Tag: respond don't react

My Emotional Health

My Emotional Health

When I was younger, many would likely agree I had passive-aggressive tendencies. Dealing with my emotions was not something I was taught to do in a healthy manner. Anger came easily to me and I would hit inanimate objects, become disagreeable, yell or scream at others, or just recede into myself. Most of the time it wasn’t even the situation presently happening I was upset at, but an accumulation of past things that had built up turning into a “straw that broke the camel’s back” event.

In elementary my mother stayed at home and my father was always working – or when he was home he would separate himself and do his own thing. The obvious takeaway is that my mother spent the most time with my siblings and me, which left me craving the attention of my father. My mother, at the time, had a positive emotional well-being. Thankfully, this was the strongest impact during the most crucial years of my development; unfortunately, the emotional knowledge I learned from my father was not the healthiest. Due to my having him built up in my mind due to his absence I tended to follow his lead when it came to dealing with my emotions.

This is where my unhealthy outlet for processing negative emotions came in; then, as I got older and my parents separated, my emotion process got worse. Being in the position of not understanding why the separation took place the way I expressed my frustration and hurt turned into resentment for my mother. The way my emotions were processed became me acting out, being disrespectful, and falling into the wrong crowd of people.

Through the years I have learned how to separate myself from situations and view them as a neutral happening. Being able to do this has allowed me to harness the ability to respond to situations rather than react. When I would react to a situation, I would cause a lot of grief for myself that was often accompanied with drama and pain. There was a lot of “why me” in my thinking, instead of taking the time to acknowledge the lesson I was supposed to be growing from. Responding to situations has elevated my emotional maturity and intelligence because of the opportunity to step back an analyze the lesson in the conflict; it has allowed me to turn away from people, places, and experiences not meant to be a part of my life’s path.