Community Magazine

They Made You Hate Your Emotions, Too: A Manifesto*

By Amanda Bruce @RecoveryisCake

I don’t know how all of you do it.  Every day, I wake up and feel the ugly, constricting patriarchal vines try to engulf me.  What seems insignificant to you tries to stifle me.  It is a surreptitious, invisible fog that reminds me we will not see the end of this. We will die before this is solved – and, it probably won’t be.

My name is Amanda, and I am here to remind you the patriarchy made you hate your emotions.

*******

How do people with strong emotions become classified?

Mentally ill.

Which disorder, is particular, is assigned primarily to females and has an emphasis on emotional instability?

Borderline Personality Disorder.

Mmm-hmm.  Interesting, isn’t it?

*******

Before the election, I was part of a town parent page, on which I started to disagree with an older male gentleman, who happened to be white.  He mentioned how people’s messy emotions got in the way of sensible decision-making.  I, being a therapist, mentioned that it was actually healthy to have emotions and incorporate them into decision-making.

“Take you and your emotions elsewhere,” he growled.

Unconscious men are so threatened by emotion.

You see, emotions are not something to be squelched, or something to conceal while parenting, or dread or numb or starve or drink or lust away.  They are glorious signals, given to us by our beautiful, lush bodies, to tell us whether to go North or South.

We need that rational mind, but we need our emotion mind just as much.   Without the two, we cannot make wise mind decisions.

Emotions save lives.  Emotions save lives.  Emotions save lives.

On The Ellen Show, a single momma with three beautiful kids was featured.  She had been threatened by a man online who told her he wished her black children were dead, and that she should die, too.  She filed a police report at the local station, and blocked him.

It sat horribly with her.  Her gut lurched in fear.  She knew something was wrong with that man. Her rational mind didn’t tell her that.  Her feelings spoke loud and clear.

So she screenshotted the hateful rhetoric, shared it, and ended up finding out where he lived. She called the local police, and found a gentle man on the other end.  He listened to her – consciously.   His gut heard the fear from her gut, and he decided to give that hateful man a visit.

He and his fellow officers ended up pulling up into that man’s driveway right before he left with automatic weapons and a bulletproof vest to go shoot up the nearest school.

Emotions save lives.

*******

We eat our feelings and we drink our feelings and we argue our feelings online and we gamble our feelings and we productive our feelings away and we are left with stagnancy.

Imagine if we sat with them.

Ah, you say. But that means we would have to deal with our problems.

Yes, I say.  And this is why we have a nation addicted to opiates.  (But I digress, I will address how addiction is related to the patriarchy in a later chapter).

YES, I say.  We may find out we are unhappy in our marriages and we may find out we hate that judgmental part of ourselves and we may find out we have been in a career we have hated for our entire fucking life, but –

that’s a start.   It’s the bottom, but it’s the start.

And as many of you know, I have been to the bottom several times before and I can tell you from experience, that the RISE is all the more glorious because we have hit our bottom. Our ruinous, exposed, messy self multiplies exponentially because of our ability to be at that bottom.

And we need emotions to do that.

We complain that we have a nation of young adults who have zero ability to cope with their emotions, yet

we shield our children from any disappointment.  We structure their lives so every movement and moment is well-choreographed, avoidance of pain a dance only the truly privileged know.

Our children need that pain like a vaccine.  We rob them of their medicine and they suffer.

******

I am emotional.  I often divulge my deepest feelings online.  I am aware this is judged and categorized, which is the normal human way of exerting control out of something they don’t understand.  I do this for one solid reason:

Simply put, things become more normalized the more often we see them.  So if I’m emotional often, maybe you will be too, and we can sucker punch the crap out of this patriarchal lie we have been sold.

Who says you have to live your life under its veil?

Who taught you that?

You know it’s all made up, right?  That there are no rules?

That your husband doesn’t get to call the shots?  You know that, right?

You know that “it’s just how it is” is not something you have to buy into, right?

When women take their husband’s names, I still get sad for this reason.

******

Look, women have been changing literal shit for centuries and we still don’t get to call the shots.

******

You wanna know why unconscious men call women too emotional? Because emotions and instinct are the most direct course of which to dismantle the patriarchy.  What the hell do you think keeps wild animals safe? Their fucking rational brain?   Oh, yes, I’m sure that rabbits stop to compute the fastest route out of the forest to escape the wolves’ teeth.

No, motherfucker.  They know what’s up.  Their feelers are tuned way the fuck in, because they don’t want to be some predator’s breakfast.  And you know what?  I don’t want to be anyone’s breakfast either.  Fuck that.

I am tuned way the fuck in.

*And not that kind.  Us females don’t do that shit.


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