As a baby when we have a need we cried and it was up to our caregivers to fixture out what it was we needed. Did we need food? A reassuring cuddle? A sleep? Our backs rubbed? We instinctively knew how to signal we needed those around us to help. We weren’t afraid to cry and ask for help.
As toddlers, we continued to demand to be helped and heard. Sometimes we were taught that the ways we demanded help were not ok.
As we grew, we learned that demanding help and reacting to our emotions wasn’t ok. But few of us were taught how to respond to our emotions in better ways. How to meet our emotional needs ourselves.
And over the years we push down those emotional needs. We no longer cry out to have others help us. We internalise them we push them down to the point we no longer recognise them ourselves. Or we find less healthy ways of meeting those needs through substances or unsafe behaviours. In my case I ate them.
Working through DBT is teaching me new ways or thinking and being in the world. Learning to sit with uncomfortable emotions, identify those emotions and radically accepting them. Teaching me ways of meeting those needs in other safer ways.
Why wasn’t this all taught to me in school? Why is speaking about how we feel so taboo?