Unfortunately, a situation in which I used suppression to deal with my emotions recently came back to haunt me. My biological parents separated when my mother was pregnant with me and my biological father was in and out of my life from this point on. From problems with drug use to stints in prison he always was moving, losing jobs, and losing contact with my sister and I. He remarried and had my half brother with my step mom and during this time was more constant in my life. However, they both became more involved in drugs, he started missing visits and not answering calls until eventually all contact was lost in 2009.
I occasionally heard of his whereabouts from other relatives such as moving states and divorcing my step mom and her getting clean but made no further contact directly with him. All my life I had been vulnerable and blamed myself for my father not wanting to be around me. My older sister became jaded quicker than me and no longer worried about it. However, after this last time I used suppression and avoided all feelings or mention of him and replaced him with my step dad in the role of father. I deactivated, suppressed and avoided all mentions of him for 7 years.
About a month ago I received a message on Facebook from my biological father. He told me that after the death of his brother (my uncle who passed away a few months ago) he has finally realized the importance of family and wants to be a part of my life. Immediately upon receiving this all my suppressed emotions such as anger, sadness, grief, shame, disappointment, and fear came flooding back giving me a lot more to deal with than I’d bargained for. I am still working through these emotions that have poured back in and have yet to reply to the message. Overall I would not recommend suppression as a primary technique of dealing with emotions, especially not in the long term, because although the emotions went away at the time, I felt them with overwhelming force when forced to confront them again. 0/10 would not recommend 😦