For as long as I can remember, I have suppressed any feeling or emotion that remotely signals pain. While I acknowledge that pain is an inevitable aspect of life, I have grown so fearful of having to experience it. And it is not even the pain itself that is so terrifying. It is my response to the pain that intimidates me the most. In expressing my feelings to others, I grant them the power to hurt me. I do not want anyone to have the power to hurt me because I do not trust that I will be able handle the reaction that ensues.
However, I have suffered from burying my emotions. I have grown incredibly aloof and dispassionate, and I have felt immensely lonely as my unwillingness to be vulnerable has prevented me from forming deep connections with others. In denying myself the experience of pain, I have inhibited my ability to feel joy.