….so said Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Psycho. This ‘little’ madness can take many forms; it can cause sleeplessness, stomach upsets, migraines, headaches, irritability, depression, addictions, anger, the act of behaving inappropriately – whichever way it manifests itself, in my opinion it all boils down to one thing. Repression or being repressed by violent feelings that haven’t been allowed to surface and be expressed.
Repressing feelings leads to madness, so says me. Repressing one’s deepest inner thoughts turns up in one way or another as some sort of fruitcake behaviour, and I am guilty of this, have been guilty of this my whole life.
Repression sends us mad, so what can we do about it (repression)? We can’t go around telling everyone what we think of them (if only), but perhaps there are some ways we can deal with this most hideous of emotions.
Being repressed is more than a state of being; it’s a feeling, a sensation, a cloud that blocks out the light in our life.
To understand the repression in our lives, we have to ask ourselves the question: what or who is repressing us. Sometimes the answers that come are painful to admit. It might be our significant other or our best friend who is repressing us, it might be our job, our lifestyle, our in-laws, our general life’s work.
To get to the nub of what is repressing us we have to truly know ourselves, so perhaps in analysing who or what is repressing us we should ask ourselves who we are.
If we are quiet types, repression might be coming in the form of feeling pressured to be social all the time, it might be coming in the form of the feeling ignored or belittled because we don’t often put ourselves out there.
In my case, repression comes (and always has come) in the form of feeling as though I have to live up to other people’s expectations of how a woman like me is supposed to act. By that I mean I feel repressed by the fact that I have to act in this or that way, when I really want to do something completely different. For example, I don’t like social events, find them very, very difficult and feel repressed when I have to attend them and how bad does that look in this day and age of social-everything. But that doesn’t mean I am anti-social, far from it. I love people, love talking to absolutely everyone.
Being sociable is expected and not liking social events is frowned upon. Acting in a feminine way is expected of a woman and not acting with feminine politeness is frowned upon. The list is endless.
Repression is the opposite of expression, and the expression of our inner most selves, either to the outside world, to our closest allies and/or to ourselves is paramount in keeping ourselves healthy mentally. Repression is pretending we like swimming when we loathe it; repression is ignoring our need for a long walk in nature, when that’s exactly what we want to do. Multiply these repressions by the everyday and we all go a little mad sometimes.