Storytime: what you don’t know can’t hurt you

I have trust issues. I can’t talk about them in detail, but they lead me to do things I’m not proud of and that bring no good to anyone.

Have you ever heard the phrase: what you don’t know, can’t hurt you? It’s so true. I was curious about something. So I had a doubt that crept into my mind this morning, and I was curious to check if my doubt was true or not. Turns out that doubt was false, but I stumbled upon something that hurt me and I can’t do anything about it because then I would have to explain how I know.

Do you know what’s worse? I feel like I deserve it, because I haven’t been perfect either, and now I’m being punished for my mistakes.

I have more doubts, but I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole of checking if I’m right or wrong. I would rather be blissfully ignorant than proven right. Just the thought gives me physical pain and heartache. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on my trust issues and not give in to the temptation of doubt. I will care and love and hope for the best.

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 1

Hello and welcome to my blog! I had a long day yesterday and I was in a lot of pain last night and I was exhausted. I went to bed at 9 pm after caving in and taking painkillers. The reason why is still blurry but I think I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed by a conversation I had with my grandparents which poured salt onto some wounds I had buried deep down in the name of being tolerant and understanding. Add to that 2 weeks of lousy sleep and voila! It took a toll on my body.

A lot is going on in my life that I can’t write about because it’s private. Many things I can’t change but haven’t been able to fully accept. Anyway, I decided to still do the self reflection post, even though I’m 13 hours late, and I’m still going to do a motivational Monday post afterwards.

I’m also really behind on reading blogs because I was working hard on my new book (it will be released tomorrow as an ebook) and binge-watching Gilmore Girls (I finished season 7 yesterday and started Gilmore Girls: A year in the life).

Without further ado, today’s question is:

What is your biggest day to day challenge?

This one is easy. Controlling my anger. I have a hard time keeping my cool, especially with my husband and son. I get irritated by small things. I get more controlling the more I feel things are out of control. I try to let things go but I end up bottling them up and exploding. Today is my son’s 1st day back to school in person and even though he woke up on his own at 7:30 am, which is a 1st, he gave me a hard time and I snapped at him, which is something I’m not proud of at all. I went full The Hulk on him and then after he calmed down I apologized and made amends. I had been doing so well the past 3 days keeping my anger levels low but it was the weekend and we were out of the house for the most part anyway.

I’m so excited that my son is back to school, even if it’s just for this week and then the week after next week. I was short on me-time and I have so many things to do and only 3 hours to do them. I already did the dishes, laundry, and made the beds, but I want to watch Gilmore Girls and also read blogs, so I guess I’ll keep going back and forth between those 2. I also want to exercise and read Quraan but I guess I’ll do that later. I just hope I don’t forget about them altogether. That’s another struggle I have day-to-day. I struggle with balancing housework, self-care, and parenting. I’m always short in 1 domain because I can’t focus on everything at the same time. Some days I don’t spend quality time with my son. Some days I slack on housework. Some days I don’t exercise or read Quraan.

I hope you enjoy this new self-reflection prompt I found on Pinterest called deep conversation topics. I’ll be answering a question every Sunday.

Transformation Tuesday: Controlling my Emotions

Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog! Today I’m going to talk about my lifelong efforts to control my emotions.

I’ve always been over sensitive, and over emotional. I’ve always been full of insecurities and fears about not fitting in and I’ve always reacted rather than responded (later on I found out I had anxiety). I cried easily thoughout high-school so much that I become known for crying a lot, but when I was at university, I learned that I must bottle up my emotions. By 3rd year university, I hid my emotions so well that my friends would tell me that they were surprised I never got mad. Little did they know that I let out my emotions in the comfort of my dorm, crying and on occasions yelling to let it all out. After I graduated, I got better in public, but at home, everytime I got upset, I cried.

When I got married, my husband was horrified by my tears. They angered him because this was something new to him. He has sisters but apparently they don’t cry, at least not in front of him. It took my husband years to accept that sometimes I just need to cry to feel better, but he still acts like I’m an alien everytime I have a mental breakdown, so I try not to have them in front of him.

Bit by bit, I learned to hold in my tears, but that built up emotion turned into anger. Not being able to be vulnerable and honest about my emotions was overwhelming, cue the raging hulk. Every once in a while, I’d snap, explode, and just rage on like a storm for days. That’s exhausting too.

This rage was making me feel like a bad mother and wife and I knew that I had to deal with my emotions in a healthy way. I read about how to control my emotions, how to focus on self care, healthy ways to let them out, and how to let them go. I’m still working on putting these things into practice. I think that I appear calm to the outside world. But then again, an aquaintance of mine once told me she could see anger festering beneath my calm exterior. I have this constant fear that I’m not enough for my husband and son, and I don’t know how to make that feeling go away. I also still have this feeling that I don’t quite fit into society or belong anywhere.

It’s been a goal of mine since November 2020 to control my emotions (I literally wrote it down on paper). I have no problem identifying, analyzing and expressing my emotions. I just don’t know how to regulate my emotions or let go of negative emotions.

I read that the signs of emotional immaturity are trust issues, lack of adaptive coping (failing to look after the self by not eating well and exercising, lack of communication to friends or family for support and an inability to foresee stressful events), self-blame and the lack of capacity to stay calm.

By all accounts this means I’m very emotionally immature but I’m trying not to be.

November 2020 I failed to control my emotions with my husband and son. I went full on Hulk at every inconvenience.

December 2020 I focused on not losing my cool at my son and halfway succeeded. I don’t even remember how I was with my husband.

January 2021 I went back to trying to control my emotions with both my husband and my son. With my husband, I succeeded 63.5% of the time. With my son, 58.2% of the time.

Now we’re in February, and I’m trying so hard to focus on controlling my emotions with my husband. No yelling or crying. But with my son, I’m yelling till I’m blue in the face, but I’m also making it up however I can. However, my success is 28% so far, meaning I’m failing miserably.

I’m so burnt out and as a mom who has no job to occupy her (I have my blogs and they’re a big help but still) and nowhere to go (in the middle of a pandemic, teaching my son online) and nobody to go with (I’m bound by my sons online hours and his homework responsibilities and the lack of a car of my own doesn’t help).

I’m not giving myself excuses to keep blowing up or breaking down. I need to grow up and mature emotionally and learn to stop my automatic negative thoughts on my own and not crumble every other day.

I’m trying to be okay. I really am. I’m trying not to play the victim. I’m trying to create my own happiness, but everytime I create a bubble and hide inside of it, it bursts and the reality seems too unbearable.

I’ve been practicing gratitude and meditation. I’ve been reading and writing. I’ve been working on my goals, but I still can’t seem to manage to control my own emotions. Instead, they’re controlling me.

My strategy is basically to keep myself busy (with purpose because boredom is a petri dish to negative thoughts), avoid burnout by attending to my self-care (I’m working on it), increase my self confidence by doing a self confidence challenge and focusing on my strengths, create my own happiness, turn anger into compassion towards myself and my husband and son, focus on the positive attributes of both my husband and son, socialize more (difficult to do in these circumstances) so I don’t rely on my husband to give me all the TLC I need, and last but not least work on strengthening my spiritual connection through prayer and reading quraan.

The goal is to become emotionally mature so I can regulate my own emotions and let go of negative feelings and challenge negative thoughts on my own. I even have woeksheets I’m yet to fill out and more worksheets I’m yet to print.

Blacklisted

I had an anxiety attack today. Then I did meditation and felt better. Then I had a panic attack. I started shaking and crying and I couldn’t breathe and my heart was pounding in my chest. I’m still suffering from the remnants of the panic attack. It drained all my energy, though, and now I don’t have enough energy to spend time with my son. I need to be alone right now to recover but I can’t.

The reason why I had these attacks is personal. But let’s just say that certain people who already give me anxiety tried to meddle with my life today. I stopped it in its tracks because they crossed a boundary, but since I couldn’t stop it directly, my damage control caused some damage for other people.

I wish I could erase these people from my life. They think they’re all high and mighty like they have everything together and they need to fix mine.

1st of all, if anyone is going to run an intervention, it has to be someone I trust and value their opinion, someone who really wants my benefit, not someone who just wants to point fingers at me and tell me how to live my life. I understand I’m not perfect but this was a degree below low, and I was having such a great day today and they just had to ruin it.

Okay rant over, but I still don’t feel better yet. I need to make sure this never happens again. I have to strategize. I can’t argue my point of view. I won’t be heard. I know it.

Guess who just got blacklisted?

Blacklisting is the action of a group or authority, compiling a blacklist (or black list) of people, countries or other entities to be avoided or distrusted as being deemed unacceptable to those making the list. … As a verb, blacklist can mean to put an individual or entity on such a list.

Exploring my anger

Underneath Anger

Anger is a normal emotional response. When a boundary is crossed, personal safety is violated, etc. Often, though, anger is a mask to cover fear, sadness, guilt, and uncertainty. Underneath it all is a feeling of loneliness and feeling misunderstood. When you were a child, if you were punished or ridiculed for displaying any negative emotions, you often grow up mastering the art of poker face, or you tend to overreact to every situation because you don’t understand your emotions properly and you don’t know how to deal with your emotions adequately.

Questions to explore

I’ve been feeling pretty angry lately and I don’t know why. It’s mostly hormones and stress and not getting out often but my tolerance levels towards humans is below zero. I thought it would be good to try to find out why am I feeling this way. I already know I feel some uncertainty from the future, and I desperately need alone time, but I also desperately need to go out and have fun. I’ve also been feeling discontent on and off. I’m usually well aware of my emotions, but since my anger is affecting me and my loved ones negatively, I thought it was appropriate to look into it and try to work on it. Here are some questions to consider:

1. What is your anger often triggered by?

I usually feel angry when people cross my boundaries or disrespect me or belittle me by namecalling, generalization, gaslighting, and so much more. My boundaries are often violated because the other person doesn’t acknoledge them and I usually react with anger because I had explained my boundaries so many times before and I just want to be taken seriously.

2. How do you currently deal with anger?

It depends on who I’m angry with. Circumstances don’t anger me. People do. Sometimes I keep it in then let it go like right now I tried to take a peaceful walk but the lack of traffic signs and haphazard driving of people kept me on edge and seeing everyone without masks but giving me stinkeye because I have a mask on made me a little irritated. However, when a loved one makes me angry (I know that I shouldn’t use that term because nobody can make you feel something without your consent) I usually complain to someone else about them or I yell at the person. On rare occasions I take deep breaths, think about it, then send a voice message calmly adressing what angered me because I’m afraid I’ll lose my cool in person.

3. Has your anger ever affected other people? How?

Yes, every once in a while, I tend to overreact due to pent up frustration and anger, and it usually causes a scene and makes my loved ones uncomfortable. However, my family deal with my emotions by validating them, whereas my in laws look at me like I’m some alien 👾 But lately my anger has been exploding over my husband and son and I want to deal with it because it has become a problem.

4. What emotions were acceptable for you to display growing up

Compliance. Happiness. Sadness but never crying or frowning or anger.

5. How do you show difficult emotions – such as sadness, hurt or guilt?

I usually sulk when I’m sad, but when I’m overwhelmed with sadness I cry. When I’m hurt, I usually retaliate, which I know is wrong but I’m working on it. Guilt normally eats me up inside and I end up confessing or avoiding the person altogether or acting super nice to compensate for what I did.

6. Can you think of a time you expressed anger in order to conceal another emotion you were feeling?

Yes, I often express anger when I’m feeling overwhelmed, helpless, useless, self loathing, etc.

7. How do you feel about the concept of anger being a “surface” emotion?

I completely agree. Sometimes anger is justified, but often it is a mask.

8. When is anger healthy? When does it become unhealthy?

Anger is healthy when a right is violated or when the person in front of you is a jerk and doesn’t respond to calm reason. However, once you start disrespecting the other person, calling them names, raising your voice, going off topic, bringing up past issues, getting physically aggressive, or the complete opposite of bottling your anger up so it turns to resentment, then it becomes unhealthy.

9. Do you know anyone who manages their anger well? What do they do?

Sadly, I’m surrounded by people who don’t manage their anger well. The people I know who manage their anger well are probably people I don’t know well enough to see behind their mask.

10. How could exploring emotions beneath the surface help you deal with anger?

I feel like it would help me address the cause of the problem. Basically I feel I’m being disrespected, and so I’m reciprocating disrespect with my anger 10 fold. However, beneath it all, I think there is sadness and fear. I don’t feel like I’m fit to be a mother and I regret getting married. I look at my single friends and siblings sometimes and say oh how lucky they are, even though I know they’re not happier than I am. Sometimes I feel happy as a wife and mother. But the moment a problem arises, I go from 0 to 100 really quickly. (quick note: there are many times I manage situations well but it’s because I don’t let myself get angry, but once I reach anger… I become toxic)

I was never taught how to regulate my emotions as a child and I’m 29 years old and I still don’t know how (I know theoretically not practically). I feel lonely and I struggle to be content with what I have. I feel like my efforts to heal from my childhood trauma keep getting reversed. My anger has become so destructive that now I fear I’m traumatizing my son. I wish someone more equipped would take my son and raise him gently but I know that any alternative to me raising him is far worse than the current reality. I need to build confidence in myself and believe that I can be a good wife and mother.

The questions are from here. Found this on Pinterest

I can’t give you advice about how to cope with anger, but for me, talking about it hells. Meditation helps. Having alone time helps. A shower or bath helps. A walk helps. Listening to music and exercise help calm my anxiety but don’t do anything to my anger. I can’t read when I’m angry though, nor can I watch a movie. I can read and watch a movie when I’m sad. I was going to share some anger management ideas I found on Pinterest but this post has gotten too long.

I hope you enjoyed me pouring my heart out. And I hope I learn to manage my anger soon.

Knowing the problem is half the solution

I have an anger management problem. I know it. My loved ones know it. The only ones who see it really are the ones closest to me. Someone says something that triggers me. I turn into the raging hulk. Then I hate myself for it later, feel ashamed and apologize, and act extra nice to make up for it. It’s a cycle.

I bought donuts today. A treat for my 5 year old. I don’t want to tell you what I did to have to go get donuts to try to make up for it. But on instagram people only saw the donuts.

I don’t wear a mask to pretend I’m perfect. I wear a mask because I’m ashamed of my real image. It’s kind of like that movie where the guy’s real face is so hideous and demented that if you look at him you turn into stone. That’s how I feel on the inside.

I want to be kind. I am kind sometimes, but beneath the pretty exterior people now call tired, and all the smiles that show my teeth after braces, and all the positive motivational quotes and inspiring stories, there is a scared little girl who was traumatized as a child, a girl who is trying to grow up but is repeating the cycle… Only worse.

I feel trapped in a shark tank, freaking out about being a wife and a mother, drowning in my own insecurities, as the sharks circle me and I attack, only to be chomped into bits and pieces, then the level restarts and it keeps going on again and again.

Wow 🤯 that went a bit dark for a minute. I promise I’m not always like this. When I’m feeling happy, I’m a ray of sunshine sprouting rainbows. I’m your happy place, whatever it is. I’m gardens of flowers and roses in bouquets. I’m a river that flows freely and beautifully.

I am nature, so everchanging, yet renewable. I get cold and dry and brittle like a December night, and I get hot and cause wildfires. In between, I am a calm breeze. I am the rain, the lightning and the thunder. I am a storm, a tornado that destroys everything in its path.

If you see me on a cold stormy night, know that my storm won’t last forever. My sun will shine again and my clouds will break.

I have an anger management problem and I’m working on it. It keeps getting worse and I’m writing this here because I’m reaching out for help. I wish I could see a therapist but for several reasons I can’t. Also knowing the problem is half the solution. Many people have problems they aren’t aware of.

What do you struggle with the most?