Sigmund Freud once said, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
I have spent years knowing this to be an intimate truth that I have ignored and kept deep within my own burdens. I have never been one to allow those emotions that we associate with such passion to come forth into my eyes, my smiles or even into the touch I give another. I have kept in my life the truth about my own perceptions a secret that rivals any the Gods may have.
It is a learned behavior to suppress emotion. Taught at the cradle or the dinner table we are often shown that the greater of the emotions requires the greater of deceptions. We are taught that the outbreaks, the screams, the loud and uncouth vulgarity of a human life should be hidden. And while we often try and hide it in a place that we can later use it or examine it, there comes a time when we must acknowledge that we aren’t using these emotions for further study but simply for an excuse in ignorance.
My mother is a woman of little direct emotion. While in the last two years she has gotten better at expressing such easy thoughts as love for a child this wasn’t the case of my childhood. She has always kept the secrets of her emotions deeply hidden from those around her. And while I can’t pinpoint for her the moment this became her truth, I can with a certainty of a mother’s experience know that this lesson came and it was learned. That small cradled child would grow up to fear her own emotions and in turn would teach her own child the destruction of truth, the ugliness of reality, and what it can bring over and over.
My father was another story; for my father it simply was never an issue because I was never an issue. I was made to perform for his entertainment; and I succeeded beyond anyone’s hope. There was a chasm between my father and I; an emotionally unstable child and a man whose dreams took precedence over realities so easily ignored.
I was raised in a world where feelings and the depth of a human soul carried the same amount of weight as the dreams that bothered me in the night. I have lived the vast majority of my life with the recognition that who and what I am, in the deepest of nights, is not normal; therefore, should be ignored, buried, forgotten. The dreams worth pursing were not those of the arts or of a world that showed its underbelly and demanded the acceptance of common feelings. I was raised in a world where burying ones life deep in the soles of our feet was preferable to the burying of emotions in our souls.
I have accepted this truth a long time ago. I accepted that there are times, many times, when those around me can not know who and what I am because I would never allow myself that opportunity to lower the rails so that others could finally see. I have accepted that I will never allow myself to be so vulnerable as to trust; nor will I ever have the belief in the world around me to give me that which I must rely on myself for. I have accepted a long time ago that the wounds I carry are mine, they are not to be written except in the recesses of my own imagination.
I have found lately however that my emotions more than any other time in my life are starting to come to the fore. I am not searching for the new; I am not searching for the unforgettable human experience that others can so easily disdain. I do not search. I do not seek. And yet, for one of the few times in my life I feel. I feel emotions that don’t react the way our society or those closest to me could accept. I feel emotions spontaneously that require the strength of my whole soul to bury before others can see.
I cry as I watch my son run a race. I literally engage in almost unhuman-like energy in order to take away the pain of the anger that is sitting at my finger tips. And I put my head-phones on and listen to the greatest singers, blues and the men and women of soul, in order to hide from that which is taking me to places I am not comfortable being. After years of burying emotions, taking the time to simply watch them finally rise is not something that will ever come easily. After years of ignoring the hurt, the anger, the disappointment there is no easy road to healthy pain. After years of falling to my knees in prayer that God will forgive me for the emotions that seem to coat the very lining of my life, I can not stand and watch it be.
But it scares me. If I don’t look at these emotions, if I don’t start to try and figure out why these emotions are so disturbing and destructive to my soul, will I ever be free of them? Can I ever find forgiveness for a world that gives me just enough light to fall down? Can I find a satisfaction not in life, that would be too much, but in my world which will allow me the happiness to see things in a way that I have never heard before? Will I be free to let go so that I can finally begin to gather all that I need?
Will I find my dreams with this emotion congregated on my soul? Will I find a way to take that step, that journey, that emotional path that will finally give me rest? I have no need to look for peace and not much hope for answers. But I have found lately this amazing hope for the beauty only one who has spent her life in hiding can truly know. I have found that it is no longer the emotions I need to hold me back, but I finally need those emotions to lead me forth.
I, like every person between the ages of a moment to eternity, have dreams and hopes. There are places that I want to see, people I want to meet, and dreams that I want to dust off and see if they are still waiting for me. I don’t want to be burdened by the very real emotions that live within me, instead I desperately want to take those emotions and learn to fly. To fly above the mundane, and the dramatic, to a world the exists in my imagination and the imaginations of those greater than I will ever be.
I don’t see these emotions as burdens. I see these emotions as the key to a Valhalla that no one but myself will ever know. But I have to find the courage to believe in the uncompromising perfections of my own soul and the emotions that have resided there for an eternity before I will ever be able to know.