don’t recognize that we are responsible to an extent for our suffering as well as for making others around us suffer. We do not see that while others may want to help us we have become like a bomb, ready to explode or perhaps you know someone like that, and although you would like to reach out to them, you feel they might explode at any moment so you keep your distance. You have to train yourself to become skillful. Practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, embracing your own suffering (and fear), and using loving speech. Then you can approach the other person with your solid presence and mindful speech. This can be very healing for both people. With deep listening and loving speech you may be able to restore communication.

Published by: emergingfromthedarknight

"The religious naturalist is provisioned with tales of natural emergence that are, to my mind, far more magical than traditional miracles. Emergence is inherent in everything that is alive, allowing our yearning for supernatural miracles to be subsumed by our joy in the countless miracles that surround us." Ursula Goodenough How to describe oneself? People are a mystery and there is so much more to us than just our particular experiences or occupations. I could write down a list of attributes and they still might not paint a complete picture pf Deborah Louise and in any case it would not be the full truth of me. I would say that my purpose here on Wordpress is to express some of my random experiences, thoughts and feelings, to share about my particular journey and explore some subjects dear to my heart, such as emotional recovery, healing and astrology while posting up some of the prose/poems which are an outgrowth of my labours with life, love and relationships. If anything I write touches you I would be so pleased to hear for the purpose of reaching out and expressung ourselves is hopefully to connect with each other and find where our souls meet.

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