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Archive for March 29th, 2011

On my blog entry entitled Controlling the Darker Parts of Ourselves after Child Abuse, a reader posted the following comment:

What if [your emotions] don’t come ONE at a time?!? What if its a flood? I might be able to deal with all of the emotions if I could control them, and release them one at a time! But that isn’t how it happpens for me! I don’t get a choice with how fast they happen, or which ones to ‘let out.’ It just happens on its own. ~Theresa

I strongly recommend that Theresa and anyone else dealing with this issue read Chrystine Oksana’s Safe Passage to Healing. She has a great chapter entitled Associating Emotions that deals with just about any question you might have about dealing with emotions.

Here is some advice that she has to offer on the subject:

Associating dissociated emotions may be confusing for a while. Survivors have coped with skewed emotions for so long that distorted emotions feel normal. Many have to learn basics such as how natural emotions feel and what they are… Survivors usually avoid associating emotions until they feel overwhelmed. It comes a question of which is worse—living with unbearable tension or coping with unbearable feelings. A better approach is to schedule emotional release on a regular basis. Even five minutes a day can help…If five minutes feels like too much, start with thirty seconds, increase it to a minute, and so on. With each release, you will feel stronger, more alive, more energized, and more genuine. ~ Safe Passage to Healing, pp. 228-229

Until you allow yourself to begin to feel your emotions, you are going to stay in this hellish place. The healing process has its own rhythm, and it knows what it is doing. If you will release yourself into the guidance of your healing process and release emotions as you feel the need, you will experience an incredible about of healing. The more you fight it, the more painful and stressful the process will become.

I strongly recommend working together with your therapist as you begin allowing yourself to experience your emotions. If you are afraid to “let go” in private, then perhaps doing so under the supervision of your therapist will help you feel safer to do it.

When I first released my anger, I feared that it would rage on and on. In reality, it was an intense 20 minutes, but then it was over for that session. I did not hurt myself or anyone else, and the feeling was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

If you keep doing what you have always done (repressing the emotions), you are going to keep getting the same results. It takes courage to risk feeling your emotions, but it really is a key part of healing. You will be amazed at how much better you feel afterward.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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