Confessions Of An Expert Emotion Bottler


It hurts to be a walking cliché. One moment, you think you might actually be original and the next? Someone waltzes into your life and hurls that age-old adage about not hiding your feelings and you realize that you’re one of those trite characters from the books off the rack in the grocery store. It’s enough to make you think God creates humans on a computer game like The Sims – everyone gets one of the forty-two available character flaws. It’s just your luck that you got stuck with ‘bottles up emotions,’ which is easily spotted and frequently commented on. One day you’ll explode like a volcano, they laugh. And you say ‘ha ha ha,’ because what is the socially acceptable response to that, really?

It’s not like a volcano eruption when it happens, anyway. If it were, everything would come spewing out – “Yes mom, that casserole was horrible,” and, “No Johnny, I do not want to stay friends,” and, “Annie, do you remember that time you stole my Barbie and were a complete bitch because I do, and you still are.” It’s more like all your emotions are in a cup; sometimes it overflows and the recently added anger and fear and envy slosh over the sides and drip onto the tablecloth. And nobody thought to put a goddamn coaster underneath because when have you – sweet, harmless you – ever needed one before?

The rest of the cup remains untouched and maybe that’s the problem. Maybe what you need is someone to come along and knock your cup over; maybe what you need is to splash your feelings all over the place like every other selfishly honest human being on the planet and forget about the mess you’re making for once in your pathetic life. After all, isn’t that what happens in those grocery store books? But you can’t do that – your life is not a book or a Lifetime movie and there is no guarantee that you will get a resolution packaged up all nice and neat with a little red bow. If you exploded, you would inevitably say things that you wouldn’t be able to take back and you would not be forgiven and it would be entirely too messy.

And that’s really what this is about isn’t? You don’t let the world walk all over you because you’re nice and you think their feelings hold more value than yours; you let the world walk all over you because you’re scared. You’re scared of what your emotions say about you – about what kind of a person you are – and so you hide them in that stupid little cup of yours and you overflow and you overflow and you overflow.

You would think that after all these years you’d realize how silly this default character flaw of yours is; you would think that you’d realize that actually showing your emotions – even the bad ones – is better than pretending to not have any emotions at all.

But no. In fact, you’re rather indifferent to the subject.

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image – Sheepie Meili