I am probably one of the most emotional girls you will ever encounter. However, there is a side to me that hates showing emotion and keeps a lot in. I remember in high school, I was probably crying in public once or twice a week. I just could not manage to have any control over my emotions. From high school until basically last year, I would experience extreme mood swings, breakdowns for no reason, and always had so much rage in me. At the same time, I would do my best to keep all that I was feeling inside and guilted myself every time I was emotionally vulnerable to someone in public.
I grew up raised by an ‘Asian tiger mom’, but my mom really exceeded the expectations for this title. I never saw her cry or express any kind of raw emotion. She has always been very cold and rejected anything that came her way that had to do with the ‘feels’. I’ve always been a highly sensitive person as I really do feel everything at such a deep level. A lot of my childhood memories with my mom have been focused on the idea of showing emotion as a sign of weakness.
I didn’t have many friends when I was younger and I always felt out of place being a chubby kid. Whenever I’d come home crying from school, instead of having my emotions being validated, my mom would actually yell at me for feeling sad. She’d always say, “You need to be tough like me, you can’t show them you’re so weak by feeling sad.”
I never had the opportunity to learn about how to deal with my emotions as it was always something that was looked down upon in my upbringing. No one ever told or showed me that it’s okay to feel in general, which is why I still struggle with my emotions. I’m either all over the place, or I’m nowhere at all. I’m really grateful now that I have grown to understand where these feelings of guilt and suppression come from and recognize that a lot of it has just been programmed into me by the way my mom raised me. If you grew up with an Asian tiger mom, or struggle to be in tune with your emotions, I think the best thing that helped me was to understand where this stemmed from.
Oftentimes when I find myself still suppressing any sadness, guilt, or anger I ask myself, “What are you afraid of? What is the worst that can come with letting go?” It is okay to feel all of the emotions we have been gifted as humans, it is normal to experience moments of sadness even when you don’t know the reason for it. Sometimes crying alone in the shower can be the most therapeutic thing in your week! There is no reason to feel guilty for having feelings-it is the very core of our human nature! I ask you, next time you experience a strong wave of emotion to really sit in it. Reflect on why you’re feeling this way, cry, scream, sing, journal, and just release.