In the last 2 months we, as a family, went on a emotional roller coast. Identifying, expressing and accepting emotions have been very helpful.
I was feeling very excited with our journey and with how our life had already changed, but at some point the excitement turned to a fatigue and I was exhausted. A good friend of mine gave me a Reiki session. With the help of mindfulness during the session, I realised that I was currently subject to a lot of feelings:
- I was sad because I was going to miss all my friends. Even though I was not giving importance to that, arguing that we have been changing location frequently (almost every 5 years) and that we enjoy meeting new people and meeting up with old friends. While this is true, I was hiding the fact that we get to miss old friends and we like to have them around.
- I was scared because I know we are changing completely for a my new life style. Even though we have a very agile mindset, I cannot avoid this fear of the unknown. Will we be ready for the date we set ? Will we ever be ready to swim in this sea we are getting into ? We have prepared, but the day to verify that we prepared correctly is surely getting closer and closer.
- I was feeling extremely happy to finally get a chance to live this family adventure that we have been preparing for so long already.
- I was feeling angry with ‘dear Pierre-Olivier’, most of the time this anger was due to miss communication and also because he was the only one I could be angry at for all this huge amount of work I had to tackle to get the family ready for our next challenge. Who else could be blamed? We are only two in a couple. Not a wise way to deal with anger and frustrations ; we had to step back in order to realise we were wrong in doing so.
Once feelings were identified, I decided to go through instead of hiding them, and guess what? I have been accepting and living them and during the the last days, I was able to feel each and every of them (sometimes even crying). Accepting made me feel much better and healthy. Sometimes, a new emotion comes in, one that I am not able to identify, in that case I proceed with the following steps : observe it (be conscious that it exists and analyse it), accept it (it is here for a reason) and deal with it (it is now going to go away on its own).
For sure, I was not the only one feeling like that at home, the kids also took a ride on the emotional roller coaster:
- One had stomach pain for weeks ; the pain disappeared the day that we went to see a Gestalt therapist. After a couple of sessions of emotional maps (she drew on paper the emotions she was feeling), the pain was gone.
- Another kid was acting terrible. Everything was bothering him and was hiding his emotions away. We knew what was happening, but he was not willing to talk about it. At school, the teachers made a great work talking about what we were going to do and how we will keep in touch. It helped to make him safer about what friendship is (he was concerned about losing his friends).
- The third one, the most rational, he went from excitement to sadness. ‘Please do not remind me that we will not see our friends for that long, it is very sad’.
We did plenty of farewell, school friends, work friends, grouped meals, dinners with friends, family visits … it was amazing to share our feelings with our friends and to see that they were as excited as we were. We are lucky to have friends and family who supported us. Each conversation we had with friends have been helpful for us to deal with the journey preparation and specially with the emotions. We are glad we had that much opportunities to say goodbye to our friends.
Nonviolent communication was also helpful in this period. I started working on my communication 5 years ago, using nonviolent communication. I read “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” from Marshall Rosenberg, and I started to communicate using my emotions, in a more comprehensive way.
Are you also experiencing emotional explosions? We are looking forward to hearing from you! What is working for you and your family to deal with strong emotions?
2 thoughts on “How to handle an emotional explosion”
Very interesting. Concerning kids emotions and difficult moments, I was reading a book called “playful parental” that I recommend to you. It is about how to help kids express enotions through play and how to solve situations by playing.
It is very close to the philosophy you describe here.
For you I imagine it must have been a lot of work to prepare for the trip : school, administration….. and to be fully confident about the decision to leave. Each change requires a huge amount of nrj and flexibility of mind. It is much easier after than before the change when you have lots of mixed emotions and yes you need to deal with the uncertainty. I am pretty sure you will have some ups and downs again but it will be compensated by the beauty of nature around you and the priviledge to be the 5 of you together spending a lot of time to share the adventure (although it might not be easy to find time just for you at times). I love doing yoga or meditation on a sailing boat. So relaxing. Enjoy. We think of you.