The first therapist I went to in my teens used to tell me, "Tiptoe, I imagine that all your feelings are stuffed in a bottle, sitting on a shelf way up high. They just stay there until one day, they just all explode."
This sort of happened a few weeks ago after a specific incident where I felt very angry over lack of communication with someone. At the time, it felt justified and others validated those feelings. However, several days later, guilt, doubt, and anger with myself set in. And then, I regretted the way I felt, that I just shouldn't have felt that way. So now, it leaves a sticky, uncomfortable feeling with the said person above where I don't know what to say or do, waiting for her to make the first move. Will she completely ignore what happened, acting like nothing ever happened or will it be held against me?
Over the years, I've tried to unleash those feelings in a variety of mediums--in therapy, through talking with family and friends, and through writing in various forms. It's never been an easy thing for me. Rather, it's something I have to work at, knowing how the repercussions can manifest. Yet, even after all these years, I'm still left feeling uncomfortable and uneasy. There continues to be a "judgment" of my own emotions. That somehow, they're really not allowed.
Every year, (not as a resolution--don't believe in them, but more to just work on) I tell myself I'm going to be less harsh with myself and simply recognize my emotions without judging them. I don't know why this is so difficult for me to do completely. I seem to do okay with some emotions like sadness but anger and frustration, you know all those "fire color" emotions just leave me feeling ill.. The truth of the matter is that somewhere, somehow I've learned those types of feelings were wrong, that I saw other people who had these emotions and became afraid of turning into them, and instead kept them all in a bottle. It's like I'm afraid of fully unleashing those emotions, like they are Pandora's Box. In essence, it's being afraid of the human nature of myself.
*I took many photos of this bottle and had quite a number of emotions in it. These emotions are ones that I don't necessarily allow myself to feel or feel like it is wrong to feel. I wanted the photos to show more emotions, but the little slips of paper were not cooperating.