I am studying the science of emotional life. I plan to relate what I learn adding scientific perspective to the writing of my memoir. As I begin to interpret Joseph LeDoux’s, The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life I immediately connect the basis of my emotional journey to conclude with a “harmonious integration of reason and passion” although my travels have been anything but harmonious. Perhaps it will end up as, My Some What Fictional Memoir a catchy title.
Am I allowed to do that?
Understanding the over emotional me has been my life’s quest. As, I’ve been told:
- I’m oversensitive.
- I’m too emotional.
- I feel too much.
- “Stop crying!”
Over the years, I’ve tried to keep my emotions in check. You know how the saying goes “Drown your sorrows”. For a time, I had even given in to needing the help of a little pill for depression. It worked; I marched through an extremely difficult period in my personal life emotionally detached, having learned there are pills for that.
As I call this my life’s quest, those were the things I was told in my childhood. I learned early, to cry in silence and to hide my face so others couldn’t see my tears. The next lesson I remember learning was that my parents did not care why I was crying, they just wanted it to stop. It took me decades to realize that this was not because I was unworthy of my feelings or that my need were unimportant, but it was because they were not emotionally available.
In my adulthood, with this knowledge, as I’ve replaced unhealthy relationships with healthy ones, I continually need to remember when I am feeling alone or that my needs aren’t being met, to use my words. This may sound fundamental, yet, it is useless when dealing with those who are emotionally unavailable or those who seek only to fulfill their own agenda, as in those unhealthy relationships. And although I sometimes forget the people in my life are not mind readers, I must express my needs. Otherwise, how will my needs be known?
I believe it is important to heal the emotionally neglected child, changing the message of ‘the unworthy’. I do this by giving her a voice and her health as she dismisses her antagonists, as she learns to live her life with reason and passion.
Do you see self-growth as you develop your fictional and/or non-fictional characters?