Unbreakable

25 Nov

Last night I became so enraged that I threw something.

This is highly unusual for me. I’m not the type of person who gets so angry that she throws a punch, or starts breaking her dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten upset about things, but I’ve never even considered getting physical.

One of the reasons I’m going to therapy is to get in touch with my emotions. I’ve spent most of my life being rather robotic in this regard. I experience setbacks, I stuff my feelings down, and I move on with my life.

This is not a method I recommend to anyone. You’ll think it’s working, but what’s really happening is that your feelings are lingering just beneath the surface. You can run away from them, but they’ll always catch up to you.

I’ve been very emotional recently. I cried when a song came on the radio. I cried while watching a movie. I cried while reading my blog comments. I cried while thinking about crying. I cried more in the last few weeks than I have in the last few years.

Thanks to therapy, my emotions are up close and center. This has been incredibly difficult for me because I’m actually having to confront my feelings.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend, the same friend I referenced in my “Making the First Move” post. As I stated in that post, things were off to a good start between us, and I honestly felt like we would reconcile.

And I had every intention of doing that until yesterday. Yesterday I not only received a self-interested e-mail from him, but found out additional information that made me realize he wasn’t really serious about putting our friendship back together.

I realized my friend had used me, and I snapped.

Suddenly everything started coming to the surface. All the years of resentment, anger, humiliation, sadness, guilt, fear, frustration, and powerlessness came pouring out of me like an erupting volcano.

The amount of anguish I felt was indescribable. Years’ worth of emotions were piling on top of me, and I felt like I was dying. For the first time in my life, I prayed.

This carried on for hours. The tears eventually ran dry, and I had a brief moment of peace. It was the calm before Hurricane Jen hit.

I flew into a white hot rage.

I started shaking. The crying started up again. I felt like I might throw up. In all my years of existence I have never experienced something so powerful. I had reached my breaking point.

I went to the kitchen, and searched underneath the sink where we keep our recyclables. I found a glass bottle, grabbed it by its neck, and threw it as hard as I could into the ground.

It didn’t break.

It bounced off the floor a few times, and then rolled around. How anti-climactic. If I hadn’t been so angry I probably would have laughed.

Then I sat on the floor and sobbed.

My best friend (who also happens to be my roommate) came out and sat next to me. He put his arm around me, and just let me cry it out. At 32 years old, I was Ferberizing myself.

“We’ll get through this together.”

That’s what my best friend said to me as we hugged, and I believed him.

I looked over and saw the bottle laying on the floor. Despite being slammed into the ground, it was still fully intact. That bottle was unbreakable, and so am I.

I wrote my friend to let him know that our friendship was over. I took a hot shower, letting all of the negativity wash away. I climbed into bed, and pulled the blankets over me.

For the first time in my life, everything really will be okay.

96 Responses to “Unbreakable”

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge 11/25/2013 at 1:06 pm #

    HA! That bottle ended up in your hands for a reason.
    That moment of bright glaring reality is tough. But there’s a river of good and you’re gonna swim in it now.
    (Oh, keep the bottle…found hammering nails into a board does help…makes a lot of noise and you see progress…call it “art”. It’s fine.)

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 4:12 pm #

      Hammering nails on a board is an EXCELLENT way to get out aggression. I may have to look into getting some plywood…

  2. jaklumen 11/25/2013 at 12:28 pm #

    In my experience, Jen, when I tried to stuff emotions, they kept returning, like trying to bury a zombie that would just dig itself out of the ground and find me to munch on my brain some more.

    I remember throwing something, but it did break. It was almost 15 years ago, when my wife and I were first married. I was mad at her about something, and I threw her windup alarm clock against the wall, leaving a dent in the sheet rock. Several years later, I found another wind up alarm clock and bought it for her, which she’s still using to this day.

    I hope you didn’t cry too much reading my comment about being accused of rape. It really did happen. I was talking to the missus this morning about that, trying to sort through the questions and still unresolved feelings from that time… wow, over 20 years ago, actually.

    Everything WILL be okay, yeah. At least it has been for me. Thanks so much for your post.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 4:09 pm #

      “when I tried to stuff emotions, they kept returning, like trying to bury a zombie that would just dig itself out of the ground and find me to munch on my brain some more.” That”s actually an incredible analogy, and so true!

  3. jdanryan 11/25/2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Sorry your ‘friend’ wasn’t much of one. It sounds like you wrestled with a good deal of catharsis in dealing with this person.

    And look at the bright side: Broken bottles have a tendency to leave little shards that bare feet find weeks afterwards…

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:44 pm #

      I know. I thought about that afterwards. That’s all I need- a shredded heart AND shredded feet.

  4. Melanie 11/25/2013 at 11:37 am #

    I like Don’s idea about using that bottle as a vase. Had that happened to me, I would have likely turned my rage against that bottle as if it had been the one to betray me.
    I’m so sorry you had to go through this, but I’m glad you were able to see your friend for what he is now before he inflicted any more damage, and that you have your roommate and all of WordPress to stand with you as you dry your tears.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:38 pm #

      I am VERY lucky to have an entire support system of people around me. I received so many wonderful comments here as well as e-mails. The people are aces, really.

  5. saradraws 11/25/2013 at 11:27 am #

    Fucking recyclables. So unreliable.
    Since my therapy, I cry at all the things too…this post for example. There’s no fighting it. We need more of you, because you are glorious. Powerful, confident, smart, gorgeous woman who also feels? More, more, more…

  6. michellestodden 11/25/2013 at 11:17 am #

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Jen. It’s difficult to stay calm in that sort of situation because you have a cornucopia of feelings shooting to the surface: anger, resentment, anguish, confusion… I’ve had one experience where I was so enraged that it made me literally sick to my stomach.
    I’m glad you have a good support system.
    And indestructible bottles.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Isn’t it crazy how we can get physically ill from being overwhelmed emotionally? You seem so calm and in control now, and that’s what I’m aiming for.

  7. Madame Weebles 11/25/2013 at 11:02 am #

    Oh sister, I get you so much. Getting to this place is terrifying but also liberating. I’m glad you had your best friend right there to help you and sit with you. And congratulations on letting the volcano blow. It’s about time you vented all those feelings.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Getting to that place IS liberating. I feel 1,000,000x more empowered now.

  8. beckysaysthings 11/25/2013 at 10:58 am #

    I ‘m so glad you discovered you could break things off with your ‘friend’ – and having a good old rage really does help sometimes – but I do admit to chuckling at the non-breaking bottle. That would seriously have pissed me off – as you said, how anti-climactic 😉
    But as you said, you’re both unbreakable – so you go, girl 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:32 pm #

      Last night I was sitting in bed and thinking about the dainty clinking sound the bottle made when it hit the floor, and burst out laughing.

  9. Samantha 11/25/2013 at 9:41 am #

    I don’t know what to say except for that this moved me. I understand what it’s like to always be shoving your feelings down because they seem irrational or inappropriate for the situation or whatever. I’m sorry about your so-called friend. It’s good to cut off those people. And I’m glad you have a real friend and roommate to be there for you.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:31 pm #

      It’s incredible how so many of us ignore our feelings, as though we don’t have the right to feel them. When I finally started owning my feelings…that’s when I realized what my “friend” was doing wasn’t right.

  10. Maggie O'C 11/25/2013 at 9:02 am #

    Are you Irish? Working through all the things that can accumulate in your soul over decades is rough but it can be done. And you will be okay. So proud of you. If it helps, you have inspired me with your “do what I can” post.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:29 pm #

      I am part Irish! I am also part Mexican. Both sides are known for being…passionate.

      I am so glad the other post inspired you! Hopefully you’ve felt good about doing a little something special for others.

  11. Vanessa-Jane Chapman 11/25/2013 at 8:54 am #

    The fact that you were willing to talk about it so soon after I think is a really good sign! Like you say, it really will be ok. If you need to smash (or bounce) a few more bottles before it is, then that’s just all part of getting to the ok bit.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:28 pm #

      I’m happy to report I haven’t broken anything since I wrote this! I did stub my toe really hard, but my toe survived.

  12. Soul Walker 11/25/2013 at 8:22 am #

    Stuffing your feelings down can seem so reasonable sometimes… and then you find out (sometimes years later) that really it is not. Thank goodness for hot showers.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:28 pm #

      Yep. It is the most unreasonable ‘reasonable’ thing to do.

  13. Fish Out of Water 11/25/2013 at 8:15 am #

    I feel you on this one. I ended a relationship just yesterday. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but it was long overdue. I’m just sort of numb now. I know in my gut I did the right thing, but damn it’s hard. Chin up. You did good.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:26 pm #

      I’ve been meaning to ask- how are you doing? I’m sorry you had to end a relationship, that’s never easy. Thinking of you!

  14. daniheart21 11/25/2013 at 7:56 am #

    Yeah…that kind of stuff will pile when we hold it in….I try really hard to let myself have whatever emotion I am having as long as it is appropriate, and if it isn’t then I allow myself as soon as I can have some private time, and I do my best to make sure and follow up with what ever action should take place. That was my downfall previously is having acknowledged feelings about things and not being able to or being afraid to do anything to resolve them. sighs… GO JEN! So proud of you. Breaking glass is incredibly cathartic.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:25 pm #

      I never even acknowledged my feelings! I just kind of breezed right past them. It is strange (but good) to finally feel things for the first time ever. Good for you for knowing how to handle your emotions!

  15. -Pille- 11/25/2013 at 7:47 am #

    Sending you lots and lots of virtual hugs!

  16. Twindaddy 11/25/2013 at 7:05 am #

    I’m so sorry, Jen. Being used sucks and finding out you’ve been used is one of the worst feelings ever. You will be okay, though. You are strong and intelligent, and you will make it through this. Hit me up on Facebook if you need to vent.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Thanks, TD! I know I’ll be okay, it’s just hard to see that in the thick of things, you know? I am feeling worlds better since then, and I’ve let the whole situation go. Moving right along…

      • Twindaddy 12/01/2013 at 5:01 pm #

        Yeah, I do know. I’m glad you’ve moved on. Somethings are easier to move on from than others.

  17. donofalltrades 11/25/2013 at 6:30 am #

    Good for you, Jen. I’m glad you have what sounds like such a great friend/roommate to be there for you as well. I used to be more of a hold it in and let if fester into an ulcer sort of person, but now I’m perfectly fine with letting my steam escape from time to time. I’m also glad that bottle didn’t break, that glass is a pain to be sure you’ve gotten all the shards. You should use it as a vase or something and put it on your windowsill. It’ll probably make you smile to yourself sometime in the future, whenever you look at it.

    • Maggie O'C 11/25/2013 at 9:03 am #

      Awww, you are just a big softie.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:13 pm #

      Don, excellent suggestion! I actually saved it, and it’s now sitting on my mantle. I think I’m going to write a little something on a piece of paper and slip it in there. Just to remind me Future Me of what Old Me was like.

  18. shreejacob 11/25/2013 at 6:26 am #

    Phew….that was a lot of stuff…which does mean one thing..you are right. You will be okay…in fact…you are okay 🙂

  19. drewann2 11/25/2013 at 6:12 am #

    Jen, I’d like to reference this blog post in a post I want to write. I’ll let you read it before posting to make sure you’re ok with what I write. Would that be acceptable to you?

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Drew, sorry for my late reply! Just catching up on my comments now. Yes, please use/reference this post. My inbox is open!

  20. omtatjuan 11/25/2013 at 5:49 am #

    It will be ok… A man who says, “WE will get thru this together!” Wow now that is someone to hold on to! You are one lucky woman to have someone like that in your life..

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:07 pm #

      I am VERY lucky. He is the greatest friend in the world.

  21. sofiafsantos 11/25/2013 at 5:45 am #

    The most you cry, you laugh, you yell, more consciousness you’re becoming in your decisions and resolutions. At accepting your feelings, you’re more able to control situations in order to get or avoid feeling them. Some would call you emotive, but they’re wrong. You’re becoming stronger. You’re flexible, not rigid. You move, going up, going down, but you don’t break, at least easily…

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:07 pm #

      I’ve thought a lot about this ever since I first read it. You are absolutely right. Growth can be painful, but for the first time, I am aware of my feelings. I looked into the anger, and conquered it. I feel loads better, and learned a very valuable lesson in the process.

      • sofiafsantos 12/02/2013 at 3:24 am #

        you have a place in the world, just for you… and it’s your body. your body is your home and you chose what or who enters in it or not… but you have to recognize the danger when you see it… and to accomplished that you have to know it very well, as in the other things in your life.

        I won’t tell you “be happy”. I’ll tell you just to “Feel and let it flow” (:

        Satisfy yourself (:

  22. nobodysreadingme 11/25/2013 at 5:34 am #

    I thought that sudden uncontrolled crying jags were my province, Jen. I’ve been doing this crap now for over 40 years, and I’m tired of it now…

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Nope, you haven’t cornered the market on it. Although, I must say, I’m not looking to make it a habit. I hated the way it felt.

      • nobodysreadingme 12/02/2013 at 1:42 am #

        Well as and when you figure out how to stop them coming in under the radar, please do let me know.

  23. ZakcHead 11/25/2013 at 5:22 am #

    Glad to hear everything will be better. Be positive. B+.

  24. Le Clown 11/25/2013 at 5:08 am #

    Jen,
    Proud of you for putting this one out there, And I think you are making the best decision FOR you… I have more to say, but I’d rather chat you up by email. Much love and peace to you, friend.
    Le Clown

    • Jen and Tonic 12/01/2013 at 3:05 pm #

      Often times the right decisions are the hardest to make. I’m just at the point in my life when I can’t deal with all the drama of…anything.

      XO!

  25. trishnanamchoom 11/25/2013 at 5:06 am #

    wow!! you are brave!! and lucky too I guess! all the best!!

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