Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Emotional constipation

Emotional constipation
29 April 2014

Emotional constipation is a most terrible condition.  Affecting many.

From personal experience, I can confirm that though the disease is definitely more prevalent amongst males, females too suffer.  No one is above being affected.  Nor inflicted.

Though for most, the condition is visible from a very young age.  And herein lies the problem.  Because of the early onset of symptoms for some, they are conditioned to suffer for life.  It is not easy to break free.  Though with determination and the will to succeed, they can.

I know a few sufferers.  And I bet you do too.

These are the people that battle to verbalise their feelings.  Struggle with physical affection.  Though sometimes, physical affection of sorts, is their only outlet.  They find it difficult to say how they feel.  To cope with great displays of emotion.  To read the emotions of others.  They can be awkward.  Skittish.  Edgy.  Aloof.

It can seem as if they’re blissfully unaware of the undercurrents in any given situation.  Not quite picking up on the finer nuances around them.

I think they prefer to lead a life of moderate emotion.  No great joy.  But no great sorrow either.

And I have to wonder – do they really not feel a full range of emotions?  Has their emotional growth been stunted? 

Or are they merely incapable of expressing them.  And giving them a voice?

Do they have a virtual melting pot of seething feelings just boiling beneath the surface?  Or is there simply a void?  A lack of feeling altogether?

Perhaps life is simpler for them.  Less fraught.  No emotional turmoil. 

Though maybe it’s just a phase.

My teenage son, has a near terminal case of emotional constipation.  Though perhaps that’s not fair.  He shows a certain range of emotions – albeit a limited few.  There’s desire for stuff.  Disappointment cause he doesn’t have stuff.  Repulsion at personal questions.  Distaste at school and teachers.  Jubilance and joy at sport. 

But that’s pretty much it. 

I’m hoping that if he doesn’t succumb to his emotional constipation and spontaneously expire, he should start showing a broader spectrum of emotions by the time he’s about eighteen or nineteen.

Not entirely sure I’ll make it that long.

Deeply longing for the day I can hold a conversation with him, that does not revolve around sport, stuff he wants, or stuff I didn’t get him.

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My absolute favourite quote from the Tarzan movie - so aptly used as well. The timing was impeccable!


  1. In the wise words of Carol Burnett - "This too will pass". Hang in there!

  2. He'll be back, Helene! Its like some kind of a vacation or journey to another planet that lots of boys take, having 3, I would estimate 2 out of 3. Or at least in my house! Wonderful descriptive blog! <3