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Emotional Storm

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Emotional Storm No. 4,567. I feel inadequate

(Estimated Reading Time: 2 min, 45 sec)

I realize I’m not centered in this period; a few days ago, I went through an emotional storm I now want to analyze to see its introspective features.

This summer I’ve been going through some very intense periods at work; no matter how light my work in the office may seem to me, I  end up stressed and tense; it is always the same mechanism!

Aurora Mazzoldi. Consolation - Emotional Storm (detail)
Aurora Mazzoldi. Consolation – acrylic painting – (detail)

A few days ago cI fell into an emotional crisis (the emotional storm I mentioned in the title).

I went to drink coffee with a colleague of mine, and while we were talking about this and that, she spoke about rumors she had heard: My colleagues considered me disagreeable and bad-tempered.

My world fell apart. I cried all day in despair.

 

Need to dramatize

Now I see things more clearly. I realize I had overstated the situation, and this had made my mood darker. …. I needed to weigh it down… and I did it….

Another colleague stated that, when asked if there were new cartridges for the printer, I answered: “I have no store! Just open the cabinet and look inside.”

This was not true at all, because, when asked, I got up from my desk and stood beside her to help her look into the cabinet. Now, if I think back, I realize that underneath … I fought down the impulse to snap at her, and I wore a mask to make the best of a tedious situation (her frequent requests irritated me). Did she react to my mood?

Later on, my colleague claimed that 4 workmates more argued that I am disagreeable and bad-tempered.

Damn, does everyone there hate me? And here I re-entered the ugly duckly syndrome”; I relived the sense of inadequacy I had known as a child – sometimes also in my family – … and started a second crisis …

A second aspect of the emotional storm

The second emotional crisis arose; my behavior seems not to match reality; am I “out like a light?”

The whole summer, I had enjoyed my work; I had positive feedback from customers. My supervisors appreciate my work; I fulfill my duties, without difficulties or delay. They consider me efficient.

When I spoke again with my colleague, I went off at the deep end. She shared with me she got the drive to eavesdrop when someone enters my office, to know how I behave!

Can’t I be aware of how I act? Am I psychotic? I got up and left. I cried all evening.

Here, I reached the highest level of victimization. I thought I had the entire world against me.

Need for reassurance

My self-esteem was at its lowest level. I had the need for reassurance, so I turned to my parents.

My mom found those negative comments inappropriate, remembered me that there will always be someone who doesn’t like us, that we must get over it.

My dad is sure I do just fine in the office, and that I am efficient and professional.

But these reassurances don’t satisfy me, they don’t suit me…at this point I think this is not what I am looking for….so I choose another possibility – which will lower my energy… how? I call Paolo.

For him, compassion is something to avoid; listening to someone in the throes of an emotional crisis and speak a word of comfort is not good.

I knew even before I called him he would undermine me like my colleague, if not worse. Yet I called him anyway and for 40 minutes I was hearing about how I’m too proud, arrogant, rude, tomboyish, etcetera, etcetera.

Goal achieved: I felt sick again.

Then I met a friend of mine who does the same work as I do, and I received words of understanding and comfort. I felt welcomed and supported.

So, I have calmed down and felt reassured… but….

I am still very sad. How can I deal with my emotions?

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland also wrote another page about being caught in a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions.