In my life I have learned that there are not only many ways a person can hurt your feelings but there are many levels to hurt feelings; some actions just simply sting more than others.  I grew up in a home that did not condone overindulgence in most emotions. Anger was the prevalent emotion and tears where most definitely frowned upon.

As I grew up I went through my early adulthood life devoid of any emotion outside of anger. This was  due to the emotional nurturing of my childhood or should I say the lack of it?  Anger was my go to and I felt justified in that for I knew nothing else. It was impossible to hurt my feelings; I had none.

Early in midlife I began to realize that I always had feelings, they were never not there. As I began to recover from a nasty addiction I was begining to feel, I was able to be hurt and I was able to cry. In that same time I also began to experience good emotions so it wasn’t necessarily all bad. Overwhelming at times…yes indeed!

In emotional experiences I have realized the many different levels of joy and pain. There is the kind of joy that brings a grin to your face and gives you a moment of happiness. Then there are moments of joy that can bring tears to your eyes and make you hit your knees with thanks. 

Pain, I am finding out is just as varied in its levels of intensity. We have all had a little sting when someone says or does something, intentionally or not, that rubs us wrong. If that were the only kind of pain I imagine my heart wouldn’t hurt so much right now. 

The hurt your partner, lover, or soul mate can deliver is most certainly one of the toughest kinds to bear. In a relationship there is a mutual validation of each other; or at least there should be.  I have been brought to a blinding and screeching halt on that theory. It seems as if the validation in some relationships is a one way street.

With a gut wrenching slap in the face I have recently been forced to deal with feelings so crushed that I find it difficult to breath. I have spread myself thin and watch while not only me, but my feelings and my work are disregarded and ignored. I must say that I catch myself missing the times when I could just easily slip into ‘angry’ and let this be the other persons issue not mine.

In growing emotionally as I go through midlife I am also growing significantly in many other ways. I know that this will not last forever. I am learning that as much as this stings right now that in this experience lays an important lesson in my life. A lesson by which I will increasingly get stronger and my backbones load bearing weight limit shall rise. I am no weakling; I shall take this pain and make it work itself out in a beneficial manner. I will live on.

I wish for every person to know, as I now do,  that as much as having feelings can hurt they can also make you feel good inside. Things may hurt for a moment, however do not ever give up on yourself; do not ever give up. Do not let the sting derail you. We are strong. We are resilient! As much as I miss the days that all I did was get angry; never hurt, I can say this…I would rather be able to experience this pain than to be numb to everything. Numb is a lonely place.