When did our feelings become data points, a score on a scale to fill in darkly with number two pencil only, if you are going to erase make sure to do so completely? 

When did our feelings become competitions, they have it worse than you because of x, y, and z factors out of their control and you should really gain some perspective? 

When did our feelings become shameful, unreliable, your emotions are too strong therefore you are unfit to work with other humans and their emotions and especially unfit to guide them? 

When did our feelings become inconvenient, you have to save your tears for the shower so you can get somewhere on time and pass off your red face as too much hot water?

I can’t always define them.

I can’t always give them logic.

I can’t always control them.

I can’t always hide them.


I wrote this prose in response to “Emotional Composition” by Jenna Deal. As a crisis counselor, a significant portion of my job is providing emotional support, so I frequently work to dispel myths around emotions and their expression.

About the Artist

Chloe Doty,  Centre County
Published:  March 4, 2022