“Running on Empty No More”

“What happens to you as a child, growing up in a household that is either blind to your emotions or intolerant of what you feel? You must adopt to your situation. To ensure that you don’t burden your parents with your feelings or emotional needs, you push your emotions down and away. You become intolerant of your own feelings, and you try hard to have no needs.

Most likely all of this happens outside of your conscious awareness. Your little child brain knows exactly what to do to protect you, and how to do it. A metaphorical wall is constructed to block your feelings away, protecting your partners from needing to deal with them. This automatic, adoptive move may serve you quite well in your childhood home, but as an adult you will suffer.

Living life with your own feelings partially walled off is painful and challenging. Your emotions, which should be connecting you, motivating you, stimulating you and guiding you, are not available enough to do their job. You find yourself living in a world that seems less bright, less vivid, and less interesting than the world you see others enjoying. You struggle to know what you want, what you need and how to thrive. Indeed, you find yourself running on empty.”

From “Running on Empty No More” by Jonice Webb