I have never been overly emotional. Not that I don’t have feelings, but I don’t believe they are for display to the general public. Getting through my childhood meant knowing that there was no time to stop and cry just forward movement in time. There is no time to cry, no time to mourn the bits and pieces of myself lost along the way. Eventually, the tears dried and there was no feeling beyond “uncomfortable”.
When I discovered that my past and my present were both contributors to my seizures I just couldn’t figure out what was so big that it could cause my body to malfunction. I read up and I have lived a colorful life, sometimes that color way grey or black, I don’t often think about that. It was thinking about me though. Well, seeping into other parts of my mind. Pain was often a trigger as was any strong emotion.
I have just begun to allow myself to cry when I feel something. Granted, the alternative is having a seizure until all of the stored energy behind it can be released enough for me to go into a daze and fall asleep for a day. I have not stopped all of the seizures or the auras, but knowing now that it is safe and natural to cry has made such a difference in my life. I usually still have some symptoms, but they aren’t nearly as strong as they would be if I kept my emotions in.
Last Monday I went in for conductive nerve testing on my lower extremities. I relaxed as he probed my muscles for almost an hour, I was in excruciating pain. He almost seemed alarmed at my ability to stay still and compliant even while yelping in pain. Then he decided to do my pelvis, my butt, and my lower back and it was another 20 minutes of probing and pain. Everytime he asked if I was OK, I said I was because I need this test finished. My pain doesn’t override the need for results (at least not in my head).
When I got to the truck I could barely move and my mom had to help me into the truck. I got buckled in and rivers flowed from my eyes because I could finally express my pain in a safe space. I ended up going home and sleeping and only going to doctor appointments. I am almost a week out from that experience and the silent pain of the past clashed with a medical procedure and produced a super-traumatic moment.
My hope is that more people will be able to understand that feelings can be locked away for years and there is no shame in being shocked by their re-emergence or in going to therapy to deal with them. Feelings are natural, even if they are uncomfortable and if you are like me you will have to ease into some of these conversations with my therapist, but being able to deal with even one feeling is a burden lifted and that is the goal. Eventually, I want to deal with my issues in a healthy way without the help of a therapist. Until then, I will stay in therapy, though!