Feeling Your Feelings Is Vital To Good Mental Health

Narcissistic parents teach their children that they are to have no wants, needs & even feelings.  As a result, those children grow up out of touch with their emotions, with anger issues, their emotions can manifest in dysfunctional ways such as in picking abusive romantic partners, or they even can have physical ailments such as high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammatory disorders, diabetes, kidney or digestive problems.

Add in that dysfunctional & cruel people tell adult children of narcissistic parents things like, “Get over it.”  “Forgive & forget.”  “You aren’t honoring your parents by talking about such things.  After all, the Bible says love covers a multitude of sins!” & it’s pretty much a guarantee that the adult child of a narcissist will suffer with mental & physical illness.

A person who hasn’t felt their feelings needs to learn that there is nothing wrong with emotions!  They’re from God, & the Bible says in James 1:17 that all good things are from God.   I know, many Christians say negative emotions are sinful, but I disagree.  Even negative emotions have their place.  Anger & sadness show you that something is wrong.  If you’re going to fix something, you need to know it’s wrong, which tells me these negative emotions serve a very good purpose.  How can that possibly be bad?

My best friend has a saying.  “You gotta feel your feels.”  Obviously, she’s very wise.  It’s so true!  If you want to be mentally, emotionally & even physically healthy, you need to feel your feelings.  As hard as it can be at first to feel painful emotions, it is much easier than working to keep your feelings stuffed down.  One thing I’ve noticed is the older I get, the more my feelings demand to be acknowledged.  If I’m going to control my emotions rather than them control me, I find it best to deal with them as soon as possible.

Dealing with a lifetime of emotions for the first time can sound overwhelming, but it isn’t.  When I first began my healing journey, I naively thought I would forgive my parents for everything they ever did to me at once, & all would be right in my world.  That isn’t even close, & thank God because that was truly overwhelming!

Instead, I have found that God helps me to deal with only what I can handle at a time, nothing more.  I think about an incident & focus on that, then another & another.  Rather than focusing on everything at once, it’s easier to focus on incidents one at a time.

When something comes to mind I must deal with, I try to remember every detail about it.  My surroundings, scents, sounds, & every awful thing that was said or done to me.  Doing that stirs up emotions & from there I can pray, journal, cry, yell.. whatever helps me to cope.  If the incident was especially painful, it may take a long time or I may need to repeat this process a few times but the pain associated with that incident will subside.  I can promise you that!

This process really helps you to heal.  It benefits your mental health greatly!  You’re validating yourself by feeling your emotions.  Basically, you’re saying, “That was wrong!  That person shouldn’t have done that to me!  I deserve better than to be treated that way!”

You’re also releasing emotions that have been stuffed inside you for years or even decades.  That helps your physical health by releasing the stress & effort of stuffing down those emotions.

You also gain a great deal of peace, because you’re no longer haunted by the terrible experiences.  They lose their power over you.  You won’t feel such intense pain or devastation when you think of those things.  You’ll know you’re healing when that no longer happens & instead you feel more like you’re remembering a bad dream.  Yes, it’s unpleasant but nothing you can’t handle.

Also, your self esteem will improve which will benefit you in so many ways!  You’ll have no more trouble setting boundaries & you’ll know yourself much better.

I want to encourage you today to “feel your feels.”  It truly will help you!  xoxo

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15 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

15 responses to “Feeling Your Feelings Is Vital To Good Mental Health

  1. Thanks for this! You told me it was coming. As I am remembering more and more things, I am adding them to my journal document I call the “Timeline”.

    What I am finding interesting is how much times have changed. I was born in 1966 to Boomer parents, which basically made me a child of the 70s. I am remembering my mother saying things like, “You can’t live your life for your children, because they have their whole lives ahead of them.” Our culture wouldn’t tolerate such statements now. But at the time, this attitude was common. Steven Spielberg has said he now regrets having Richard Dreyfuss leave his wife and children in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. (At least he is admitting this – my mother just rewrites history. After the divorce, when she went off with “aliens”, she would say she left us with the best care-givers. Even though it was usually the 16 year old high school drop-out “dating” a married man. And we never knew when she’d return.)

    Of course, today’s narcissistic parents just have to pretend more to create plausible deniability.

    After his divorce, my narcissistic brother put on a good show of being the “good dad” to his daughter. He provided materially, and he went to most of her events. Only recently, she has admitted to me that she never felt loved by him. Whenever she tried to talk, he changed the subject to himself. So the legacy lives on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You’re welcome! Thank you for giving me the idea of writing it! 🙂

    The timeline sounds like a fantastic idea! It must be really helpful for you!

    You & I are close in age.. I see the same thing with how times have changed. It’s amazing & not in a good way!

    Wow.. nice choice of babysitters your mother had. Not. That is horrible!

    Oh yes.. narcissists do love their plausible deniability, don’t they?

    It’s good your niece has you to talk to about her father, at least. You understand & can offer her wise counsel. Poor girl needs it. Have you spoken to her about NPD?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ibikenyc

    “. . . I try to remember every detail about it. My surroundings, scents, sounds, & every awful thing that was said or done to me.”

    HUBboy. So much of what you say is quote-worthy to me, but this time I realized I’d just be quoting the whole post!

    I have lately found myself “just” remembering all kinds of things, big and small (and not all bad; some of it was hilarious), and feeling compelled to Go Big.

    This post, as so often happens with you, has come at the perfect time.

    Thank you! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This article comes at the right timing. Not only do I realize I have so much to mourn for, but I lack the ability to pinpoint my emotion, no matter in English or in my mother tongue, Mandarin Chinese. Another shocking reality I realized recently is that narc abuse victims tend to suffer from great loss of memory. Sure, we are constantly bombarded with intrusive memories & flashbacks from our abused childhood & teenage-hood. But other than that, I barely remember anything about my childhood & teenage-hood, let alone happy memories. I once read a viewer’s comment under a YT video that says his/her best friend was severely abused in childhood so much so that her friend couldn’t recall the house she grew up in; nor could she recall the address. After reading this comment, I tried to recall the addresses of the houses my family of origin lived in, but failed. Also, I tried to recall what the houses were like, inside & outside. Seriously, I couldn’t recall any of that. I don’t even remember the major layout of the houses, like how many rooms on a floor. I can’t help but wonder a part of my brain was damaged during those years when I was forced to live on survival mode. It’s like a child’s brain was forced to pay all attention to the chaos & dysfunction at home, so the brain sacrificed its normal function of remembering. Sorry this is a long response. Thank you for this wonderful article!

    Like

    • Sometimes I think there are no words to describe certain emotions. 😦

      That is normal, the memory loss. That viewer’s & yours both seem rather extreme, but I think all of us experience it to varying degrees. I think you described it well.. the child’s brain is forced to focus on all the chaos & dysfunction. The brain remembers the important stuff, & unfortunately the abuse was important. Other things got lost along the way. I’m the same way.. obviously I remember my parents’ home because they lived there from 1970 until they died. But, I have lost so many other details! Trauma damages the brain, which is what PTSD & C-PTSD are. I also experienced damage after nervous breakdowns. I felt different, for lack of a better way to say it.

      Don’t ever apologize for a long comment! I don’t care how long your response is, so long as you’re being helped! ❤

      And thank you for your kind words!

      Liked by 3 people

    • ibikenyc

      I’m so sorry you went through so much.

      I’m glad you’re here now 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you – this is so good. I just started learning this myself this year. My counselor pointed out one day when I told her I had “completely broken down” when some emotions arose that what I was actually describing was not a breakdown. I was simply HAVING emotions. So now when a negative emotion arises I stop myself from freaking out by saying to myself, “Oh look, I’m feeling something.” It makes it so much less scary and I have discovered that despite what I was taught by my mother, the world has not actually ended any of the times I was feeling something! Who knew?

    Liked by 3 people

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