Just Too Emotional

The+stall+that+has+seen+more+vulnerability+and+constitutional+weakness+from+me+than+any+human+ever.+My+safe+space.+

Jasmine Rossiter

The stall that has seen more vulnerability and constitutional weakness from me than any human ever. My safe space.

Jasmine Rossiter, Blog

Just Too Emotional.

That is what every person who has come in contact with me says. But they were the emotionless ones. My safe space has always been to cry, but I always felt guilty after.

Just Too Emotional.

I grew up mostly with my mom in our Asian household. My parents are divorced, but I would see my dad occasionally. He is a white military SFC ranked man, meaning feelings are never on the table for discussion. The only emotions expressed are anger, frustration, and pressure; I think this is where my worries heightened and eventually became constant panic attacks. Funny enough, it came as a shock to my parents that their daughter needed therapy.

Because to them, I was always Just Too Emotional.

When quarantine hit, I remember everyone hating it, but I loved it. Quarantine helped me escape from real life since I was locked away in the only place I had the slightest bit of comfort. However, this drastic shift in the world shifted everything for me mentally as well.

Going back to school in person during Quarter 3 of last year, I didn’t dare to raise my hand in class. It has been almost a year back in person, and this is still the case. Teachers ask for volunteers. I know in my heart that I want to share. But peering eyes glancing my way spike my tense muscles, so I keep my mouth shut. I feel horrible after. Teachers are here to teach, help us interact, and communicate, but I can’t speak.

At the end of Quarter 1, the school counselors spoke to us about senior year. They talked about GPAs, courses, senior life, and plans after high school. I searched for nerves: clawing at my forearms, biting the inside of my cheeks, bending my fingernails backward, and holding my wrists as tightly as I could, then quickly releasing. Physical pressure to my body is what I used on myself to calm the anxiety in my brain.

When the counselors opened the last 10 minutes of class to questions, arms went up, including mine. I had never taken any AP, honors, or dual credit classes. I was already in my 3rd year of high school, but I felt the opposite of almost everyone in my class. As hands continued to raise, mine slowly went back to my lap. I glanced toward the windows as I sat in the back. I probably looked like I didn’t care at all about this conversation, but I was fighting back the tears. I knew crying in my mask would cause another panic attack. I rushed to my bag, which was thankfully on my lap since I use it for security. I brought out my small fidget to distract myself.

The bell rang. Without getting my questions answered and self-ridicule building, I rushed to the only safe space I felt in my school and this world: my news writing class. In that class were the only people in my life who could be painfully raw but emotionally supportive. Or maybe they were the only people I allowed in: empaths with ethics.

I always walked through the door with built-up anger and frustration; I always left reassured and not labeled or judged.

But during Quarter 2, with the constant back and forth of insecurity and uncertainty, I decided to push away this safe space and the people in it. My new security became the C building bathroom. This was the only place where closed doors meant no one saw my vulnerability.

It was difficult to have conversations with anyone. I didn’t allow myself to open up. When someone would show the slightest bit of kindness, I would push away in fear. I developed a stutter from my lack of verbal demands. This ultimately made it even harder for me to communicate. Which I was OK with for a while.

I was Just Too Emotional to have any genuine interactions. I was Just Too Emotional to make friends easily.

I think I have heard myself labeled as Just Too Emotional so many times that I eventually rolled with it. I went as far as calling myself dramatic after every outburst.

But I was gaslighting myself, punishing myself for having emotions.

I never gave myself a chance.

In the middle of Quarter 3, my panic attacks reached their peak. I cracked every tensed ligament in my hands, so much so that they began to shake even when idle. At least once a day, I asked to use the bathroom during class to cry. Unfortunately, this sometimes led to a panic attack.

That was when I realized I am not Just Too Emotional. With balancing school, being a manager at my workplace, deep intrusive thoughts, and having no emotional outlet besides the one classroom I am in for two hours 2-3 times a week, I finally realized these feelings are normal.

Everyone handles their stressors differently. I am not alone. I had an epiphany that it was OK to talk to people.

So I did.

I talked, shared, and cried in front of people instead of behind the third bathroom stall of C building. No more tense fists, fidgeting distraction toys, or rubbing my neck for security. I realized people would be there for me if I allowed them in.

I have myself. I have people who love and support me. I also have people who WILL tear me down.

I am not Just Too Emotional. I am human.