Hi. So I'm curious to know if anyone else has this problem and how do you deal with it and the serious frustration it brings.A little background...my partner of 13 years and I have been having a really difficult time for the past year and a half. There has been a lot that has gone on and a lot of heavy emotions to contend with between the two of us. Its taking me a fairly long time to come to terms with everything, to try to heal. Unfortunately, this is totally unacceptable to my partner. I'm just supposed to get over it all, stop feeling badly and never bring it up again. For me, this is proving really difficult especially since this is a cycle that our relationship runs through every four or five years. The last two times we've just swept everything under the rug and let the situation be. That, of course leaves a great deal of emotion being pushed down and unexpressed, where I believe it festers and poisons both of us and the whole relationship. I have been trying to actually heal my wounds from this go round, as well as to come to terms with the previous cycles so that I and we can move on, either together or separately...which ever happens.The problem with the whole thing is what i guess you could consider a double standard. My partner is allowed to feel however she feels, to emote, to express, to be. I am not, it seems. It feels like I am not allowed to have my own emotions or thoughts about what's happened, or to express it in any way. It makes Her depressed or bitter or sad or feel like she's wrong...but never mind how i right feel...that's not nearly as important as how she feels. And its not just her that feels that way...had a really good friend who want even acknowledge my existence anymore because I'm not "safe" to be around, or whatever.I will be the first to admit that the situation I'm in makes me angry and hurt...and that a lot of that is coming out but after thirteen years and three of these cycles, I kind of feel like I have the right to feel and to express how I feel. I'm trying to experience it all and get it out if my system. All this unexpressed emotion is paralyzing and I'm tired of holding it all in. I'm not trying to be abusive or take advantage of anything. I just want to be able to move on...emotionally, spiritually creatively and whatever other ways I need progress. But I keep running into this same roadblock. I am simply not allowed to feel my own emotions regarding this. I am only allowed to feel hers. And she doesn't want me to know how she feels ( which is something I can't help) it to talk about anything.So what do you do? Anytime she even catches a glimpse of my emotions, like my feelings get hurt over something minor, or I'm angry and trying to cope with it, or something happens that brings up a sad memory, it turns into a huge four day ordeal,( whether I bring anything up or not) where she refuses to interact with me at all. Its like she punishes me for feeling badly by treating badly...which only exacerbates the feelings of anger and frustration I have. I feel like I'm in an emotional feedback loop where any action I take just fuels the cycle and makes it so much worse. I'm at a total loss here.To top everything off, I am also expected to be there for her, to comfort her, to listen to her, to be on her side but that's as far as it gets. There is no reciprocation on her end. If she has a concern about our situation that she actually feels like expressing... usually angry... I'm expected to listen quietly and be supportive of her and her viewpoint but not to have any sort of emotional reaction at all. Even though the situation concerns me as well.So does anyone else have a problem like this?Its not just my relationship with her that is like this. It seems to carry on in all my relationships. I'm everybody's support and rock but no one is there for me. Its been like this my whole life and I'm wondering if this us a common problem for empaths or if its just my bad taste in people. I'm tired of feeling so alone in every aspect of life. I'm tired of not being allowed to feel my own emotions. I'm tired of feeling like having my own emotions or struggles makes me a monster. Its like, how dare I have feelings or the need to express them.Any advice would be appreciated
updated by @ren-mcquiston: 05/20/17 12:56:02PM
Not allowed to feel...
Thanks for responding. To answer you, in regards to how my anger is being perceived by the people in my life, you are absolutely right in wondering if I seem threatening. I know that people find it threatening. To some extent, it frightens me as well. I don't know if I have just had my fill of the situation I'm currently in or if its because I don't have much experience in expressing it. For the majority of my life I was basically taught that I had no right to be angry or sad or anything negative. My mothers favorite expression was "You think you're (insert emotion here)? I'll give you something to feel (insert emotion again) about. Not a very good way to teach your child to express themselves in a healthy manner. So my anger, sadness, fear etc was expressed by cutting. Yeah... imba self-mutilator. Its the ugly truth. I haven't done anything like that in years and years but never found a better way to express it, aside from music and art. But in my relationship, from the beginning, its never been okay for me to take the time in solitude to express it. I've always had to be "on" and completely available to my partner. So I know part of the problem is that there us just so much I haven't been able to deal with. I feel like I'm being threatening and I don't mean to be, I'm just really really overwhelmed at this point. I do try to talk about how I'm feeling in a healthy non- threatening manner but no matter how calm and rational I am being, I am still treated like I'm reacting violently. Im not a violent person by nature...never even been in a physical fight with anyone...always the pacifist... always the peacemaker. Its hard to be treated like someone's abuser when all I am trying to do is work through this. Even just feeling sad is seen as threatening to my partner...which just adds to it all
Chuck...I see a lot of similarities...a lot. My partner is the one "in charge" in most aspects of our life together. Its not something that I have too much if a problem with most of the time. What I'm finding now that i do have a problem with is the double standard. I'm finally in contact with my inner voice again which is great for me...not so much for her. I'm sure she finds it shocking that suddenly I am being assertive and I am starting how I feel about things instead of just keeping it to myself. I would feel bad about the shock of it all but I don't really.A huge part of the problem is my willingness to put myself and my needs last. So much of our relationship has been based on her needs and not my own. For example...I gave up drumming at the beginning because I didn't actually own drums and my tapping and beating on various things bothered her. It was a great way for me to relieve stress but it was such a nuisance that somehow I managed to stop. I held out longer with the painting and art bit eventually that was taking too much time away from her and I basically stopped that as well. let me tell you...it was the worst thing u could have done to myself. I went from being a talented expressive person to a shell of a person. I stopped dreaming, which was probably even worse and definitely more disturbing because I used to work things out through my dreams and gain so much insight. By the time I hit thirty, which was right after our second cycle, I had given up all my hopes, plans and goals for the future. So here I am, six years later trying to regain all that I willingly gave up, trying to become a real person again trying to deal with my emotions and the choices I've made and where it has all led me.Its pretty overwhelming. There were places I wanted to see, things I wanted to accomplish, people I wanted to meet and I threw them all away for "love", to be with her. How depressing. And the most ironic thing is that none of it mattered in the least bit. Except to me and that small bit of self I had left.But that small bit of self, the ever expanding person inside is yearning for the freedom to be, to feel, to express, to grow. I can't stop listening to it. I am compelled to acknowledge it, to embrace it, to love it. Its just discouraging veto know that im the only person in my life to greet its return with hope and joy. I've been away for so long.What's been going on has been horrible but ibwouldnt trade the pain of it or the experience itself because it served to bust open the dam I had constructed internally, the place where I kept my true self contained. What's going on now is pretty much fallout cleanup. Its frustrating to deal with, hard to put myself back together, hard to feel that my partner sees my emerging self as a threat. (We both have abandonment issues so no big surprise there) I think that the biggest issue we have is also one of our major differences: I am willing to go through the pain and discomfort necessary to understanding myself and my why, because I know that growth is hard and painful, she is not. It makes dealing with MY problems somewhat easier but dealing with OUR problems that much more difficult. I think I do know deep down what the solution is, but my love and concern for her keeps getting in the way of making that choice. Pttthhhhh!I too am tired of being a doormat. I know I have a right to exist, to be, to feel to experience things that normal people do. Maybe you're right, that I'm seeking validation from her but to me it feels like I'm seeking equality. Maybe its the same thing.
Chuck...we could be related I am adopted and have no knowledge of my birth parents, so anything is possible.Interesting that your son is a drummer as well. Its a great stress relief!Patterns and cycles are something that I run into all the time. They fascinate me to no end, even when I find being immersed in them painful.As far as my partner is concerned, she is highly intuitive and very accurate when it comes to psychometry. She however doesn't "get" the empath part of me. She tries but finds it really unnerving when I talk about it or ask if she's feeling a specific way. Usually, it will cause her to be more withdrawn emotionally. I try not to ask anymore, as it clearly makes her uncomfortable and she tries even harder to mask or hide what she is feeling. She doesn't understand that my question is not a criticism of her, but only so that I can figure out if what I am feeling is mine or hers. I just want to know if the emotion I'm feeling at the time is something I should explore or discard.The journey of our souls is indeed a difficult one, and sometimes very lonely and painful. But honestly I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Even in the midst of pain I can see why its necessary and foresee its benefits to my growth as a soul, which makes it easier to take. I often feel like I am lucky to learn this lifetime's lessons with someone I love so deeply.Best of luck and joy to you on your journey. Exploring your own darkness is fascinating and enlightening however lonely it can be.Ren