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You Are Not Responsible for the Emotions of Other People

Christine is a License massage therapist and mental health advocate. She is a two-time suicide survivor and hopes to inspire others.

You are not responsible for the emotions of other people.

This simple phrase was the answer to life! When I first heard this, my mind was blown. It may not make sense now, however, by the time you’re finished reading this article, I promise it will. My entire life, I suffered from depression and anxiety, I never sought professional help, and over my adult years, I was able to get myself out of it. I have reached a new median in life to where I no longer have triggers, and I am in a comfortable position to now, I can openly talk about it. After all, that is the biggest taboo around mental illness, right? No one wants to talk about it.

Many people grew up in a household where you do not discuss your feelings. While on the other hand, many people feel that talking about your feelings is a sign of weakness. That thought is merely mental implantation from what society considers to be the accepted tradition. However, while there are these two groups, there is a wide range of members in society that believe that mental illness simply does not exists. You hear the same phrase “Just change your thought patterns”. In reality, these people are contradicting their statements, because this is exactly what mental illness is…thought patterns.

I, myself, grew up in a home where you did not speak your feelings. But, I also grew up in home hearing my parents argue nightly, furthermore, they would (mostly on my father’s part) argued over petty things. My father was a manipulative arguer and not necessarily with arguments. My brother and I were raised out of fear and not love, regardless of what we were doing, just one simple look from my father and we instantly knew to shut up. My social life was not even any better.

I was tormented at school. I was bullied for being quiet, I was bullied for being poor, I was bullied for being one of the few white people at a manly predominate black elementary school. In the fourth grade, I had a girl named Rosemarie who threatened me several times. No one at the school did anything, they were merely more concerned with my home life, rather than admit they were not concerned with the safety and wellbeing of their students. But I do ask the question of how much they truly knew, given the fact that I simply did not talk about it that much.

I constantly struggled with an eating disorder throughout school, I was very inactive, depressed and I didn’t want to be around anyone. I would like to say things got better as I went into junior high and high school, I was wrong. By the time I graduated high school, I had no idea where I fit in, where my place needed to be in the vain world. I had little to no interests in things, I struggled with identity. One day, I was at my local library, I was reading a book and that is when I came across the magic phrase “You are not responsible for the emotions of other people.”

I have no idea why the light bulb above my head finally clicked, in my perspective, this was the answer to life. Around the time, I had entered massage school, I had no idea why? I never had an interest in massage, I was not sure of what it was exactly, it just felt right for me to be there. I kept telling my classmates who are now colleagues and friends that I was there to heal myself, so I can help heal others. It was at massage school where I had met my friend Bryan who opened me up to deal with the things in my past. My anxiety and depression were caused by the suppressed memories that I needed to deal with, and so the healing process had begun.

I went back to my childhood home, I went back to all of my schools that I went to where I had face torment with the knowledge that I was not responsible for what happened. I was not responsible for the way my father was, those were generation characteristics that can stop with me. I was not responsible for the way I was treated at school because everyone faces a problem, situation or whatever reason. It may not seem to simple to forgive what happened, however, you are truly setting yourself free when you face these emotions and events and simply let it go.

Everyone’s healing process is different, you know you are at a place of peace when you can speak of things and not shed a tear. You do not have to let other people’s attacks and actions bother you, because you are not responsible for them.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Christine Marie Everhart