Emotional Containment Failure

I usually can’t name my emotions. This is not an optimal thing, of course, because emotions can affect all kinds of things and it’s difficult to control or understand such things when I’m unaware of what they even are.

So I somehow developed a containment system over the years. I have this ability to lock away my feelings until such a time as I know what they are and it’s safe to examine them without harming myself or anyone else. It doesn’t always work, but usually the failures are brief and don’t cause much damage.

A good friend describes their containment system as a blast door that’s either up or down. I’d been thinking of mine as a corked bottle that recently shattered into a bazillion pieces. But maybe it’s more like the binding spell in the movie The Craft where the emotions are bound from doing harm until such a time as I can safely neutralize them.

Anyhow, part of the reason I’ve been scarce lately is that my containment system has gone offline, shattered, failed, etc. This limits my ability to function, which includes my ability to write new content.

So many things, big emotional things, happened all at one time and it has completely overloaded my system or shattered it or taken the controls offline. Whatever analogy, my system is kaput and I’m exhausted.

And I realized last night that this isn’t the first time this has happened, although it’s been a very long time since it’s been this broken that I was completely swept away by everything feelings.

When my containment system has failed in the past I’ve ruined friendships, I’ve hurt myself and others, and been overwhelmed with negative to suicidal feelings.

Most of the feelings this time around weren’t negative, but that doesn’t make them any less overwhelming or baffling when they’re all hitting me at once and I have no words with which to describe or understand them. Without being able to name them or figure out what’s going on, I spiral through every conceivable feeling with very little control over any of it.

I’m fairly certain that I become very intense to be around when this happens and my intensity doesn’t seem to be a positive thing for others any more than it is for myself.

This week I finally reached out for help with this situation. Talking to a therapist has never done me any good, but I have a dear friend who is always able to help in one way or another because our brains work very similarly on many levels (thank goodness!)

I now have tools that can help me rebuild my system. Such uncontrolled emotional overwhelm was destroying me and possibly harming others around me. Hopefully not the latter, but I honestly can’t tell because it was so overwhelming to me that it seems as though it had to be bleeding through and also hurting everyone and everything in my life.

I hope to goodness I’m wrong about that. This is what has happened countless times before when I have harmed others and all my good intentions don’t ever change or make better any of that harm.

I’ve left groups, moved across the country, never spoken to people again; I’ve also been kicked out of groups and shunned in the past when this has happened.

It’s kind of a terrifying place to be, but I will rebuild this system and will do everything in my power to right any wrongs I may have caused.

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