Aya came out of her room and told me she needed a hug. Hugging is something we do a lot in our little family of three and with Aya it is more frequent. But when she told me she needed it, along with that look on her face, I knew something was up. So what’s up Ay?
Aya was sad, 1 out of 7 emotions I just learned in more detail. She told me about her dilemma, which she wrote in her post with the same title minus the momsy part. We had a conversation about being honest and about feelings.
Aya went through a lot in her 15 years of life. From being dragged to different countries to dealing with my divorce. She had always remained composed and translated emotions and the feeling that went with it into logic. In her world showing her emotions and being honest about her feeling is equal to being weak. I asked her what is the correlation? Display of emotions and feelings correlates to admitting that you’re vulnerable. She doesn’t want to be perceived as vulnerable.
Digging deeper I found out that she got this idea from me (see… your children are often a carbon copy of you in some if not many ways). She said when I went through my divorce, she only witnessed me cried once for a few seconds only then after that, I remained composed and got on with life like everything is normal. Lucky for me (or perhaps not) during the 18 court hearings and unfair court decisions, I always found a way to cry secretly and discreetly, even when I reached the point of completely broken into pieces. Until my shrink (yes I went to see a shrink) told me that, “Gita, cut yourself. If you still see blood coming out of your body, then you’re still human, and humans have feelings and emotions. That is why sometimes you become vulnerable, there is nothing wrong with that because it is part of being human.”
So in our discussion that evening I told Aya the truth of what happened. Told her that I spent months weeping on my own. Yes, I did and it didn’t help until one day I wept and poured my heart out to Erick, my best friend and that made a huge difference. I admitted my vulnerability and Erick still accepted me as me despite his comment, “I thought you’re made of steel, thanks for being honest. I love you, mak.”
A little sciency explanation from counseling.online.wfu.edu: Feelings are learned and the manifestation of your emotion. Losing something or someone, for example, results in sadness (emotion), and sadness makes you feel pain. And according to emotions guru Paul Ekman, you cannot not admit the emotions you have, they are given so suck it up people!
And here are my points to her:
- Accept that you have feelings because feelings derived from your experienced emotions
- Accept you have emotions because emotions are a natural alarm that tried to tell you something
- Accept that you can be vulnerable because that is part of being human
- Choose the right response to your emotions
- True friends accept you as a whole, wholeheartedly, so be honest
To all moms out there, teach your kids to accept their vulnerability because only by accepting it then they learn how to be strong.