Are We All Walking Time Bombs?

This week we heardabout yet another school shooting ( The U.S. is # 1 in that category) where the killer was described by other students and neighbors as a "fairly quiet and good kid who pretty much stuck to himself."  A student who hid in a classroom while the shooting occurred told reporters," He was a nice guy who I never suspected could shoot anyone." Yes there were reports of problems at home, but enough to make someone kill?

As a body centered therapist who wrote a book called, What's Your Body Telling You? I have seen many people who were not prone to violence, hit a gasket one day and do something drastic. I wonder and ask, are we all walking time bombs? Dr. Pamela Peeke of the University of Maryland says, "The human body was never meant to deal with prolonged chronic stress. We weren't meant to drag around bad memories, anxieties, and frustrations." Well, that's exactly what we have forced our bodies to do.

How many times have unexpressed feelings built up from tension at work been held in and one day caused people to come home and let it out on their spouse and kids?  How many road rage incidents happened from left over anger unexpressed at the morning breakfast table or an unresolved incident years before?

Not me many say? I used to say that until I worked with a "peaceful" monk who after ten years of living at a monastery was hauled off to jail, after re-entering society and getting into a violent argument with a woman. The unexpressed emotions he felt towards childhood abuse from his mom, only sat dormant while in solitude, but they got triggered and jumped out of his body when he got in an argument with a woman he started dating shortly after leaving the monastery.

Of course there are many complex psychological components that could drive someone who is not seen as a murderer type to shoot a gun, break a window or hurt another person when they just can't take the feelings they have inside anymore, but for this blog I'll just highlight the importance to feel and express what we feel inside, instead of using our bodies as storage tanks.

When we get filled up with too much emotion we need to find safe ways to clear it out the stress or we could wind up hurting ourselves or someone else.

I know for myself if I let tension build rather then talk, move, or exercise it out  I can either run myself down or say or do something that I am sorry for after. And in the past, I have thrown things, banged walls, said hurtful things or gripped my jaw like a vice. Even though I know many of us usually can "keep it together" enough not to do anything drastic, its still vital that each of us make sure we find ways to release emotion and tensions so they don't explode and ruin so many people's lives, like the young man at Chardon High School did.