Confronting My Own Emotional Duality

I find myself, yet again, in another one of those situations where I am an asshole. For the nth time ever, I have hurt someone who loves me. I am the same as ever: a monster.

I realize that these epithets and mean words are being thrown in my face because I’m supposed to learn something about myself. But little do they know: I already know. I know what’s wrong with me, and, unfortunately, it’s the same thing that’s right with me.

I am a woman of big emotions. I’m all over the emotional spectrum, in brilliant and bursting emotional extremes. The joy and love I experience are insurmountable, but, unfortunately, the pendulum swings in both directions with equal force. The hatred and the misery I experience are likewise gargantuan.

I find that when I am in the positive extremes of my emotional capacity, I attract people with my charisma and my energy. I love a good time, and so does everyone else who shows up to enjoy it. However, as soon as the tide starts to turn and the darkness inside me swells to the surface: I am the monster.

When people point out that I am unpleasant when I’m angry or having a bad day, I know that what they want is for me to not be angry or having a bad day. But that’s an impossible task. There will always be bad days.

Instead, what I hear is: your emotional extremes are not convenient to anyone around you when they’re negative. And that’s just what it is: I operate in emotional extremes, and the good is tempered with the bad. And vice versa. Without extreme joy there is no extreme sadness. Yet when people criticize me for my extreme sadness or rage, they don’t understand that at the same time they are criticizing the extreme joy that they, too, benefit from.

This makes me wonder: who would I be if I operated within normal emotional limits? My emotional extremes are not pathological – I’m still functional. I wonder why these people do not tell me that I’m a monster when I’m doubled over with laughter and running around at night dancing til the wee hours of the morning. It’s the same monstrosity inside me. People are comfortable watching me bound around in positive mania. That is socially acceptable. My sadness and my darkness, however, are the constant cause of scorn in my life.

I reject this. I understand myself, and I understand that it’s okay for me to experience the full depth of my emotions. That depth is frightening, but it’s still okay. It’s okay because I understand that even in the darkest of times, I will bounce back. Even in the happiest times, I will bounce back. My emotions might just be neurochemical misfirings, but they shape my reality and my experience of the world. My experience of the world is real and valid; my emotions are real and valid. My emotional capacity is human and real.

When people try to guilt me for being in my feelings at the dark end of the spectrum, it just makes me wonder: why were they here for the good times if they couldn’t handle the bad times? It makes me doubt their ability to grasp the human experience, to plan for it, to love other humans despite human nature. Bad times are always coming.

When people opt out of their so-called loyalty when the bad times come, it makes me doubt the entire relationship. If you are not here for me in a crisis, then why are you here? The crises can be survived. Bad relationships cannot.

Although, relationships are not static rooms that we step in and out of whenever we want. Relationships are living, breathing expressions of human interconnectivity. Relationships are a dance. We come in close, then we whisk away. And it is okay to step back from relationships, to breathe, to reevaluate. But to step away when I am pulling you in close because I need you, and to then blame it on a fundamental aspect of my human nature that I cannot change and from which you have benefited in the past – that is cruel.