Loving the ADHD devil – DAY 3
I struggle a lot with my feelings. I mostly prefer to hide all of them, pretend I don’t have emotions and on the rare occasion my feelings are able to surface, I show just anger to myself and the world around me. For over a decade I choose to believe I don’t have emotions or feelings, I don’t care, I am stronger, but when they started to appear, when I had to say goodbye to my grandpa, the problem with hiding my emotions started to surface.
When I drop food on the floor, after spending hours in the kitchen to prepare it, I will blame my boyfriend for not doing the dishes. When I loose a game I play, I blame the inability of the people I play with. When I’m unable to have a conversation with an other person, I blame that person for not understanding my situation. Whenever something goes wrong, I blame an other person and I blame myself, I hate myself for the way I am.
Hiding from the truth
I cover up my sadness and insecurities with anger and blame. I translate my true feelings into a hateful version I’ve learned how to deal with, I’ve done it all my life. Now I think about it, it might have started when my feelings of sadness were rejected by my parents when my father dropped our lasagna on the floor just before we were going to eat it, after more than an hour of cooking.
This happened when I was 3 or 4 years old and in my memories, this is the last time I remember me expressing sadness towards my parents. From this moment, from my parent’s rejection of my sadness, from getting beaten by my father over the appearance of my tears, I have started to hide my true emotional rejection, and now, more than 2 decades later, the hiding has become so automatic that I don’t even recognize the truth myself anymore.
In the period that I had to say goodbye to my grandpa, I started to notice my inexplicable feelings of hate. I noticed how many of my reactions included an amount of hate that even I couldn’t explain or understand. I was feeling anger and hate towards everything and everyone, while I didn’t have a reason for this hate, I wasn’t truly angry.
This is when I started to realize that I was translating my true feelings, that the anger that had taken over was just a cover-up for my true emotions, a sign of me dealing with feelings that were too hard and confronting to face. I understood I had a problem with finding a way to deal with the approaching loss of my grandpa and I understood I had to find a way to get better at handling my emotions.
Digging for the truth
In the first few months of the emotional rollercoaster I entered when I heard my grandpa would soon leave this world, I developed a way to connect to my true feelings. Every night, before I would go to bed, i forced myself to be honest with myself, I forced myself to have a conversation, with myself, out loud.
I would lay down and start telling myself about the things that had made me angry that day. I would talk about the feelings of hate and anger I had experienced and discovered that these things didn’t really make me angry. I would ask myself what thoughts occurred to me when I was expressing this anger, what I associated it with, what I actually thought during my expression of anger.
Somewhere in these conversations I would start crying, and I saw this as a sign that showed me what I was truly struggling with, what had really bothered me. It worked, trough talking I was able to discover my true emotions.
There was a day on which I had been angry at all my colleagues. They were not working hard enough, they didn’t help me in making quick decisions that were needed to finish the design. They went home early and I stayed late by myself to get as much work done as possible. I was angry at them the whole day for not taking our approaching deadline as serious as I did.
I got home around 10.30 in the evening, filled with anger towards everything related to my work but I knew that there was more behind this anger. I started the conversation with myself, expression the anger I described before. Then the real conversation started:
Did you really believe your colleagues are as useless as you say?
Did you really hate them for leaving the office early?
So what did I really feel when they left to go home?
I felt jealous.
Why did you feel jealous?
Because they went out to enjoy their evenings,
with the people they love and the activities they enjoy.
Something that you can not have these days right?
I wasn’t angry at my colleagues, I was jealous at their easy lives, they joy they were able to experience. I didn’t have anything in my life besides work and the constant fear of loosing my grandpa. I didn’t have joy, I was scared, I was in pain, my life had become a dark place, filled with anxiety and sadness. I wasn’t angry at my colleagues, I was scared of the pain I would feel once I would stop hiding behind anger.
It was too much
For a couple of months, I was able to discover my true feelings, to remove the shield of anger and show myself my true emotions. But as a result, I spend every night covered in tears, crying myself to sleep while drowning in the pain I felt as a result of loosing my grandpa. I wasn’t able to share my true feelings with anyone, afraid of rejections, and after a while, my daily lonely suffering became too much.
The pain, the sadness, became too strong for me to handle on my own, Many nights I wished that someone would be there with me, guiding me through the pain, providing me with the comfort I needed to get through my extreme sadness. But I was alone, and I had to go through the process of saying goodbye to my grandpa. I had to stay strong, by myself, and too soon I decided to allow to anger, to leave my sadness unrevealed and just keep going.
I wish I would have had someone back then, I wish I wouldn’t have stopped feeling the truth, but afraid as I was, I kept hiding everything for over a year. A year of anger, a year of feeling lonely and misunderstood because deep down I knew the extreme sadness that was hiding inside me and I was waiting for someone able to help me to uncover it. I lost my friends, I lost my joy in work and life, my anger pushed me further and further away form the world around me.
It took me over a year to figure out that anger is not a solution to sadness, and once I figured this out, my sadness turned out to be not just limited to the loss of my grandpa. I am sad about many things that happened in life, I have to get through almost 3 decades of hidden emotions before I can change the way I deal with sadness.
But more and more often, I am able to start a conversation with myself, able to uncover my true feelings, cry and feel, share them with you and the people around me. I am getting better at finding out what I feel and I am getting better at dealing with this truth. I should just never stop the conversation with myself, I should never again stop listening.