The above image is a representation of how I see myself. Most stoic and enraged. This was my first attempt at filling a blank space, one of the exercises we went through. Although my final result was 100% different, as I headed in a completely different direction, this is an issue I am still dealing with. I don't know where to even begin to address this issue. See, if I feel happy I feel much like the main subject of the image, but if I feel sad, stressed, afraid, frustration, disppointment, remorse or hurt it instantly becomes anger.
I know that a huge portion of the insomnia I experience, much like I am experiencing tonight (it's 3:33AM), is a result of my inability to experience my emotions. Tonight, my wife and I had a late night talk about my future as a full time photographer, as it is in danger right now. There were points where I should have been in tears, like when she was, but I couldn't because instead I was getting mad. Not mad at my wife, but mad at the situation, mad at myself, mad at the world. When I talked about giving up my dream and admitted it would be right thing to do to ensure that my wife would not become homeless as a result of my pursuit of my dream I felt something for a second, but it was converted to anger in less than the blink of an eye.
How do I stop this so I can actually feel something more than "happy" and anger? I would love to know, I really would. I believe that if I experienced more emotions I would experience more of life and as a result I would be a better artist. But alas I don't know how and therefore can't.
I know where much of this emotional immaturity came from... I was discouraged as a child to express my feelings so I supressed them. Oh, those unexpressed emotions did manifest themselves as a child; I detroyed my neighbors lawn gnomes at the age of six and I threw a rock through a window of a new grade school I transfered to when I was eight, where I was bullied by not only the student body, but the staff as well. There are many other incidents of adolecent incidents as well. But as I became aquainted with the concept that these things got me in trouble not only with my parents, but the police as well, I found a different way of purging these suppressed emotions and that was in my mind. I explored the darker regions of my mind that would have caused any "normal" parent or adult to have me plugged into counseling or even committed. These trips intot he dark realms of my mind really blossomed when I entered the uber-bully realm of junior high.
Those of you that are thinking, "I thought I knew him", and might be second guessing your friendship with me, do not have to worry. I am very well adjusted now and am not a danger to anyone. if anyone would have ever been in danger, it would have been the kids and adults that did the things they did to me back then. But the long term effects of that era of my life is my emotional retardation.
As I grew older I adapted to my known emotional state by removing myself from emotional triggers. I didn't have many girlfriends in high school, but when I did I was head over heels and the rest of the world ceased to exist. I kept a low profile while I was in the Navy. I didn't date much, and was even jokingly accused of being gay because of my lack of dating by my Navy peers. So why not date; relationships are stressful for me. I avoided and continue to avoid conflict. I am twice divorced because I shut down in both relationships. By shutting down, I shut them out. As the stress got more and more I shut down more and more and I shut them out more and more. One thing that is so awesome about my wife is that she confronts that and pushes me to the point where I feel like I am backed in a corner and that is when I lash out. I don't lash out physically, but rather verbally. I say, or rather shout, things to get people to back off me, but my wife doesn't back off, because her goal was to get me talking in the first place. She knows me all too well.
Now don't take all of this the worng way. When I am nervous, I tell jokes to make those around me laugh. When I get mad, I shut down... You can see this when I don't make eye contact and don't say a whole lot during the course of a conversation. I have no problem speaking my mind, but I only normally do this when I am not emotional; this is what prevents me from lashing out and yelling or getting physical. You are safe around me. I am not a bottle of nitro waiting to be bumped the wrong way. I am sure that a number of you reading this will pass judgement on me, and be afraid to be around me, but that is a choice you have to make and I promise that if that were to happen it would be a huge loss to not only me, but you as well.
In the end, I simply want to feel more. I want to experience more from this short life. I want a sunset to move me emotionally. The funny thing to me is the Rainbow Guy was made fun of my so many people, but when I watched the video I wondered why I have never been moved like that by something so basic yet beautiful as a rainbow. I want to what is wrong me that I can't experience that level of gratitude, love and awe over something so awe inspiring. I didn't laugh at him. I didn't ridicule him. I was envious of him and that made me mad. I guess I have a lot to learn... but now that it is 4:00AM (4:21AM after the second review of this posting) I need to get my ass to bed or I will be a grumpy bear in the morning.
I will post this with a request to anyone who reads this; If you have any advise on how I can get in touch with my emotions more and in a healthy non-checmical non-counseling way (I don't have insurance right now), please let me hear from you. Thanks.