One of the biggest breakthroughs that I’ve had in recognizing hidden emotions happened during the journaling session yesterday. I recounted my first date with a boy that I had a major crush on when I was 15. I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say it was an agonizingly embarrassing date that ended badly. So badly, that I’ve tried very hard to wipe it from my memory. While journaling, I was surprised to discover that all the humiliation/anger over the date had been directed at myself for decades, instead of at the young man who had acted in an entirely inappropriate way. The more I journaled, the angrier I became at HIM. This is important because I believe this date was instrumental in setting me up for a lifetime of relationship appeasement and fear of abandonment; always assuring lovers that their wants were more important than my own. People-pleasing ad nauseam. Even after many years of marriage, I still struggle with sharing honest emotions with my spouse for fear he won’t find me attractive if I’m not always the happy, optimistic woman I’ve portrayed all these years. Our mutual marital dishonesty is likely the primary source of my pain.