Creep update (see yesterday's post) : My friend is fine-ish. She has no broken bones only a lot of bruising. She was unpacking her suitcase when I called. She had been on the phone with the insurance company all afternoon. The car was totaled. They had to use the jaws of life to extract her. The appraiser kept saying it was a miracle she was alive. It was. I am grateful to God for sparing her. Amen.
What does "allowed to feel" mean? (With thanks to Debra) I have been puzzling about this for a couple of days. Seems very important. Also feels very connected to yesterdays creepiness. Allowed to feel what? Allowed by whom? These are the main queries I separated from the confusion this phrase evokes.
What is it I am allowed to feel? Nothing. In ruminating over this statement I realized I believe I am allowed to feel nothing. Poor dumb girl. How sad for me. It has taken me fifty years to recognize this erroneous, soul sapping belief. (But better late than never. Thanks Debra.) I believe normal is feeling nothing. I know I eat to stop the pain of feeling, but I also believe in my heart of hearts that I should not feel pain. Good heavens. You know the only people who feel no pain? Dead people.
I have rules about feeling. I can feel only at appropriate places and times. And I have to feel only the emotions I deem appropriate for the place and time, i.e. sadness at funerals. I was a hospice nurse for a number of years. I went to a lot of funerals. Toward the end of my death and dying tenure I was getting hysterical at the funerals. I laughed. I began giggling with the eulogy and was guffawing by the time they wheeled the casket out. Makes me laugh as I am writing this. I just this moment see this for the defense mechanism it was. I have been ashamed of my inappropriate responses. I should have felt sad. Instead I felt like Shecky Greene. I believe that daily life should be emotionless. A feeling of unruffled contentment is permitted the "good" Christian, but otherwise nothing. I have seen myself as a failure because I get emotional over the price of zucchini. I expect myself to mostly have no emotions. I see any "non-appropriate" emotion as out of control. I have hated my emotions because I could not seem to control them. Of course I can't control the onset of emotion. Like trying to control my digestive system. But I can control how I will react to the emotion. I do not have to sob in the produce isle. But I can if I want to.
What does all this have to do with yesterday? I felt the wrong emotion. I should have felt anxiety and compassion. What I actually felt was irritation. I am sick. I have been sick for a week. Not a nice clean illness like a cold or the flu. I am having a grand mal herpes attack. Fever, nausea, open lesions, the whole nine yards. We also may have to move again. Mark may be being transferred to the main office. I do not want to move. I volunteered to host the first of the revolving dinners for the church. I have to do "company" cleaning. I love Penny but I did not want to drive a million miles and then take care of someone. So I was irritated. And I should have felt compassion. Then I felt guilty. (Guilt is the one emotion I seem to permit myself at all times and places.)
I now feel tired. I no longer feel guilty. Penny is okay and with God and Zovirax I soon will be too. Feeling is normal and I can choose how I will react to what I feel. A great lesson learned. Stay tuned for how I got to be emotionless. A bunch of "non-allowers" in my past.
Take care of your emotional selves. Love Bea