C’Mon – Get OVER it Already…
How many times have you heard that phrase – “Get over it!” I’m guessing, quite a lot. From the time of childhood scrapes and falls to later on break-ups and upsets, the seasoned advice from our elders and peers can take the form of mandated , obligatory swallowing of emotion and unexpressed feelings.
Why? Because it’s the right thing to do? Because you are stronger if you don’t show how you feel? Does it make you look better if you don’t express that let-down, the anger, the pain or the sorrow that brims up within you?
That’s not the reason for the, “Get over it” many people advise. They say these words and offer this response because they are uncomfortable with expression, especially of subjects like pain, shame or loss.
Who determines when we are clear? When we have resolved old energies that have sat within us? Who sets the bar of the level of acceptable healing and expression?
If you allow anyone else to decide your comfort and expression for you, then you are truly holding back on yourself and willingly giving away your power.
Many of the issues in the world today are caused because of lack of communication, expression and the rush to just “get over” things. And when families adopt this as their pattern, generations are imprinted with the philosophy that pushing the pain down is the best way to deal with life. Want to know why things like cancer, heart disease and stroke are hereditary? Take a look at how these families deal with life and their emotions. It goes way beyond a simple predisposition of dis-ease.
Now it’s very easy to get caught up in the play by play – retelling the same story over and over, explaining your feelings and emotions. Sometimes an addiction can form by identifying so much with the drama of the story itself, as well as the reactions given when the story is shared. That is something quite different from suppressing trauma.
I am reminded of an incident that happened when I was six years old and in first grade. A little boy, named Sean, came up behind me while we were in line getting ready to go back to class from recess. He lifted up my skirt, pulled down my underwear and kissed my butt cheek. I was mortified. I began crying uncontrollably and ran to tell the teacher. I explained what happened, and Sean was punished. I was sent to the restroom to wash my face, but still the tears kept coming. I could not stop crying. I returned to class and much to my teacher’s dismay, it was quite apparent that I had not calmed down. I remember her grabbing me by my shoulders, looking down at me and grimacing, “It’s done. It’s over. Get over it. Suck it up and move on.” She shook me by my shoulders and I was scared to the point that I knew I needed to stop crying.
Get over it.
To anyone else, this may have been an overreaction of a six-year-old girl who was embarrassed to have her underwear pulled down. But to someone who’d been sexually abused, like I’d been, it was something entirely different. I had never been able to tell anyone about my uncle that molested me. I was told to keep it a secret, and I did – for decades. Who knows if the truth would’ve come out that day if I could have let the rest of that pain and shame out. It’s a possibility. Maybe the abuse would’ve stopped. Maybe my entire life would’ve been different. Who knows. I don’t put that responsibility on my teacher, but I use this as an example that we never really know all that goes in another’s life other than what we see on the surface. To hold them to a personal standard or curtail their expression because it’s more convenient is a travesty.
Want to know what happens to those emotions and pain that we readily stuff down? They manifest in the physical. That energy has to go somewhere. Many times it will appear through personality traits and redirection, but that only allows so much release. Until an emotion is dealt with and healed, it lays buried in the physical body expressing itself in a much different way. Sometimes the pain is so deep seeded, that the only way for the brain to deal with it is to hide the memory. This can result in PTSD, personality dissociation, and many other psychological issues. Because once again, that energy has to go somewhere.
I was diagnosed with ovarian issues at the age of twelve and had to have my first female exam at that time. I’d had a lady family doctor, so going to see an OB/GYN freaked me out enough, but knowing that I would have a male doctor was much worse. This man was an old school MD. His office was dark, with paneled walls and a musty smell. His desk sat on one side of the room and the exam table was on the other side of the room. We sat and discussed my symptoms, and soon I was directed to get into a gown, lay on the table and place my feet in the stirrups.
The first thing I noticed when the doctor came back into the room was the heat coming from the lamp at the end of the table as he moved it closer to me. The second thing I noticed was that he didn’t put exam gloves on.
He began his examination, which was quite painful, and I began to cry. I was embarrassed. I wanted to die. I wanted him to stop. He said he’d found a “blockage” and proceeded to get a set of surgical scissors and without any numbing agents cut me. I screamed as he did this and began to move from the table, trying to escape. He held my legs down and scolded me, telling me not to be a baby, that it didn’t hurt that bad. And as he grabbed tissues and began mopping up the blood, he said, “Get over it. You have nothing to cry about now.”
Get over it.
Well, things didn’t work out that way.
Those memories and experiences took their toll on me, both physically and emotionally. They shaped my life and by not releasing them, I faced several hurdles I had to cross. In my late thirties, this all came to a head, when one night I was pushed down on my bed by a trusted member of the family. He had followed me into my room, told me he loved me and wanted me for himself. For the first time in my life I stood my ground and said No. I pushed back at him and demanded that he leave. And that is when the childhood memories started to slowly come up to the surface. That one intense experience, where I was able to align with my power, opened a door that had been closed for sometime.
Within a few weeks, after severe bouts of pain, I had an ovarian cyst burst. As I moved through feeling the physical trauma, the emotions that I had hidden away for such a long time came flooding back into my conscious memory. I relived the experiences of abuse starting from the age of three and going on until I was eight years old. I didn’t have the perception then, that I do now, to know that this was a process of release. The emotions had stored in my sexual organs (the ovaries) and when the cyst burst, by feeling the physical pain, the emotion came forward as well. That energy was released, so the memories were released right along with it.
I can tell you with all honesty that this event turned my life upside down. When I looked for support and assistance in working through this, I turned to a friend who happened to be in the alternative health field as well. She told me about imbalances she was picking up in my energy field, and I told her what I was feeling in regards to the sexual abuse, which I believed was causing the issue. Her reply back to me was, “Get over it. In fact get the f*** over it. It’s in the past. You will never be able to do the work you need to do here until you get over it.”
Get over it. Get the f*** over it.
While all of these people who gave this advice may have meant well, their words burned into my mind and even deeper into my soul. I believed myself to be weak and inept at breaking free of the heaviness of guilt, shame and pain. But one thing was very clear to me – I could not just “get over it.” There was no magic wand, no prayer, no ritual or therapy that would instantly sweep all those lower emotions from my mind. I had to feel them. I had to express them. I had to purge them from my very existence until I could feel them no longer.
I couldn’t get over it. I had to move through it.
There are still times when I will be triggered. A photo will come up that reminds me of a memory of that time, or someone will mention something else that takes me back. I will be saddened, but now instead of pushing those emotions away, I allow myself to feel them. By doing so, I am healthier, happier and much cleared than I’ve been before.
Don’t hold back on yourself by allowing someone to dictate your level of expression. Move through the emotions at your own speed. No other soul walks the path of your journey. There is never a time limit for healing.