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Author Topic: Irrational Emotions /vent
Destinee Carols
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Not the best title in the world, since emotions tend often to be irrational and illogical, but all the same.

I have an issue with certain disappointments in my life - that is, nothing specific, but some sorts where I fully expected to be able to do one thing but then am denied it - they make me highly upset.

Maybe this isn't an unusual thing, maybe I just want to see who else out there has any experience with it, maybe I just want to see if there's an underlying issue with me that causes this (may well be. I know I have some control issues).

Things like expecting to be able to hang out with my guy friends one evening and then told by my mother I cannot, or expecting to be able to see my boyfriend and then things not working out. The most recent example would be this week when my bf was to pick me up from work and we would spend the evening together before he drove me back to school dorms. He texted me that day while I was work, saying he was sick with a cold and a headache, which he gets often - headaches and migraines. It wasn't his fault he got sick, it wasn't that he didn't want to come, and I certainly didn't want him out and about driving in this state. Everything made sense in my head: I love him, I want him to rest, it's not my fault or his fault or anyone's fault he's ill, I can see him again...

But that still didn't keep me from spending the last hour of my shift trying actively not to cry. Gave myself a headache from not crying, in fact.

It's an entirely irrational response to a situation like this, wanting literally to bawl my eyes out for several hours and being, consequently, incredibly sensitive and irritable and depressed, which I can control, but not the immense upset-ness...

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Heather
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Want to fill me in some more on what you mean by "control issues?" Do you mean you have a hard time when you cannot control situations, and that you always feel you want to be able to control everything?

If so, can I also ask about if you've ever dealt with things or times of your life where it was very scary not to have control or you witnessed others being very scary when they or things weren't controlled?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Destinee Carols
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In a sense. Something I've realized of late is that I defer control for little things...asking a friend "Should I do x? Y is also a good idea..." when I want to do x, so that if it ends up not being the better choice, well, in my head, mildly, I didn't make the choice, I let someone else do it.

I don't like putting too much into relationships where I know I may be held accountable for something, because once I am, I no longer have full control, e.g. say I cut and know it's unhealthy and I reveal this to someone, who tries to keep me accountable for it or perhaps makes me feel bad about it - stopping is no longer entirely because I want to (physically, perhaps, but not mentally).

I can't recall having had times where there were frightening things happening that I felt I couldn't control - that said, I have a poor memory at best and it's hard for me to remember events without being prompted by a memory or trigger...so I couldn't say for sure.

I wonder if it may also be an issue of independence, or related? My parents are fairly conservative and they, my mother especially, seemed to be rather controlling, like allotting us so much internet time, so much phone time, not going out...surely nothing more than many parents, but they were on the more controlling end of the spectrum. Not so I felt powerless, per se, just that maybe it chafed?

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Stephanie_1
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You know, a lot of times when we grow up in a house that is very structured and we have very little say, it can certainly mold how we react to things when we get older. So it certainly could be that you're used to that structure and strictness/ controlling dynamics.

Have you considered talking with someone about these feelings? It may be worth it to have someone you can talk with in person. As well? May be time to start baby steps towards taking the reins a little bit, and working on being in charge of yourself on those little things, and knowing it's okay that sometimes control just doesn't seem to be a firm steady hand. And even working baby steps towards accountability. But in the end, that's going to take some support.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Destinee Carols
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I'm learning to take control...and not letting my mother guilt me into things so much. That's definitely one thing I'm working towards...and then at the same time surrendering myself to other people. It would help if I weren't so busy with school at the moment - it's rather mentally and emotionally draining and leaves little energy for other stuff, but summer'll come soon.

I just wonder if my overreactions to not getting things I'd thought I'd get is related to the control. Or if I also have an issue of self-worth, or lack thereof, which I sort of just realized...

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Heather
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Can I ask how long you've been having these kinds of reactions and how frequently you find they happen for you?

Have you also ever been able to have any positive experiences where you were not in control of a given situation or environment, or not all by yourself? Like, say, being part of some sort of team or group project?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Destinee Carols
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I'm afraid I couldn't say for certain... I like to look to grade nine as the point in my life where I actually began to become aware of things like depression in my own life - grade eight I was still 'happy', but I don't know if these reactions began then, or if in fact I've always had them but didn't notice when they were coupled with other more immature ways of handling things that I grew out of. As for frequency, it really depends on how often I'm given a reason...so if weeks go by with all my plans with friends working out, no conflicts, I get to see the people I want, etc, then the reaction has no reason to take place; conversely, if in one week my bf can't come, I can't visit my friends because my family's busy, and someone cancels a shopping trip I was really looking forward to, then I would probably have three of such 'episodes'...

I'm sorry that I don't have any specific examples again...it's hard to think of any, but yes, I'm pretty sure I have. I'm usually fine if I think that whoever's taking charge is competent; plus I also prefer to follow (a good leader) instead of leading and taking responsibility in group activities.

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Heather
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So, how many years then would you say you've found you often feel like this? (I don't know what grade you're in now.)

With the group/team question: how about experiences where there really was no one leader, but where things worked more collaboratively and collectively, with everyone in the group or team considered responsible?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Destinee Carols
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I'd say five or six years - I'm 19, now, and in my second year of uni.

It really depends...if things are going smoothly and in a way I agree with then all is well. If they're not, I usually express my disapproval generally by being less positive in my attitude. And if you were asking if I remember such cases - I don't, but unfortunately, again, that's no indicator... D:

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Heather
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So, this is very much an ongoing and log-term issue. have you ever sought out any counseling around it?

I do think it might be helpful and valuable for you to identify some type of collaboraative group project or enterprise like I was talking about to do for a while. I think it might be one relatively easy way to get some practical ways to work on this.

Also, if you don't mind me asking: sometimes when we have a very hard time with memory it's because of previous trauma or abuse. Do you have any of that in your life history? If so, it may well have something to do with this.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Destinee Carols
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No, nothing's ever been severe enough for me to feel it warranted counselling, not to mention it's not a subject I want brought up with my parents at all, and if I did get counselling they would invariably know.

I'll certainly keep the idea of a group project in mind. As for your question, I don't mind. I just don't think my memory issue is due to repression of any sort since I can't think of any sort of trauma, and I certainly haven't been abused.

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Heather
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How would they know? That kind of healthcare is private, and you're a legal adult.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Destinee Carols
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I hadn't been aware of that. But I also have no reliable means of transportation, which seems like it would make it a bit more difficult.
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Karybu
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Are you in school at all? Many colleges and universities offer counseling on-campus free of charge for their students.

If not, want to give us an idea of where you are, and we can see what's out there?

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Destinee Carols
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I am and I think that mine does...not sure why I didn't look into it before, but then again, I hadn't really considered seeing a counselor before now. I probably need to either way...I think I'm also suffering from stress, which might be exacerbating my overreaction issues...

And I'm currently in Langley, BC.

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Karybu
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Universities and colleges often have great counseling for their students, so that's definitely something to look into.

The HealthLink BC website is likely to be helpful in finding low-cost options if the school counseling service doesn't work out for you.

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Destinee Carols
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Thank you. [Smile]
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