Anger Isn’t the Only Emotion to be Managed: 9 Ways to Tame Your Feelings

20 06 2016

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

When I was a kid, I used to have tantrums.

And not just any tantrums.

The on the ground, store-clearing, face-purpling variety.

And I had them a bit longer than was considered to be developmentally appropriate.

Sorry, mom and dad.

I can still remember the feeling. It was like a bucket of fizzy emotion had just been poured into a shot glass, overwhelming me with its intensity and confusion and frustrating me with my inability to make sense of what I was feeling and to communicate it to others.

And it was the latter that prompted the tantrums, that external display of anger that actually came from anger at myself and my struggle to reign in my other emotions.

If I had still been engaging in these external displays of excess emotion once I reached school age, I would have been referred for anger management classes.

When really what I…

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Compartmentilization: When to Build the Walls and When to Tear Them Down

10 06 2016

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

I ran over a turtle the other day.

God, even typing those words makes me feel ill. It was an accident, the turtle mixed in among the leaves on my driveway. As soon as I heard the terrible crunch, I knew what had to have happened. I said a blessing for the animal and expressed my sorrow as I dealt with the aftermath.

And it’s still haunting me. Even now, writing this, I’m crying.

This is a time where I wish that I was better at compartmentalizing. At building a closed-off drawer in my mind and safely tucking this incident in it.

There are times when it is necessary to wall off emotions or even entire situations. When you’re in a crisis that demands action, whether it be soldiers on a mission or a bystander administering the Heimlich, feelings and extraneous facts are a luxury that cannot be afforded. And…

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Why the First Reaction Is Often Not The Real Reaction

2 06 2016

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

“What am I going to tell my mom?” were the first, shameful words out of my mouth when I learned my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend was pregnant.

I was 14. He was 16. We had only been dating a few weeks. I was still years away from being ready to be sexually active. He welcomed that because he had felt pressured to have sex in his previous relationship.

There was no infidelity involved; the conception had occurred towards the end of their relationship and before ours began.

So really, the news had nothing to do with me.

But that wasn’t my initial reaction.

I had been put on birth control pills a few months prior to manage painful cycles and I was afraid that doctors (and others) would assume that they were also (or even only) desired in an attempt to prevent pregnancy.

And in that moment, my reactive brain thought that…

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