Last weekend, I went to see a great movie called 50/50. I loved it, but I went through a whole package of pocket-sized tissue. I know I wasn't the only person in the theater who was crying, but I think I was the only person you could actually HEAR crying. Yes, embarrassing.
This movie tells the story of a young guy who finds out he has cancer and everything he goes through after his diagnoses. It's an exploration of not only what the medical experience is like, but also the social and psychological experiences. We watch what this young man goes through during his cancer treatment--some of it is funny, some serious, some sad.
I don't know WHY I even go see movies like this because I know I will be transformed into a blubbering fool. Then my eyes get all puffy and my nose gets all stuffy. When I leave the theater, I have to hold my head down in order not to catch anyone's eye, lest they think something horrible has just happened to me or wonder if I am psychotic and dangerous.
Well, I admit it's not just these kinds of movies that make me cry. It's commercials and t.v. shows and well, anything with ANY amount of emotion. Stories about animals, children, death, and love especially. I guess that covers most everything. I take it on. Within myself. I absorb it and FEEL it as if I whatever is happening, is happening to me.
This is why I could never become a therapist.
My family said I was "too emotional." I knew it was upsetting to them when I'd give over to my emotions, but I didn't know how to control them. I felt bad for being this way. Like something was wrong with me.
My mom said I was very easy to discipline because all she had to do was give me a disapproving look, and I'd start to cry.
It took a long time to accept this part of myself, but now as an adult, I realize it is not bad or good to have strong feelings. It's just who I am. We are all different and that's a good thing. I am a sensitive woman with strong emotions.
But, I've also had to learn how to control those emotions and not let them get the best of me.
I've recently learned that sensitivity and strong feelings of empathy such as mine, are common traits in people who gravitate towards the arts. Which makes total sense. You must strongly identify with others and the world around you to be able to create.
Scientists are actually studying empathy and people who are "extreme empaths" to determine what makes them so. Turns out it's all about DNA, neurons and brain activity, and the area of the brain that controls this behavior The study of this area of the brain helps us to understand why some people have more compassion and empathy than others. It also helps to explain why some people have LESS and how this can lead to violent and criminal behavior.
So, I learned that I am unlikely to become a serial killer. This is good information.
Yes, it's tough being a woman of strong emotions. But honestly, now that I'm comfortable in my own skin, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Do you wear your heart on your sleeve?