So I thought why not write it out and make more sense of last nights dream and here I am.
Last night I dreamt that essentially I had to manage everyone else’s “big feelings” despite my own. I pretty much ran around in this dream trying to regulate everyone else’s emotions and make them feel better. The whole time I was unable to deal with my own stuff because I had to fix everyone else’s.
It wasn’t a very veiled dream. It’s essentially what I’ve done since childhood. So when I woke up I was more annoyed that even in sleep I was suppressing my stuff to make it better for everyone around me.
Some of my first thoughts waking up were well obviously I don’t need to do that.
- Why did I feel the need to fix it for everyone else?
- Why do I feel frustrated by this?
- Why is this a sore point for me? Is there something going on where I feel like I’m suppressing how I feel again?
- What do I want to do with this information?
- What did I learn?
So let’s break this all down.
Why did I feel the need to fix it for everyone?
Since childhood I’m aware (thanks to therapy) I spent most of my time “fixing” parental emotional needs. This is a pattern that I’ve struggled with for years. Others having big feelings around me makes me uncomfortable. It means while I’m trying to make it all better for everyone else I become more and more dis-regulated. Everyone else is comfy and happy while I’ve set myself on fire.
Why do I feel frustrated by this?
Because it’s what I learned as a child and I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to be setting myself on fire for everyone else’s comfort. I made their big feelings better but I’m now spending my adulthood learning what these feelings are within myself and my own experience. It’s a struggle to experience them let alone voice these negative feelings at times.
I simply don’t want to do it for others anymore. It’s not my responsibility to bear the consequences for others for their comfort. It’s not my responsibility to bear the discomfort for them hurting my feelings and not take up the space to say “this is not ok. Stop!” I should be able to express that and give myself the space to deal with how I feel in my own time and space.
Why is this a sore point for me? Is there something going on where I feel like I’m suppressing how I feel again?
The dream feels symptomatic. I feel like I’m worried about regulating others around me whilst I’m still processing my own feelings.
I feel like that by certain others I am expected to smother how I feel and put it aside for their comfort and to do things to the beat of their drums. I’m still processing and that’s taking time.
Being able to vocalise having the feelings and what bothers me is hard enough to do due to a life time of conditioning. It take time for me to then process that I managed to get it out my mouth to begin with. It doesn’t help to then get the flying monkeys pop up and basically get themselves involved when it wasn’t addressed to them instead of the ones it was addressed to.
So I guess I am feeling like there is a pressure to minimise the space I’m taking up for others comfort. I haven’t done it and I don’t want to.
What do I want to do with this information?
I want to reassure myself and my inner child that the only emotions I am responsible for are my own, the only emotions I am responsible for the “fixing” of are mine, for the regulating of belong to me. I am not here to fix what is beyond my control.
What did I learn?
It’s ok for me to have feelings good or bad, big or small. It’s ok for me to take up space. Regulating other people’s emotions is no longer my job and I’m not doing it anymore. It’s ok. It is ok for me to say “this is not my responsibility. This stops now.”
I don’t want to keep doing it is the biggest take away I have. It’s not healthy. It doesn’t help anyone. How I feel is my job. It takes a long time to process how I feel, it’s still strange and foreign to me but even though it takes time I am beginning to really understand that it’s ok and healthy to express how I feel. How others respond to me speaking it out loud or taking the time to process things says a lot about them. It also gives me more to consider as to whether or not the relationship is healthy or sustainable.
I’m glad I had the dream. Even if when I woke up I was pissed off about it. Sure it was a dream but it was a reminder that I’m still unlearning unsustainable, unhealthy coping mechanisms. The fact I understand them for being that shows that I’ve moved forward and started making progress.
It’s given me a bit of clarity on stuff that’s going on around me that I’ve been undecided about. I’m not 100% decided yet but I’m getting there in my own time.