Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Feel What I Feel When I Feel It

via Wikipedia

Recently, along with a lot of other folks, I felt caught up in exultation and "justice served, at last!" at the overwhelmingly "Guilty verdict" passed on child molester Jerry Sandusky.

Reading some of the message boards, I was struck by one commenter, who didn't "get" why so many people were rejoicing, and that made me take a closer look at myself.

I am not, and never have been, a prepubescent boy. True, I also experienced an incident of molestation when I was 12 (in central Pennsylvania, no less). However, without ever requiring my testimony or the cops even talking to me at all, the perp did did go to jail, where, rumor has it, he ended up dying an agonizing, long-drawn-out death of cancer several decades ago.

Karma wins - which is not always the case.

And while what happened to me was highly unpleasant, it wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to me; it wasn't something that ruined my life or haunted me.

As the saying goes, I "had no dog in this fight."

So why am/was I following the Sandusky case so closely? Why did it stir me up so much?

Was it because I related to the victims? To the struggling single mothers who thought that contact with a coach willing to act as a father figure would be good for them? Do I feel guilty as a former resident of Pennsylvania?

I don't fully know. I may never know.

What I do know, is that it's okay to feel what I feel. When I feel it. Maybe I want to sit down and pick that feeling apart, maybe I just want to notice it. You know, the whole Zen thing, sitting by the side of the stream, watching the stream, the leaves and twigs floating in it.  There's a feeling; how interesting.

I don't have to come up with a reason why I feel what I feel - not to myself, not to anybody else. I don't have to limit myself to only feeling certain emotions.

via Project Adventure
 There were years when, as a child, I was expected to suppress what I felt.

There were many years when I didn't allow myself to have certain feelings, at all, because it wasn't safe. I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was ten, but didn't begin serious grief work until I was 30 years old, and *I* was ready and felt safe enough to do so.

There were years living with my OCPD b-f when I was often told, if I expressed certain feelings, that they were wrong, and instructed as to what I "should" feel instead. I have had (former) friends try to do the same thing, tell me I was wrong/silly/unjustified in feeling a particular emotion.

I am SO done with that. I am done with anyone (outside of a trusted mental health professional) telling me that my feelings are over- or underdone; that they are inappropriate or wrong, somehow.

 I'm letting myself feel what I feel, when I feel it. Period.

How about you?
Have you ever been told you "shouldn't" feel a particular way?
Did you rejoice in the Sandusky verdicts?

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