The Problem With Being Dramatic ~ Blog Eight

The other day, while I was thinking about what to write, someone knocked on the door. Immediately my roommate and I looked at each other with panic because we never have company. Neither of us was expecting anyone, neither of us got a phone call or text saying someone was coming, and we don’t live in the safest neighborhood. Of course, both of us being dramatic and irrational started whisper fighting about who had to go get the door, all the while looking out all the windows trying to figure out what was going on and who could possibly need anything from us. After hiding and pretending we weren’t home for a few minutes, I realized I had to leave for work and was probably going to run into the stranger at our door. Finally, my roommate grabbed pepper spray and went to walk me to my car in case it was a murderer or something…long story short, it was the mailman and I did end up being late to work. The point I am getting at here is that I am over dramatic and it inconveniences my life. 

I never set out to be dramatic; it is just my unelicited reaction. Almost everytime I overreact to something I realize the amplitude of my overreaction as soon as I settle down. 

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The reality is that the word drama has a negative stigma. You aren’t “sensitive” or “unstable”, but you’re dramatic and you better knock it off. My family always tells me things like, “You are making a mountain out of a molehill” or “Stop crying over spilled milk”. The truth is, coming from a dramatic person, that sometimes when we cry over spilled milk…the milk was just the breaking point. To the bystanders, the person having the unwarranted reaction to spilled milk is acting dramatic. To the person in distress? The bad test that day was discouraging, the rude peer was hurtful, the traffic was stressful, the night before was restless, the flat tire was an inconvenience, but when that milk spilled…it was the final point of agitation that they could handle that day. It’s silly and it’s dramatic, but for people who don’t take a minute to address their emotions or channel their frustration, that’s how it all comes out. 

I’ve pretty much always been dramatic. My problem is two-fold: I feel my emotions with a magnitude and I’m also passive aggressive. The way I feel emotions is that if I’m sad or hurt, it’s like crashing into a wall and sinking to the bottom of a hole simultaneously. If I’m happy or excited, my whole world becomes rose-colored and I want so badly for everyone to be happy or excited to that same extent. Happy, sad, anxious, fear…whatever I am feeling, I sincerely feel it. I don’t think this is a bad attribute, I love this about myself. I would settle for 100 days of sadness just for 5 days of pure happiness, opposed to being someone who never truly feels anything at all. My downfall is that I am a passive aggressive people-pleaser. You could hurt my feelings for 2 years and I would try the whole time to neutralize the situation, appease your feelings, and save our friendship; I can’t stand any type of negative confrontation. Maybe I make a little comment here or there, but I’ll avoid a big confrontation at all costs. For 2 years, every little time you say or do something hurtful, I really am hurt and I’m feeling that hurt at full magnitude. Maybe it’s because I was raised knowing right from wrong, manners, and the decent way to treat someone that other people’s actions affect me so strongly; I don’t understand hurtful behavior.  Again, I am passive aggressive…I’m sure it wouldn’t be such a downfall if I didn’t have such strong emotions. So anyways, fast forward 2 years and I have let all my strong emotions stew, passing up countless opportunities to handle them…and then enters my dramatic side. It could be anything from a slammed door to a rude snicker and my time bomb will go off. My dramatic overreaction will make a surprise appearance and it won’t really have anything to do with a slammed door and everything to do with the comment you made about my family 3 months ago. So, yeah, that usually is the reason I’ll cry over spilled milk (whether I realize it at the time or not). 

I don’t solely bottle up my angry/hurt feelings, my dramatics aren’t just anger… When I first moved into my apartment I was feeling restless. I didn’t have a job yet, all my friends were back home, I didn’t know the area or have anyone to explore it with (my roommate was working most days), school hadn’t started, I got caught up with all my tv shows, and I was so bored. This was okay for about a week and then I was restless, bored, lonely, and about to go insane. Of course, I felt these emotions pretty strong and also I didn’t really have a way to channel them. One weekend my family was in town for some reason and dropped off my guitar that I had left at home. I thought, “This is perfect! I’ll finally learn how to play this thing and have something to do!”. That night I sat on the floor and ate spaghettios out of a can for dinner (we didn’t have a table or a working stove yet), ignored the intolerable heat of the apartment (air conditioning was not hooked up yet), and listened to my roommate talk about work as I happily tuned my guitar…so excited to be having something to do! Now, there’s no way to make what happened next sound as dramatic or as heartbreaking as it truly was for me, but my guitar string broke. You would have thought that my dog died. I got upset, of course, and I’m pretty sure I went to bed about 6 o’clock that night, unable to carry on with the evening. How ridiculous, right? Believe it or not, I truly felt as upset as my reaction conveyed. I had built up so many feelings of isolation and uselessness, and then I found one small thing that was going to maybe bring me a little joy and that didn’t work out for me. I wasn’t upset that the guitar that I’ve had forever and never learned how to play had a broken string, I just had arrived at my final agitation before I had to confront my feelings. Yes I know, If God brought you to it, he’ll bring you through it. I finally got a job that I love a few weeks later and school started, keeping me busy with work. Yes, I overreacted. I know.  A few days later my roommate sent me the picture below saying, “This was you when your guitar string broke.” 

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It’s what I do; I feel deeply, I don’t always handle my emotions correctly, and I tend to instinctively fall apart. Almost 100% of the time I come to my senses and realize I have just hurt a friendship or wasted an evening overreacting. Yes, I am a drama queen. No, this is not the best title. Yes, I am trying to work on it. But now that I have explained myself, try to give the teenage girl having a Kim Kardashian-sized freak out the benefit of the doubt. 

A final note: this blog is not in any way me rationalizing my dramatics. Getting a hold on my strong emotions is something I really do need to work on. But for all of you out there who are having a mental breakdown, crying over spilled milk, or irrationally afraid of the knock on your door and are being ignored just because everyone thinks you’re being dramatic…I get it…I know you really do feel as upset as you are acting…even if the mountain you are facing really is just a molehill. Don’t let anyone shame you for feeling the way you feel; you are entitled to your emotions! Also, however, realize you need to take some time to talk through things, meditate, call a friend, and most importantly talk to God. Pray for tranquility. 

P.S. I am also sometimes irrational without reason, I’m not sure about this…

 

 

 

 

 

*I do not own these puctures*

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