I am a natural “feeler”, I like to feel every possible feeling, give it a name, run it into a rigorous scrutiny, to find out whether it is a “good” or “bad” feeling. This process happens just between myself and I. No one is allowed anywhere near my thoughts, I never wondered why?! Until today….!
Usually when I get sick, and even now at twenty nine years old, and a mom to an 18months baby boy, I would still need my mama’s comfort; however, I would never tell her this. Not because I feel or think it is wrong, but because I simply can’t. Throughout my life, I have been an introverted little girl, my heaven was (still is) grabbing a book, and sitting on my bed, in my room, for hours until I was done with it. I craved silence and privacy. Being alone wasn’t something to complain about, it was a treat! Things has changed with time, that is a fact, and I have been coping well with noise and social events, yet I am still an introverted person. After an hour of socialising I need another hour or two to calm down and give myself a break.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that growing up, we never talked about feelings. Not that it was a taboo, but we actually lacked the proper tools to get those feelings out, correctly and adequately. In my Moroccan dialect, we have no correct way of describing our feelings, of course we have those specific words : ” I am happy” or “I am sad” but if you say them out loud, I assure you, you will make a joke of yourself.
Now try saying something like: ” I am jealous” or even “I envy you”, and get ready to receive a torrent of lectures, about how jealousy (or even envy) is a sin! And you should never have similar feelings! Instead you should burry them, really deep, and never talk about them again! First: Why can’t we all just agree that we are human after all, and we do sin! Then, a feeling is just between myself and I, something that I have no control over, yes sure I can work on making this unwanted feeling go away, but I can’t do that unless I first recognise it, and give it a name!
Where I come from, we are encouraged to neglect our feelings, pretend that they don’t exist. You will only hear the word “feel” if “hungry”, “thirsty” or “tired” followed.
If my husband reads this post, I am sure he would be wondering: “Then how come you keep on blabbering about what you feel, what you felt, and what you will feel, all day long when I am around?!” Well, all I have to say is that this is different, he is my best friend, I trained myself to open up to him, he is also a great listener, which helps greatly!
Even after writing these words and after my grand realisation, I have no doubt anything will ever change, I still will not allow myself to talk about my feelings, because somehow it feels as if I was stripping naked in front of an audience. However, I always encourage my son to talk about how he feels: sad, upset, mad, happy, excited, frustrated…etc! Parenting is crazy! It gives us all a chance to relive our own childhood, except, this time, we are in charge, we write the guidelines and the rules, we get to change what we never approved of, and do our best to be the best!