Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

In My Feelings

I was in Drama Club in middle school. This should be absolutely no surprise to anybody who really knows me because I can be quite dramatic at times. I attribute it to being in touch with my emotions while others probably chalk it up to me just being a drama queen. Either way, it’s a trait that I have passed down to my children.

My son in particular likes to throw extremely dramatic fits when things don’t go his way. I’m talking crying, screaming, falling in the floor fits. He threw one the other night and I sent him to his room and told him to close his door so he didn’t disturb by ER binging. I’m pretty sure that my mother thought I had lost my mind. I explained to her that if I gave him ten minutes he’d get it out of his system. And sure enough, ten minutes later he was reasonable and able to listen to what I needed him to do. He just needed some time to process his emotions. It was dramatic, I mean Oscar-worthy dramatic, but it worked for him. But the whole scene made me think of myself as a child. I was the dramatic one. ‘Too emotional’. ‘Wearing my heart on my sleeve’. ‘Thin-skinned’. And I’ll admit, there were times that I was overboard. But I have to wonder how different I might have turned out if I had processed, or had been taught to process, my emotions better.

Now let me clarify. This is not a post blaming my parents or anyone else. I was born in the 80s. You didn’t really talk about processing emotions or emotional intelligence in the 80s – at least not in my circle. If kids threw fits they were popped and told to cut it out. If kids did throw fits without parent intervention it was figured that the parents were probably hippies. It was just something that we didn’t do. But times have changed. I do things a bit differently than my parents and their parents before them, just like they did. Not because I think I’m better or that my way is better, but because of my experiences.

Here’s the deal. I spent a good part of my adulthood living a double life (insert eye roll for the drama there). I was only truly myself in front of a very, very, very small group of people. In the end, it almost became my undoing. I mean, who wants to be that person? Who wants to be the sad sack always on the verge of tears, not really knowing who or what you want to be? But again, times have changed. Now, I am who I am. Sometimes it’s funny, engaging me. Other times it’s cranky, with zero f**ks to give me. But both of those people love the same. And both of those people deserve to be loved.

I guess what I’m saying is – let people throw their fits. Send them to their space so they can work it out. And when they’re done – be there ready to listen and help them process it. Now I have to ruin (their words, not mine) my kids’ life by asking them to help unload groceries.

Until next time…

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