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Friday, May 2, 2014

Do you tell yourself it's OK to cry??

Fact:  I don't like to cry.
Fact:  If I'm crying, and you see it - there's a big reason for it.

Both of these statements are 100% factual.

Today's blog was inspired by a post I saw on Facebook by another blogger, Bipolar Mom 101, who asked on Facebook, "Do you tell yourself it's OK to cry or do you fight back the tears?"

It's a good question.  It's not just a female to female question - it's an across the board question, and one that gave me so much thought I needed to blog about it - IMMEDIATELY.

Growing up, for the most part I had to be "tough."  I had a lot of responsibility for a kid and well, whatever.  Life wasn't all sunshine and roses.  I didn't cry, because crying showed weakness.  If I was upset, I didn't show it.  I didn't cry.  If I did cry, no one knew about it.  I didn't want to be comforted or coddled. I cried in silence.

Over the past decade of my life, I think I can count on one hand the amount of times I've cried.  Once over the death of my brother, which lasted for weeks.  Once over the death of my dear friend, Ed, which of course lasted for days.  Once when my son left for boot camp (but I was alone in my car - no one saw me.  Does that count?) and once in a situation where so many past memories collided, my emotions went on overload and I couldn't handle the situation.  (totally embarrassing)
I can't think of another time.

Granted, I've been in a good place.  I'm lucky and I'm blessed.  I also work and fight to be in this good place.  It's a gift, not an entitlement.

Have I been upset by things in the meantime?  Of course.  Would these upsetting moments bring others to tears?  Probably.  Does that make me callous or unfeeling?  Or afraid?  Or Jaded?

I don't know.

I do know that I'm not alone in this.  I know others, like me, who've toughened to life.  Tough on the outside, mush on the inside.  Crying in silence, where no one knows.  Where no one can see.  So no one sees the cracks in the armor...or the vulnerabilities that others may take advantage of.

Babies cry as their only means of communication, when they have a need to be met - hunger, pain, fear, comfort - whatever.  They cry.

My sister-in-law once told me that in her travels to third world countries, she'd visited orphanages - and the babies there don't cry.  They don't cry because no matter how much they may cry - their needs can't always be met.  It's almost as if they've learned in the first few months of their lives that their cries for help will never be met - so why bother.


Is this what life does to some of us?  We don't cry because we don't believe our needs will be met, so why bother?

I leave you in this with the original thought of this blog....

"Do you tell yourself it's OK to cry or do you fight back the tears?"

Thank you for reading my blog.


PS.  All's well, this is just your typical "over thinking Jenn" post ;)

1 comment:

  1. I have a somewhat opposite problem. I have a very hard time holding back my tears. I wear my heart on my sleeve. But I come from a family much like yours, where people are expected to be stoic. So I get a lot of criticism and irritated looks from my family members when I am upset. My mom even refused to speak to me when I was crying about my cat dying, and my dad accused me of making myself upset on purpose!
    On a sidenote, about your sister's experiences in orphanages... crying is the only way babies have for communicating, and it is also how they form healthy attachments. When a baby cries and his parents quickly come to feed him, change him, rock him to sleep, or otherwise comfort him, he learns that other people will take care of him, and that is how he learns to love others and to connect with people throughout his life. If a baby cries, and sometimes someone comes to help a little but usually there is nothing, he learns that others are untrustworthy and that he is all alone in the world. That is why a lot of children who have spent time in orphanages in other countries, or who were neglected by their parents, have Reactive Attachment Disorder... because they never learned to trust, to be cared for, and to care about others.
    Not-so-fun fact!


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