I have been seeing my therapist again about some instinctive reactions I’ve been having of late. I’m glad I am doing it, but it is not easy. We are beginning to get into areas of deep sadness and mourning for things that aren’t from way back to childhood, along with my TBI and alcoholism.  

For many years I have been taught that my feelings or emotions aren’t valid. Or too scary. I have been shunned and as a result learned to build some pretty high walls.  

It is interesting to get asked “what are you feeling now?” And not know the answer. I say “anxious” and get the response that’s not a feeling. There are many not good feelings that I have no clear way to express. I can express positivity and love joy happiness. But I cannot express the opposite well. She, my therapist, will tell me “stop thinking. Feel.” When I try to tap into what is going on in my body. She’ll tell me when you don’t do this and shut it down you become helpless. And I do. I don’t know how to sit in feelings that aren’t comfortable. And my anxiety begins to build up. Even writing this, my anxiety has found a resting place in my stomach. My head pounds as my anxiety headache that has been a good friend for the past few weeks continues it’s thrum.  

I rationalize. I was talking to a coworker at work about this. We get along well and aspects of our lives have a parallel. He reminded me that my HP has my back and it is ok to go through times like this. Driving to the grocery store after work I ended up feeling really silly for sharing all of this. Belittling myself for having to talk about the pain I’ve felt because of the details of my life. — what a spoiled self centered thing I am. How silly I keep harping on this stuff.  

And that hit it home. The value of my emotions that don’t help support a Norman Rockwell painting are now considered invaluable by me too. I have been trained well and continue to reprimand myself.  

After work I came home and took a long nap and am still just tired. And sharing all of this because I feel I need to if i am going to be honest. I don’t need to sugar coat it with all of my optimism. I am scared about the changes that are coming and I am scared of me/for me.  

My therapist, will continue to work with me to parse through the emotional wreckage of my past so that I will enter I to this new chapter with a full spectrum feel. I am not there yet. I don’t know when I will get there. But I am going to do my damndest to not be ashamed of the feelings I have hidden away.  


Christina Osheim