No More Secrets
by Linda Meredith
#complexptsd I discovered has kept me holding so many thoughts and emotions tightly inside my body. My family history, for a few generations at least, helped contribute to the silence. Talking about emotions was not only not encouraged it was considered highly inappropriate to even acknowledge emotions, let alone share about them openly.
As a teenager I was called Elizabeth Taylor and considered a drama queen as I wanted to have conversations with my parents about feelings. Heck, I even wrote them notes that I stuck under their pillows trying to explain how I felt or what was happening for me. Zero response from the adults!
If we looked back through the generations it's possible to see that not talking about emotions has been handed down. Literally keeping everything locked away and secret was the implied rule on both sides of my family. My beloved grandmother, I discovered, was literally on holiday 2 minutes down the road from me, and had been so for 3 weeks. I was gutted when I found out.
I sobbed semi hysterically on the phone asking why she hadn't even told me she was coming. I'd spent holidays with her and my grandfather throughout childhood and even throughout adulthood I took time off work to be with them. So I was stunned, to say the least. I loved her with all my heart. When I asked could I come down and see her I was told yes, provided I didn't bring up what we'd been discussing on the phone.
That night it hit me like a proverbial freight train how in our family we don't discuss emotions. I was like "wow" well, that has to stop now. I never had a chance to ask my grandmother where she got the rule from, but I've no doubt it's been handed down as we live what we learn as children until we either seek the difference or consciously choose to get off automatic pilot and make different decisions for our lives.
My childhood was what it was, but we need to be the change for the generations to come. What a blessing my kids have been! Teaching them about emotions I was able to learn alongside them. As they grew we developed different ways of communicating, and now they’re grown we still choose to learn about each other, have boundaries, share emotions including the good, the bad and occasionally ugly!
It’s a precious part of life to share in relationships that are authentic. I encourage you to take steps to build increased emotional awareness into your life and into the lives of those around. It's a priceless investment with generational returns.