Cary Tennis is the advice columnist for Salon.com. I read him religiously. He always gives advice that, while brutally honest, seems doable.
The most recent letter is one that I identify with. I have long thought, that since high school when I kind of emotionally “shut off” that I might never regain the depth of feeling I had then.
(of course I won’t, I am not plagued by raging hormones anymore)
However, I would be satisfied with being more connected to my emotions, rather than being surprised and overwhelmed by them occasionally. For example, like just bursting into tears when hearing “If Ye Love Me” (a madrigal) or something I don’t usually associate with emotional release.
Anyway, Cary answers a letter titled “I was emotionally abused — will I ever trust anyone? I can fake it, but it’s just a pose.”
And strangely enough, often I feel like I am ‘posing’, as a loving mother, as a wife, as a friend. Not that I don’t feel anything, but that I feel like I am on some level “faking it” and might be found out.
He says in the end of his letter:
“You look at these kids who’ve known nothing but trust and success all their lives and you wonder how they got there. It’s obvious: Their trust is a rational response to an environment in which trust was never violated. Likewise, your mistrust is a rational response to patterns of betrayal.
So don’t think of yourself as broken. Think of yourself as somebody who needs to arrange his life to accumulate experiences of trust that, over time, lead to greater courage to initiate relationships of greater intimacy.”
If you don’t read the whole letter, it may be difficult to understand,
however, it makes me hopeful for the future.
By the way, I am not blaming my emotional state on my parents. Other things contributed.
I don’t want Mia or Maika to tell me sometime in the future, “you were never emotionally there” or “I wasn’t sure if you loved me”
I know intellectually that I love my girls. Sometimes I feel it. I hope those feelings come more often. According to Cary Tennis, they will.