So Emotional

Lately I've been trying to wrap my head around how I've been feeling, and how what I've been feeling is usually construed as a bad thing, but I've never thought so. Let me stop beating around the bush: I've been really emotional lately. And I know that, depending on who you ask, "emotional" often translates to "hysterical," or simply "crazy." I've never believed this — at least, not in a hard-and-fast way, though I know my emotions sometimes make me feel crazy. But as a Highly Sensitive Person, apparently "the term" for "people like me," being emotional is a pretty consistent state. I feel things one thousand percent and almost everything evokes some sort of emotional response.

(Yes, I cried at the Budweiser puppy commercial. No, I don't want to talk about any of the other commercials.)

So, yes, I have emotional responses to pretty much everything. I'm an emotional person. I cry when I'm angry. In fact, I cry when I laugh too — it only takes a little chuckle; it's a trait of the women in my family — but that's not the same thing, I don't think. I cry at fabric softener commercials and I ache for the bullied. (True story: I always loved Clarissa Explains it All as a kid, but my heart broke for Ferguson every time she called him a name.) Lost baby animals tug at my heart strings and nearly every recent high-profile Supreme Court decision has made me shed tears. No doubt about it; I am an emotional person.

But lately, it's been different. It's not just my usual over-invested emotional responses. I feel like I've been... more wistful, maybe? More contemplative, for sure, but not over anything useful. For example:

Remember this person? Well, I made abundantly clear to them that they are not welcome in my life anymore and that all communication is to stop. The word "harassment" had to be used, and without a trace of exaggeration I might add. And for a while, all was good. But recently, apparently they decided I should be over this "little episode" by now and, once again, have come barging into my life without a trace of respect for my one simple and incredibly reasonable request: Leave me alone. I want to be angry, and often I am. But the anger mixes with guilt in a torturous way, because that's the way I'm programmed — ya know, it's not fair. I renounced Catholicism over a decade ago. Why am I still afflicted with Italian Catholic guilt? Anyway, the emotions blend together and swirl into some chaotic manifestation of pain and sadness and hatred that I'm scratching my head over. What am I supposed to do with this? I still have no answer, but I need one more desperately than ever.

And remember the person I wrote this (second half) about?? (Who later became this person to me.) It's been nearly a year since we spoke. In that year, I've managed to completely forget about what that person gave me for no more than a handful of days at a time. Lately, and it may be because of an impending "anniversary" of sorts, this person is absolutely haunting me. Why? I have no idea. What do I do about it? I have no idea. We agreed a year ago that continuing any sort of relationship would be a tremendous mistake and parted ways. Why, then, can I not shake the feeling like I need to reach out? I need to speak up. I have so much I've been dying to say for a year, but I have no reason to believe a word of it would be welcome. But then again, maybe it would. I really don't know, and I have nothing to go on. And maybe life's too short to worry about if it's the smart thing to do or not when I know deep down and into my bones how badly I want to do it. And as we close in on a year I'm thinking about how it all came full circle and wondering how I open the loop again — can I? Should I? What's the worst that could happen if I do? How much will I torture myself for another year if I don't? And is my preoccupation with this a sign telling me to go for it, or just the hallmark of my sometimes obsessive personality? And everything I feel when I cover this debate with myself is maximized and intensified and the answer seems so clear and then so cloudy and how does anyone make sense of feelings like this? I don't like confusion. I don't like dropping my emotions off into gray areas — ironic, since I do my best to convince myself there's nothing black and white in this world. But that's besides the point.

And then there's the immense guilt I feel toward another person when all I'm doing is my job and exactly what I'm required to do. And then there's the anger I still feel toward a friend, and my inability to answer the questions about forgiveness vs. forgetness, even after I've certainly behaved with forgiveness. And let's not forget the guilt I feel about the half-assed rejection I could barely bother to follow through on recently. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

But speaking of the picture, I have no idea where I'm going with this. I have no point or conclusion. Maybe I put this out there seeking permission from people to do the thing I want to do. (Yeah, that's probably part of it, if I'm being honest.) I think I'm also hoping for someone to recognize themselves in some of this so I don't feel like such a freak. I know I can't be the only "Highly Sensitive Person" out there, but goddamn can it feel like it sometimes. I mean... Who thinks this much? Who worries about inconsequential shit this much? Who cries this much? Who cares this much?

I don't know. Besides me, I don't know who does. But sometimes I really, really, really wish I didn't. Would it be simpler to care less and worry less and just take the plunge or not even want to take the plunge because I haven't spend days or weeks or months or years contemplating it, and I was actually able to let. it. go? Again, I don't know.

The worst part is the fact that I have perspective. I know that some of this is trivial in the grand scheme of things. I know I have had far, far worse experiences in my own life; and I know others have experienced worse still. But that can't comfort me. It doesn't change the emotions I feel at max capacity anyway, though sometimes I'd trade anything to have my insides turned to stone. Perspective does nothing when you're capable of crying the same tears over significant trauma as spilled milk. Again, that's the way I've been programmed. Emotionally slutty and equipped with a highly and inappropriately heart-felt knee-jerk reaction to both the tiniest and largest of stimuli, despite every bit of better judgement and every desire to be different sometimes.

What do you think?


  1. Beautifully and eloquently written. Life can be so up and down at times. I get emotional sometimes too, especially because my life looks a whole lot different than it did a year ago, Im single, sans a family member and still trying to adjust, so I get you more than I probably can vocalize.
    In the case of the person who refuses to get out of your life. I will say try your best to avoid that toxicity and stay in the moment. They will hopefully get the picture eventually.

    As to the person you feel the need to reach out to. I will say this. Trust your gut, the worst that can happen is that it wont be well received. And if you prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best you will be in a good place. Reach out. You only have one life and regret is an emotion not easy to get rid of. :) My two cents.

  2. I feel like I've said all these words in my head a million times. I've battled with myself over the same questions abd looking for the same answers. Life is just hard sometimes.

    As for the person who is trying to creep back in...just keep up that wall and eventually they will fade away. As for the one you want to reach out to I say do it. And listen to your gut and be in your moments and if in this moment you want to reach out then do it. And never ever regret your decisions. Your decisions are what you feel in that very moment and they are what feel right for you in that moment. Good luck girlie. You are strong even when you cry :)

  3. I would think I wrote this word for word except that I could never put it as eloquently and beautifully as you did. So yes... I am the same. I cry at everything - I've already cried three times today (one over a mommy video and the other two over a blog post - this one and a different one) so I feel you on the crying. I cry when I'm sad, when I'm mad, when I'm worried and when I'm sick.. I sometimes wish that my brain worked like other peoples so that I wasn't always SO concerned with everything and everyone and thinking and worrying about everything to every single little detail..
    but anyway. I say go with your gut on the reaching out.. But I know how meaningless that is, because if your gut is anything like mine it's like 'yes, do it! no, wait! yes! no! i don't know...' and i hope the person who doesnt understand the leaving you alone gets the picture soon... but from what you've told me... possibly not. ugh. sorry darl. wish i could help.

  4. You are such a writer - I can literally feel everything you write down!!! I have been in your situation of wanting to reach out and not knowing what to do and I'll email you separately about that!! xo, Biana

  5. O, I wish I could reach out give you a huge hug, and then take you out for a drink and just talk. This was so beautiful. I am becoming more emotional now as I get older. For a long time in my life I would have described myself as emotionally stunted. I was uncomfortable with feeling sad or blue or angry. I didn't know what to do when I felt like that, so I hid behind a wall of humor and sarcasm. But, over the past few years, I have learned to embrace my emotions and let myself feel what I fell, and not be ashamed or to try and hide those feelings.
    Again, I wish I had words of advise, but I dont. All I can offer is love and friendship and a listening ear from afar.

  6. I really wish I knew what to say to this. I read it when you first posted but am just getting around to commenting…:/
    I have no idea what to say about Person #1. I've never been in a situation like that with anyone, and especially with that person, I just can't imagine how hard that has to be on you. But no matter what happens or what is said, you have to know that it's not your fault and you don't deserve being treated that way. It's really not about you. I know that doesn't make it easier, but it's not.
    As for Person #2…oh man. I've been there, and I've tortured myself over reaching out until finally I did and got nothing in response. And then when I had gotten over it, he reached out to me and I got sucked back in and absolutely nothing good came of it. It probably would have been better if I had never tried in the first place, but I'm obsessive like you and let things bother me until I do them, so I don't know if that was ever really an option anyway.


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