I Hate to Cry

I really wish that the title of this post was a song lyric, or some profound quote. It isn’t. It’s the simple truth. It isn’t always true, but it often is, and I’m trying to work through why.

As a child, I cried pretty openly. I had a disadvantage; I was raised almost exclusively around adults, and my family expected “better” behavior of me than most children. I wasn’t allowed to play with any but the best behaved kids, and this put me at a deficit later. Why, you ask? Because when I did finally get around to being stuck with kids my age in school, I didn’t understand why they were little fucking monsters. I was raised to believe that I was supposed to be polite and apologize if I hurt someone’s feelings – and that it was okay to cry. Then I got into school and learned the hard way that crying was for babies.

Still, that isn’t where I learned to hate crying. I can’t attribute it all to what the Monster did to me, but I can say this. The second time he came into my room, when I was sure it wasn’t a nightmare and I was, in fact, going to be humiliated again, I started to cry. I remember exactly what he said to me. He said, “Don’t cry, don’t cry… It’ll feel good and I won’t tell anyone what you’re doing. It’s okay.”

For years, after, I never wanted to cry in front of anyone, because it felt as horribly embarrassing as the masturbation had been.

I don’t hate to cry in front of my fiance. That doesn’t bother me most of the time, and I can usually get through a crying jag in front of him. I can cry in front of my best friend; she’s this incredibly strong, wildly independent woman with a heart of gold and a will of steel. Nothing about her is weak, and I feel instinctively that every time I cry around her it is as though she is catching my tears and keeping me safe.

But I’ve dated women I couldn’t cry in front of. One of them, bless her heart, has never done anything to embarrass or humiliate me like the Monster did, but still, I can’t cry in front of her. I just can’t without feeling like I’m burning up from the inside out. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t feel as strong to me; I don’t feel I can trust her with my tears at all. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in love with her for too long to feel safe anymore because we’ve moved past love and into complacency. I don’t know. But I just can’t.

It aches to be unable to cry. When I finally cut loose and sob and cry, it feels like something has broken inside my head, and it hurts like hell.

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~ by oniongirl13 on April 10, 2009.

One Response to “I Hate to Cry”

  1. So many survivors have told me that they hate crying. So many have said that they wish they could cry but they literally can’t cry.

    I used to cry all the time. It was what I did. Rarely it was healing. When I got to flashbacks and therapy the tears got to be healing. After seeing a therapist who was cut me off each time I tried to talk about my abuse, even in general terms, I got so cut off from my emotions and only rarely cried, and it never felt healing. Finally after more than five years of struggling with this, some friends listened to me talk about this while they sent me Reiki energy and I can cry. Slowly I am getting out of this idea that I hate it, but it has been a year where I am still transitioning into crying, it feeling healing, and feeling okay with it. But I still usually like to do it alone.

    I think it is okay for survivors to share crying with whoever they think is safe and okay to do so. We had our boundaries violated so much. It is okay to say who is okay and who is not.

    I understand what you mean when you say that it aches to be unable to cry.

    Kate

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