Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Emotions Have to be "Felt With"

I was reminded this last weekend that emotions can't be reasoned with. I can't argue them away. They have to be "felt with."

I was babysitting my granddaughter who is almost two. Her mother told me she was having a hard week - being very clingy, crying a lot, having night terrors. Very unlike her.

Even so, when she cried for almost an hour, I spent most of that time attempting to reason with her - a two-year-old - saying "if you stop crying we can have fun, your mommy always comes back, grandma is sad when you cry... "

Eventually, she stopped crying with the help of a pacifier (which she's not supposed to have but that's what grandmas are for), then we played and even talked about her crying and getting her "binky."

It seemed to me that if she could talk about it "reasonably," she should have been able to stop crying...

Then I remembered that just last month, I had a few spells like that myself where I felt the feelings of being abandoned as a child and cried like a baby. No amount of reasoning with my emotions worked to get rid of them. I had to feel and express them because I had denied them as a child and most of my adult life.

So not only was I asking more of my granddaughter than I had been able to do, I was trying to deny her her feelings and the space to express them.

We do not know what is going on with her now. I do know, though, that "this too shall pass," just like my feelings are lessening with time - now that I've "felt with" them.

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At Tuesday, July 01, 2008 9:48:00 AM, Blogger Syd said...

Stuffing feelings isn't helpful for me. I have to feel things, good and bad, and then eventually my head will get aligned with my heart. Sounds like you were trying to help your granddaughter and realized that she too needs her time to just emote.


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