Some time ago I was suffering with a bout of depression. I sat in front of my doctor with my voice shaking and a painful knot in my throat trying to describe how I felt; he looked at me and said "stop doing that, let it out, you've got to cry" and cry I did. A couple weeks ago my one year old couldn't have something and he started to cry; tired and in the middle of something I snapped at him with "quit crying", immediately my heart sank.
That time in front of my doctor when I cried it all out I felt so relieved and it got me thinking, where do those buried emotions go?
Emotions bridge thought, feeling, and action - and so do repressed emotions. They don't go anywhere, they don't leave your body. In fact, they start to show up in your thoughts, feelings and actions over and over again - even when you don't know it. Think of those times when you absolutely lose it over something stupid or simple and in the aftermath you didn't even know why it had made you so angry.
I was going to give you a great example of this but the last time I lost my ever-loving mind all I remember is the dent I put in my knockoff Yeti, embarrassingly cleaning up my ice water, and the sheer look of horror on my husband's face. I don't know what he said but inherently I know why I lost my shit; it's because it hit on a pain point of a repressed emotion and it was most likely an emotion I had buried over and over again.
At 31 I'm just learning to label and cope with my emotions so I'm going to have to give my one year old a little space to do so as well. So I let him cry it out. When he's upset and starts crying I say, "I know that made you sad, I'm sorry, get it all out" and I'll pat his back or wait with patience until he has relieved himself. If he gets mad and starts the banshee scream (you know the one), I say things like, "I know that made you mad, sometimes things don't work how you want them to, I'm sorry, get it out", and I wait patiently while he gets it out. As he gets older we can find some other ways to cope with the tough emotions - I know I still need to find some for myself. But until then, I'll let him cry it out.
Sweat & Smiles,