My brain is an ever-roiling ocean of anger and fantasy. Its nooks and crannies are full of daydreams, nightmares and memories of conversations that happened 20 years ago. Is it any wonder I have a hard time remembering to feel emotions properly?
Although it’s mostly fear-based, parts of my brain are incomparably good at distracting me from reality. This can lead to many problems, like forgetting appointments or when the last time it was I ate actual food while holding onto random facts and pop culture: I may not remember what time school starts, but I sure as hell will never forget that Legolas is still prettiest no matter how many years pass me by.
And as I go deeper and deeper into my past self, I realize that most of this has become a mechanism to forget or suffocate things that either I have done or have been done to me when I was somewhat younger. I’m not saying that this is a healthy way to cope, but when you’re raised to hide your feelings or risk being labeled a girly girl (the WORST possible insult known to toxic masculinity, let me tell ya), there is no other option but to repress.
Now that I’m a grown-ass adult capable of making my own decisions about what I share and with whom, I don’t really give a care either way if my feelings make someone else uncomfortable. This seems like a “bitchy” move (which, fuck you if you think that), but I am allowed to have my own feelings on things.
It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to a place where I am comfortable with the thought of feelings. I’m still not great at recognizing everything about my emotions, and sometimes I still find myself stuffing it all back down into the deepest, darkest parts of me that hold the remnants of internalized misogyny and bad coping mechanisms, but the little bits that I do acknowledge are a small step in the right direction of a mentally healthier me.
And if little steps are all that I can make for now, I’d like to think it’s better than doing nothing about it and becoming stagnate.