Emotions are a funny thing. Some people wear them on their sleeves, wide open for the whole world to observe. Others build walls of psych around them to shelter them from harm. Some bury them deep into the ground, away from the warmth of light. I believe that how we show emotion is a learned trait. Inherited in pattern and design, but learned in control. I know showing emotion has never been an easy thing for me. I never learned how to project to the outside what was living on the inside. I get that from my father, who was always cold and void when it came to emotion and affection. I never saw him cry or get angry. I hardly ever saw him laugh or hug. Even when we were ordered to retrieve the wooden paddle from the hall closet he was absent of all emotion. The coldness in his eyes scarred far deeper than the striking of the belt or paddle across our behinds.
My mother was no road map either. She did show a lot of emotion, but with her it would spill over to the point where she would drive to the end of the street and just sit in her car for hours looking off into space. Leaving four toddlers to fend for themselves until Dad came home.
So as I got older I found myself very detached from humanity. When you find it hard to care, trouble is easily let in. Without the boundaries that come with emotions, one does not vision the outcome, only the very second they are in matters. A spirit that’s lost seizes to exist.
So many years since my adolescence and the influence of parental scarring, I find myself somewhat broken. And trying to relearn how to be. Most emotions are nothing more than fragments of time, a remembrance of pin points in the stages of development. When something knocks all the pins off the board, your kinda screwed. But I don’t feel so bad. I figure most people struggle with keeping their fragments in tacked.
But then humanity and mortality steps in every once in a while a reminds you of your spirit. The birth of a child, a first kiss, a wedding…pin points.
Or something dramatic…
Like the birth of my third daughter. Now I always treated birth like a rock concert. I would pre-game. I would bring a cooler into the delivery room, screaming “Ok, Lets do this! Whooooya!!!” Cameras flashing, radio on, I’m sure my wife was very touched. Or at least suspected I was.
But there was complications, fluid in the babies lungs. Her lifeless body was wrapped up in a blanket and taken for the room within seconds. I’ll never forget the nurse looking at me, a way I have never been looked at before, and saying, “You need to follow them. Don’t leave your daughter’s side”. So I followed this group of nurses into a quarantined room. I figured they were just going to clean her up. They pumped her lungs out, and put her mouth onto a respirator. She started breathing and then she cried. I never knew how close I was to losing her until the nurses smiled and cheered. My heart dropped onto the floor. and I knew I wasn’t totally broken anymore. I felt everything.
Kids change you, in ways you can never imagine. They save you from the damage life causes. the scars seem not so noticeable anymore. A baby’s breath upon a parents face is magic. When they get older it’s no so magic. But the bond always is.
Emotions are a learned trait, I just hope I can teach my children not to inherit all of mine.