I’m lying in bed but I can’t sleep because of a horrible tight feeling in my chest. It’s the heavy hearted feeling I get when I feel hurt. Of all the emotions, I find this kind of hurt – when you feel disappointed by someone, or neglected or used – especially difficult to deal with. It’s even harder to do without lashing out with tears or anger. I know that I tend to withdraw in these situations, nursing my wounds and hoping that they recover before I have to see or speak to the person in question again. In some cases this has led to months passing by without contact, by which time things have become so awkward that a whole new set of issues arise. Not good. Less dramatic, and more usual, is that after a short time I simply dismiss the hurt and act as if nothing’s happened. This solution isn’t great either, though. While it’s good to let go of negative emotions, letting go is different to not voicing them at all. I know I need to find the words to articulate how I feel. But expressing vulnerability – admitting that I am hurt – is so hard. It feels like too much of a chink in the armour of self-protection.

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