On xoJane, Lesley Kinzel writes about the loss of her cat and crying in public. While we won’t inquire about her well-being (lest we assist in sending her into another spell), I thought it was an excellent opportunity to come forward as a crybaby.
As Lesley mentioned in her article, crying is such a loaded activity in our society. Even though I follow a lot of badass individuals through various social justice networks, which inevitably leads to a lot of overwhelming emotions, crying is rarely spoken about.
I am not immune either; when I see someone crying, even someone I know well, I invariably have a moment in which I freeze with astonishment and fear: There is crying happening! What do I do?
Says Lesley in her article. Says me in mine. As much as I like to classify myself as badass, to strut around talking about how I would wield my anger and take no shit from no one, I have to say that I cry. A lot. My emotions overwhelm me and it is expressed through tears. I cry in sadness, anger, frustration, irritation, fear, embarrassment, etc., etc., etc. It was the source of continual “teasing” from family and friends. It was something that everyone couldn’t stop talking to me about and yet avoided like it was going out of style. For a long time, this was baffling to me. I could never talk about why I cried or work through my reaction, yet I couldn’t ever just cry without people needing to tell me I was doing so. As if I wasn’t aware.
So, yes, I am a cryer. I welcome that about myself now. Not because I think it makes me more in touch with my emotions than someone who doesn’t cry. No, that’s bullshit. I just recognize that’s how I need to respond to things and that doesn’t make me broken. It’s one of the thousands of things that society tells us is wrong. Since society is wrong about so many things it isn’t surprising to me that they’re wrong about this too.
I support talking more about crying; I think bringing that behavior out of the darkness is important. If I could just get people to treat me the same way they always do, despite the crying, then I feel like I could get a lot further. It’s like folks respond to my tears in a weird way and then blame me for manipulating them. It’s so frustrating. It is like telling me I’m blinking in a way that causes them to feel awkward or cave-in to my demands.