When I’m Not Bouncing, I’m Yo-Yoing (a post about emotions)



“When you’re happy, you enjoy the music. But when you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.” Frank Ocean

My husband John and I rode for what seemed like a long time, even though probably only 15 minutes, in the opposite direction of Claire’s mom while Claire (our almost three-year-old granddaughter) cried, kicked the back of the driver’s seat, and begged us, “Go in that direction.”

She pointed back toward the park where we’d picked her up. She’d been with friends and missed her afternoon nap, on top of waiting to eat dinner with us. Between the two, being tired and hungry, she melted down when her mom drove away from our meeting spot halfway between our houses. We’d met to pick up Claire and keep her for a couple of days.

We finally pulled over. I hugged her and walked her around. By now, she gasped for breath and kept asking to go in that direction, while pointing the right way even though we’d made two turns. Nothing calmed her. Not talking to her mom on the phone. Not her favorite snack.

And especially not John telling her, “Stop it.”

She wore herself out, but not before she’d also worn out John. He’d become as frazzled as her.

At the house, Claire’s mood turned around after three bites of pizza. She talked about playing in the park and asked where we bought the fish that was new on our wall.

“I’m so happy you feel better,” I said.

She placed her hand on her chest, tilted her head, and said, “Oh, Mammy, I sorry, but I was so sad. I just missed my mommy so much.”

John and I laughed through our tears at her sweet voice and sincere apology. Both times she said “so,” she accentuated the word. I looked at John to see him calming down also.

“You can’t have the highs without the lows,” I said. 


It wasn’t like he didn’t know that from experience. I’m a yo-yo, but he’s never appreciated it and neither have I. If I had tried to talk him into it, we both would have questioned, “What’s there to appreciate?”

Before we ever had kids, I was diagnosed with something, probably manic-depressive disorder. I was eligible for free counseling sessions through our health insurance if my therapist assigned a label. This was years prior to half our population being branded with diagnoses, so the therapist squirmed telling me I had to have one. He didn’t volunteer what it was and I never asked.

I’m not convinced my emotional overload needs to be labeled a disorder, but I do want to find order in it.

I, as well as everyone around me, tried to eliminate my emotions, bury my emotions, or ignore my emotions to the point that for years I’ve had trouble breathing, as well as living. I’d prefer John and I team up like we often talk about and accept, appreciate, and work together to understand my emotions, and his too.

My dad, who had the same overload, asked me anytime I’d run to my room, close the door, and cry uncontrollably, “Who do you think you are acting like that?”

Instead of asking about “acting like that,” I wish he’d asked about my feelings since they drove everyone a little crazy, including me.

After he asked, I wish Dad had cared about my answers. My responses may have helped us both.

I’m a little girl who’s scared you and Mom are going to divorce.

I’m a little girl who’s afraid you’re not okay, which means I’m not okay because we’re a lot alike.

I’m a little girl who loves you no matter what. I wish that’d make a difference in how angry you get and how scared you look.

If we are to get our own lives, we have to come to terms with all of who we are.
If we are to love the people in it, we have to do the same for them. 



My high mood is when I shop for an hour at Target to find the swirly dress and collared shirts, the princess wand, and a Little Tike’s basketball goal.

It’s when my husband and I talk for hours about the house we’ve looked at to buy in “Mitchfield” (Litchfield Beach), as Claire calls it.

It’s when I can’t get enough of Claire and her little brother, and laugh loud on FaceTime because they’ve gotten down from eating dinner to dance to Fight Song … again.



The flipside, not synonymous with the bad side, is my low mood when I’m focused on what’s wrong with you and me. I cry over spilt milk, literally. I curl up in bed and stay there all day because a child is missing in Disney.

I’m not sure these are because of a diagnosis or if we’re all plagued at times with life. What I am sure of is it’s helping to accept the lows right along with my highs.

Everyone welcomes laughter, but Claire’s teaching me to embrace it all – her high-spirited personality, as well as her fits of emotion and her soggy face. And mine, and yours. I mean, I would never dismiss her feelings or label them, so why do it to myself?

What’s up with this blog post about emotions and what’s it got to do with getting our own lives? #GettingYourOwnLife

It’s inconvenient, frustrating, and sometimes scary to feel bad, but it’s as necessary as feeling good so we know what’s going on with ourselves and each other,  and so we have direction (what to do and what not to do). One purpose of emotions (both the positive and the ones we consider to be negative) is guidance.

We label and try to eradicate or medicate our God-given emotions given to us to guide our next step towards #GettingYourOwnLife and our God-given emotions given to us so we’ll relate and have compassion #WhileLovingthePeopleinIt.

But, like I told John about Claire, we can’t have the highs without the lows. 

While researching “the purpose of our emotions,” I found an article on PsychologyToday.com (see link below) where the author talks about having too much emotion and not enough outlets like when we lived in the wilderness and fled from tigers. She said, “Perhaps emotions get out of whack today because they bubble without an effective outlet.”

Let’s choose #GettingYourOwnLife #WhileLovingthePeopleinIt to be our effective outlet. What do you think? I think it’ll keep me on my own yo-yo string and maybe even appreciating it.

In This Together,

Click here to read “Why Do We Have Emotions?” by Ilana Simons Ph.D. @ PsychologyToday.com.



9 responses »

  1. Hi Kim! We’ve talked before, I am Grandma Layton’s granddaughter. I love your blog and would like permission to share. Thanks! Kathy Tracy www. elizabethlayton.com Have a blessed day! 😊

    • Oh my gosh, Kathy, it’s wonderful to hear from you at this very moment. Before I responded back to you, I outlined next week’s blog post. You’re in it. ❤ I can't explain here or there what your message means to me. There aren't words, but I'll do my best.

      Yes, please share! And I think you gave me permission to share Grandma Layton's artwork on my blog, didn't you? I'd like to include one of her drawings next week.

      Thanks for your encouragement. Really, thank you!

  2. Very honest post Kim. I could never understand why we were given emotions by God and then society tells us that it is not good to have them. Obviously we have them for a reason. It almost seems like the comment , “You are so emotional” comes along with the idea they are bad and not acceptable. It takes way too much energy to fight them so others can be more comfortable. When we are sensitive emotions come even stronger because we feel more about more things and even deeper. “Emotional” and “Sensitive” are cool things to have when we are a song writer. We would never have those heart jerking songs if we did not embrace emotions sometimes. Right? lol, I should probably stop before I get up on my podium today and post a new blog post on YOUR blog! Guess it struck a nerve. Or maybe I am launching in a good way , lol

    • Pastor Jenine Marie, you preach it anytime you want to on blog! And I mean it. 🙂 I love you and your sermons. ❤ And I love your launching. We've talked so much about this, there have to be more of us, right? There have to be others who "feel" (too much, so we're told) the same way we do, yes?

      When I was writing this, my first thought … maybe I don't need to tell them all about your emotions.

      My next thought … yeah, that's right, hide out longer and die a little more.

      So here I am, #GettingMyOwnLife. 🙂

      Thank you!

  3. This helped me better understand others who yoyo. My husband is much more emotional than I am. The few times I can remember expressing strong emotion as a child, I was punished or reprimanded. I remember my cousin crying at my grandmother’s funeral and my father saying to me how awful that was and how good it was that neither of us were crying in public. I was in my 40s then. Much of the time I have trained myself to be controlled and “comfortably numb.” That was pretty difficult when I was going through menopause. Thanks for another honest post and another contribution to understanding relationships.

    • Mary, I laughed about menopause. I imagine that was tough. 😉

      For a lot of years, I didn’t display emotions like crying in public either and I’m still uncomfortable when I do. John will tell you, I saved it all for home. 🙂 It’s taken its toll to keep my emotions in line with others and how they think I should feel, and to also keep my responses logical and low key, again, like others think I should.

      Claire’s helped so much even though I don’t plan to act like a three-year-old anymore than I already have. I do want to reconcile within myself, and hopefully within some of my relationships too, how important it is to me to feel and feel okay about it. ❤

      It helps me to understand myself and others when I write about us and read comments like yours. Thank you!

      P.S. I'm amazed you can write with such emotion when you mention being controlled and comfortably numb. Maybe that's why your writing is at the depth that it is, you pour your emotions into it. ❤

  4. From Facebook (S. Kim Henson) ~

    John B. Henson, Angie Mojica and 2 others

    Diane Wilson Dale I think you’re amazing, and such a gifted writer. Thank you for sharing your gift with us!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · June 30 at 3:57am

    S. Kim Henson Awww, Diane Wilson Dale. Thanks for reading and leaving such a kind comment. ❤ I've been off FB most of the day, but I keep checking on you and Jerry. Last post I saw, he was doing better. Thinking about y'all a lot right now.
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 30 at 9:32pm

    JJ Warren Snyder Thank you for being so transparent. It makes those of us who share similar experiences/feelings breathe a little easier. ❤ I'd love to meet for breakfast/lunch etc when you check back in.
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · June 30 at 9:13am

    S. Kim Henson I appreciate you, JJ Warren Snyder, as well as your transparency. We're helping each other, for sure. ❤ I'd love to meet sometime after July 11. I'm on lockdown and writing until then. 🙂 I have to schedule something with Niki and Margo also, so maybe closer to the end of the month. Does that work for you?
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 30 at 9:37pm

    JJ Warren Snyder Sounds good – let me know!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · Yesterday at 3:18pm

    S. Kim Henson JJ Warren Snyder, I sure will.
    Like · Reply · Just now

  5. From Facebook (Kim Henson) ~

    Gayle Sloan, Wanda Doyal and 6 others


    Summer Turner Very interesting!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · June 30 at 5:50pm

    Kim Henson Thanks for reading and commenting, Summer Turner!
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 30 at 7:49pm

    Summer Turner My brain is dead, or I might have thought of more to say, lol.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · June 30 at 9:11pm

    Kim Henson Summer Turner, I sure understand. Mine’s dead too. I’m finally leaving my house tomorrow night. When an introvert looks forward to a party, you know I’ve been home and alone a LOT.
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 30 at 9:29pm

    Summer Turner Haha!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · June 30 at 9:29pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s