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I shut all these things down and used words like “tired” and “in pain,” but at core, yes, I was afraid. Fear of unknown, and fear of being helpless and dependent.
I was also afraid of fantasized reactions of others, having come from a family of shame and blame. I think nothing will ever “happen” to me that I won’t feel like I caused it and was a ‘bad girl’ because of that. Words from an overwhelmed, shame-and-blame mother who saw everything as simply more work for her. Whatever caused ankle to break, I should’ve known better, I shouldn’t have done it, I shouldn’t have been there, and I should never have let it happen – as if I were omniscient and omnipotent. That means all-knowing and in control of everything in world. It was family that taught intellectual words, not feelings. Old childhood fears. In line with, “Whatever it is you fear has already happened.”
And at that particular moment in hospital corridor, well you never know what will turn up on any chest x-ray, no matter why it’s required. Nor had results of EKG come in yet. What if I went in with a broken ankle and came out with a bypass? Or worse yet, out back door on a stretcher. It’s been known to happen.
As J. Powell says in “Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?” emotions are not moral (good or bad). Feeling frustrated, or being annoyed, or experiencing fears and anger do not make one a good or bad person [a weak or strong person.] But this is theory. In our day-to-day lives most of us blame ourselves for our feelings.” And if we judge them to be “bad,” or unacceptable to us in some way, we bury them.
So there I sat in my wheelchair, silent and alone. And there was Abuelita, expressing her fear and getting comforted. It’s an old lesson: People care. If we say we’re afraid we can be comforted. If we don’t, we can’t.
All studies show that people do best who have a strong social support network, and if you don’t say WHO you are and HOW you are, you aren’t getting connection that sustains you. You remain alone in presence of others, which is loneliest you’ll ever be.
And let me close with words of technologist who finally did my x-ray. Dianna was her name. She read name of my company, Emotionally Intelligent Solutions, on chart. “What’s that,” she said, “Is that like I’m to point where I can’t stand any of my co-workers any more and I think they’re dumb and ignorant and feel like I’m about to explode,”
Yes, EQ is about that, too!
The woman works two 16-hour days, physical and demanding (how on earth do you do that?) and has three children at home. I gave her my card. I hope she’ll call me. It may not be her co-workers that are problem.
And that’s power of Emotional Intelligence. If you are problem, you are also solution, and Emotional Intelligence is bridge between two.
©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Coaching distance learning courses, and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your continued personal and professional development. For free ezine, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. I train and certify EQ coaches. Get in this field, dubbed “white hot” by the press, now, before it’s crowded, and offer your clients something of exceptional value. Start tomorrow, no residence requirement. Email for info.