Friday, May 1, 2009

Forbidden Emotions

The other day we rented the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua for Summer. We let her go to bed watching the movie so Toby and I did not watch the movie with her. The next day I asked her if she liked the movie. She told me that she did, but that it was too sad for her to finish watching it.

She went on to tell me that she wanted me to watch it with her so she could finish watching it. Me, of all people. The person who gets emotional about everything from episodes of Oprah to Price is Right winners. I can't even listen to somebody else's grief, happy moment, or dilemma without tearing up. I FEEL other people's emotions as deeply as I do my own.

My affliction is very embarrassing. My problem has often caused me to distant myself from people or situations that may cause me to "lose emotional control". Unfortunately, my aversion to emotions have allowed me to be perceived as cold, distant, or unemotional.

At around the age of two years old, it was obvious that my daughter had inherited the same sensitivity trait. I had popped in the move Fox and the Hound into the VCR. A little while into the movie she started crying and telling us to turn it off. At first I didn't know what was wrong, but eventually figured out that along with the sad music on the movie, the mom of one of the animals had also died.

That day was the turning point. From that moment on she questioned every movie she was about to watch. We have numerous Disney movies that have never been watched because of the sadness factor.

Music is also a trigger for her. Like me, the older she gets, she has learned how to repress her emotions and avoid that feeling. Being the introvert kind of girls we are we don't want any extra attention drawn to us from emotional outbursts.

So, I started to thinking about emotion. Why is it that emotion is something that we are taught to hide. From a young age we all have been taught "not to cry" or to "suck it up". Why is it that when we feel something that makes our heart swell we feel the need to hide or suppress it?

I can vividly remember a friend of mine when I was a pre-teen. She was upset about something and was openly crying about it. I remember her saying to some boy that was making fun of her crying.."I'm not afraid to cry in front of anyone." How envious of her I was at that moment. Being able to cry and show emotion openly and not feel persecuted or shamed for it!



  1. I didn't realize you were that way. I am too. Do you remember in high school when you & I would laugh at sad things that shouldn't be laughed at? We were covering up what we were really feeling! There are books & websites on "Highly Sensitive People." There are certain songs that as soon as I hear the beginning I want it turned off immediately because of the feelings it brings up from a certain something that it reminds me of. I could go on & on, but you already know!

  2. We should start a club for those of us who are emotional!! There are song, movies, books, poems, you name it that will turn the water works on for me and my daughter too!!

    My husband teases a bit about it but actually loves the fact that I am emotional and passionate about things.