These Aren’t My Feelings: Absorbing Emotions as an INFJ

I have noticed that sometimes when I watch movies or TV shows I get a bit more worked up than the average person (eg. I was watched an episode of The OA this morning and I got physically anxious because of the situation… my heart was racing, my hands were clammy.) Or that when my husband comes home in a melancholy mood I have to consciously choose not to automatically slip into being melancholy too, no matter how great my day was. Or that when someone cries, I often cry too.
Today after reading this blog post and thinking more about it, I realized that this is probably why I am so numb in some situations too. Because I know from experience how easily my emotions can be manipulated, there are some times and places where a wall goes up around my heart as a defense mechanism. Church, especially has been one of those places recently. For a good number of years the music and the preacher and the people around me all influenced me, subconsciously convincing me these feelings were my own. But then it the quiet moments when I was alone, when I no longer felt those same emotions, I started to wonder if they were my feelings at all. And obviously being a follower of Jesus is more than emotions… the heart AND the head are involved. So then I would press more into the beliefs and the knowledge side of things and well… growing up in an age of skepticism makes that difficult as well. So… I don’t really have a point here, just that I appreciated this blog post and a reminder that there are other people who are trying to figure out the lines between their emotions and the emotions of the people around them.

Marissa

This past Friday I did something I’ve never done before and which provided my father with much amusement. I danced at someone’s funeral. More precisely, it was at a memorial service for a man I didn’t really know. I’d seen him at church services, but we never spoke. His wife was on our dance team, though, and she asked us to open the service by dancing to Bo Ruach Elohim.

At first, I didn’t really feel much about this man’s death beyond a rather abstract sense of sympathy for those who’d loved him. But as soon as I was surrounded by the grief of those who knew and loved him, I started to feel it as well. Layering on top of that were the emotions I imagined other people I cared about feeling. I won’t go into any details, but some of the things this man’s wife and daughter…

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These Aren’t My Feelings: Absorbing Emotions as an INFJ

Inescapable

Stop.
Please stop.

Their gunshots
like the drops
on her forehead,
Cold and penetrating.
She shut her eyes
and her mind
between each:
bracing herself for the next,
steeling herself.

She had, for a long time, liked to think that her mind was indestructible
But slowly, slowly
she was learning otherwise

She turned the knob, just slightly, so the faucet would slowly and consistently drip fat, cold drops. She stepped over the edge and laid on the bottom of the tub so that her small body would be aligned to let the drops fall precisely on the imagined x in the center of her forehead
drip
As the heat was drawn from her body and her bones became self aware, her eyes no longer saw the bathroom and her ears no longer heard the silence.
drip
She was elsewhere,
this child,
fascinated by torture
And slowly, slowly
she found that a mind,
like steel,
will corrode
given enough water
and time

drip.

And now
their gunshots and you
surfacing in the ocean of silence
A jolt
in a dream
bringing back all the memories and realities
Like an earthquake splitting the surface
simply to remind the world
of its layered existence
sewn together.

Inescapable

Beneath the Insomnia

_20160923_184552.JPGShe paints the same canvas
Again and Again
In her dreams
while they sleep
and it sleeps.
Because otherwise
they never stay still
long enough
to dry
Her tear
drops of paint
That leave trails
of subtle color
behind them
And behind them
previous paintings
also made without brushes
That always end up
painted over
the next morning
to hide the evidence

And the canvas of it all
Is her face
and her fears
For at the core of each night
when stripped down
She will always find that stark white woven surface
of fears and insecurities
whose texture shows through each layer
And whispers to her
between brushstrokes
Reminding her that
There is no escape
For gravity cannot be bribed
And the running never stops because he’s holding death in his hands, at her head, and as the neurons fire she finds they sound remarkably like gunshots and all she seeks is safety and sleep
But she can never find foundness
Awake or asleep
So as she tries to decide which one is less terrifying,
She paints.

And
at the core of each night
mare each poem each painting,
Remains a reminder of running,
is running.

Beneath the Insomnia

[((shellter))]

brick low resThe small finger traces the maze of mortar, sliding through streets that run between buildings of brick in a vertical city
and that finger doesn’t know that a standard mortar joint is assumed to be 3/8″
And that brick sizes are determined based on that assumption
And that Frank Lloyd Wright spec’d colored mortar to accentuate horizontality
And that even though the little pig was protected by his house of bricks that the walls of home can’t protect from everything
Because so much of this world is a facade
And it’s the wood framed interior that goes up in flames
And the mold of sadness in the basement that slowly creeps in
And the termites of time eating away at the bones
But her bones are still young
And her skin is still soft
And her eyes are still smiling
For they haven’t yet witnessed the things that huff and puff more viciously than that wolf.

If only the shelter of childhood was built to house us all.

 

[((shellter))]

only you, my friend

For when the going gets tough
The tough get going
And you are definitely tough,
My friend.
For not many
Can look Death in the eye
Unflinchingly
As He tries to catch them.
But instead you caught
Perseverance
You caught determination
And you caught yourself before your face hit the ground as the bike skid out from under you
Knocking only the wind from you
Instead of the information we so desperately desire
Because we are nosy
Or loving
Depending on who you ask.
And we wish we could catch you
But it’s tough,
Because our legs have only been trained to catch people who want to be caught
And you,
my friend,
are too stubborn for that.
And only you,
my friend,
Would help someone else
learn to run faster,
work harder
as your own body
is learning lessons
and waging battles
of its own.
And only you,
my friend,
would be riding a bike with no brakes
in the first place.

only you, my friend