Monday, May 08, 2006

Cry baby

When I was a kid, nothing got me madder than those words, and tonight I find myself using them against myself.

Our culture doesn't approve of wearing your emotions openly, and I had to learn to hide mine. I've got the poker face, the happy face, the dignified face, the cut-the-bullshit face and several others all easily at my command. I used to envy the Martians in The Martian Chronicles who carried tangible masks they could hold up to hide their emotions. It seemed a much saner choice, the whole culture acknowledging that real feelings were too precious to be exposed, than pretending the faces we saw were the reality.

Things have been getting to me lately. I've run through anger, fear, disgust, giddiness, excitement and fatigue at damn near record speeds. I'm holding the stress in tightly knotted muscles that resent moving now. I'm hoping tremendously this is just perimenopause.

I've tried to take care of myself by creating a reasonable schedule and sticking to it, nurturing myself with music and art, and finally turning off all the sounds. That's when the tears came. Though I can cry easily over a movie, a wedding, a funeral, crying for myself, for my wounds isn't easy. It feels weak, selfish and self-indulgent. Once the floodgates open though, it's hard to stop, and eventually, I can just soak in the self-pity and the self-disgust until it passes as well. Sometimes I need the catharsis of tears. Intellectually, I know that crying occasionally is good for a person. I've read that tears actually contain cancer toxins that have been released from the body. Emotionally, I don't know if I'll ever fully embrace the need for the occasional good cry, but I do know I'll never escape it.

I may be a crybaby, and if it keeps me sane, so be it. When I'm not crying, I'm taking on the world.


Blogger Wenda said...

I've been crying today, too. Sometimes I stumble across a wound I didn't even know I was holding in my body and the emotional pain just pours out of me. Thanks for letting me know I'm in good company.

May 09, 2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger Celeste said...

Crying is a relief for me. It releases my anger and allows me to heal.

May 09, 2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Hey, Cynthia - crying is GOOD for you. Sometimes we just need to let go and do it. It's who we are.

Love, Vicky

May 10, 2006 12:13 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I inherited a stoicism gene from my dad. Yet, I know that tears are necessary. Sometimes, I have to actually make them happen. Watch a sad movie, read over some of my old journals. And then, once I have the meltdown, I'm good for another couple of months.

May 10, 2006 11:41 PM  

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