You have a choice to stop being strong when it’s not helping you. I watched my kid be strong through the divorce and turn off his feelings. He bottled up all the emotion, the pain, the disappointment and armored himself to keep going. And he did keep going until now.
When I ask him how he feels he tells me, “I don’t know.” That used to drive me crazy until I realized that what he’s doing, what I’ve done in the past and what you may have done in order to get through hard times…dump the pain in a box, shut the lid and hope it never opens up. And I don’t want my kid living in the nothing box.
Because that’s not healing.
However, who wants to revisit painful experiences again??? I don’t think anyone says, “Yay let’s go back to those sad times willingly.”
But we have to because otherwise the pain festers under the surface and comes out in different ways that aren’t healthy. We can turn to something that numbs us or we can disconnect to our feelings so that we don’t really know how we feel because we fear that it’s too painful to feel. And that’s no good either. We don’t need more pet rocks in this world that don’t feel anything. And yet, to be so sensitive that we feel each and every emotion with a pinprick of numbing pain isn’t healthy either.
We need balance.
We need to find a safe space in which to explore our feelings whether it’s by writing, by talking with trusted family/friends or by seeing a professional therapist who can hear what we’re saying/not saying and help us to clean out the wounds which permeate our daily thoughts. That’s what I told my kid last night. I explained that he doesn’t have to be strong anymore. That the disconnect from his feelings can be remedied. That we’ve all lived through times when we just soldiered on because we felt we had to do that. But that’s a belief that isn’t true. We need to process our grief and our feelings in order to clean out the wound and heal it.
You don’t have to be strong all the time.
There’s no need to build a wall around your feelings because that only emits a disconnection. And we need more connections in this world. More hand-holding. More kindness and compassion. When we open up to being supported and being supportive of others, peace and healing come.
I hope this helps you. It’s what helped me. And I’m hoping it helps my kid.