Posted by: emotional | 2003/12/06


Hi there,
I have a strange question. Through childhood & up until I left matric (Almost 5 years ago) I never ever cried or showed I was hurt or annoyed-not to my friends, family, boyfriends-not anyone. I left school & all the wheels fell off! Now my emotions are way out of control! I cry for the stupidest things-If someone laughs at me or I feel embarresed I go completely red in the face & want to cry, if someone raises their voice to me, I want to cry (Which really makes work difficult-I work as a receptionist & customers often come in stressed & irritable & the minute they raise their voices-I feel tears springing to my eyes!) My boyfriend can't even joke with me-the other day he told me the cup of coffee I made was the most cruddy he had ever tasted but that he loved me anyway & I burst out crying! I snap at people, I instigate & say things I don't mean- I have become completely pessimistic where I used to be the opposite! I get jelous when my boyfriend hugs his son or wants to spend time with him rather than me-I don't say anything at the time though. I don't know why I do these things-I love his son & I never had a problem with it before. I just feel so stupid & weak for not being able to control my emotions the way I used to. I thought of myself as reasonably emotionally intelligent-so what the hell happend?
My father says I have turned out to be a spoiled little "bi*#h". Because I refused help from him when I needed it. But who is he to judge me? He chose to look away for 22 years & now that hes looked back I am a woman he doesn't recognise! I feel like a car he parked when he was drunk & didn't bother to find it after hed lost it because the car on the other side of the lot looked a little "flashier."
My mother said I am probibly suffering from post traumatic shock/stress. I had a hectic childhood where I was raped at 3 years, then my father left, then my sister developed schitzophrenia & she terrorised us to the point where we were constantly afraid for our lives. And yet I managed to stay in school & graduate the top of my class in my matric year. I was all set to study phsycology when my sister took my bank card & drew out my study savings & bought herself a trip to cape town where she stayed till the money ran out & then ended up in a mental hospital. Now as I said I have had to work as a receptionist to pay my way through studying. But I don't see how I am going to be any good as a therapist if I can't even regulate my own emotions! What the heck is wrong with me?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear emotional,
I agree with www that actually, if you successfully work through your own issues and problematic reactions, you could make a particularly good shrink, and I look forward to you eventually joining the team. Any normal person has problems, of various sorts --- we can't pick the shrinks out of the weird folks who don't have any. But what matters is what one does about and with the problems --- some people use their patients to seek answers to their own personal problems, and they make really bad shrinks ; but those who have used their own life experiences to learn more about the human condition and how to deal with problems, can make very fine shrinks,better able to understand and help others.
It sounds as if you had an awfully stressful life so far, and as if you used to cope with it by staying all buttoned up, under-emotional, and under-reacting to everything ( and your description of your rather's reactions is brilliant, by the way ) ; and more recently, for whatever reason, you've been over-reacting and over-emotional. It may be, paradoxically, because you are now in what feels like a safe relationship with a really nice guy, in a job and working towards a good career --- sometimes one holds back one's reactions while the major crises continue, and then let loose when it feels safe to do so. Similarly, a rugby player may actually get physically injured during the excitement of a game, barely noticing it, only to fel the full pain when they leave the field and as the excitement dies down.
Wouldn't it be an excellent idea to have some counselling yourself ? This need not cost much, and if you're already a student, there should be provision for student counselling on campus, which ought to be free. Apart from helping you revise your reactions emotionally and cognitively, to past and present experiences, it could give you even better insight into the process of helping people, which will not only contribute towards making you a great shrink eventually, but a dynamite receptionist in the meantime --- exactly the sort of person those frustrated and angry customers really long to find when they reach that front desk !

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: www | 2003/12/06

Sometimes life deals us a crappy set of cards that makes us wonder "why Me"
you seem to have gone through a lot of these bad hands and it is therefor not surprising that you act/ re-act the way that you do. Don't put yourself down because of this, you are after all human with accompanying emotions
as to your comment of probably not making a good shrink you couldn't be more wrong. At least you have experienced life and would be more likely to help people than some of these $3 bills that call themselves shrinks (our own cyber shrink excluded)
keep up the faith and you will surely one day realise that all that happened to you had a purpose and has made you a real person that can undestand hurt and rejection and are therefor able to help others
Good luck

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