I Don’t Want to Cry!

 cry

What is crying?

From Wikipedia

Crying is the shedding of tears in response to an emotional state in humans.

Crying is believed to be an outlet or a result of a burst of intense emotional sensations, such as agony, surprise or joy.

Why do we cry?

From How Stuff Works

We have three types of tears.

Basal tears are always in our eyes. These tears are what keep our eyes from drying out

Reflex tears, which protect our eyes from irritants

Emotional tears

According to WebMD crying is a release from built up energy from emotions. Weather it be sad or happy.

  ‘When you cry,” she says, “it’s a signal you need to address something.” Among other things, it may mean you are frustrated, overwhelmed or even just trying to get someone’s attention

I Hate Crying!

I have always hated crying. Most of that reason is because I didn’t really know why I was crying. I am not so tuned in to my body. I’d cry and someone would ask what was wrong and I hated trying to tell them when I didn’t actually know myself. Also my father didn’t like it when you cried and told you not to. Even my husband was uncomfortable when my daughter would cry.

I would cry at a stupid commercial or at someone singing and of course at sad movies. So I got to the point that I would stifle my crying.

For various reasons, a lot of people push down their tears; they suppress them,” Sideroff says. One of the consequences is we sort of deaden ourselves, to suppress or not even notice we have those feelings inside. The way that looks to the outside world is depression.

This just added to my confusion of what I was feeling.

better to acknowledge feelings such as sadness and hurt, he says. “Feelings are not about good or bad, it’s just what is.”

When I entered therapy I learned, reluctantly, that I needed to cry. While I did plenty of crying during therapy. I had to watch sad movies to get my tears going at home. However I still hate trying to converse with someone while crying.

WebMD has some good advice for someone responding to a crier.

Be aware that if you do nothing, you can make the crier feel worse

Try to do something supportive. What that is depends on the situation and how well you know the person, ”So hugging someone you aren’t very close with might not be appropriate, while simply listening in an empathetic way would be suitable,”

Don’t assume you know how to comfort them. ”The less intimate the relationship, the more it is appropriate to begin by asking how you can help and be supportive,”

Know that criers who tear up in a very large group generally feel more uncomfortable than those who cry in front of one or two people they’re familiar with. But even in a large group, the criers welcome support from those they didn’t know well.

Do You Cry Easily or Do You Try Not to?

Please Hear What I Am Not Saying

Woman covering her mouth

The following poem, Please hear what I am not saying, written by Charles C. Finn sounded like it was written for me.

Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I’m afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me,
but don’t be fooled,
for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression that I’m secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water’s calm and I’m in command
and that I need no one,
but don’t believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it’s followed by acceptance,
if it’s followed by love.
It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It’s the only thing that will assure me
of what I can’t assure myself,
that I’m really worth something.
But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare to, I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I’m afraid you’ll think less of me,
that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that’s really nothing,
and nothing of what’s everything,
of what’s crying within me.
So when I’m going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I’m saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,
what I’d like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can’t say.

I don’t like hiding.
I don’t like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you’ve got to help me.
You’ve got to hold out your hand
even when that’s the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you’re kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings–
very small wings,
very feeble wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator–an honest-to-God creator–
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me the blinder I may strike back.
It’s irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

Copied with permission

I was so good at pretending

I even fooled myself. I thought I was fine. I could live with what he did to me. I could just forget about it.

At the time in my life when I read this I was in command as much as I thought I could be. I felt as though I just needed to be on my own and do my own things.

I wanted someone to notice that I needed help, that confusion and fear were what I was feeling. I couldn’t reassure myself, I needed others to do that for me. I feared rejection. I yearned for someones encouragement and understanding.

I desperately needed people to hear what I wasn’t saying. That finally happened when I went into therapy through the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in my area.

I was lucky enough

I had a few people along the way who saw what I wasn’t saying but the one I wanted most to understand was my husband. I simply haven’t been able to communicate it to him so he can.

If you live in Ontario Canada this site will help you find a similar organization near you.

Feeling – Do you have trouble identifying your feelings?

 

Word Cloud of Feelings

“I don’t know why I am feeling the way I do.”

This statement was in many a journal entry. This had been almost a mantra of mine I said it so often.

Learning about my inability to express my feelings in therapy one day I talked about how I never knew what I was feeling. Nor was I able to express them. My therapist pointed out that it was no surprise. I had suppressed my feelings as a child and continued to do so as an adult. My father told me not to tell and not to feel. Expressing feelings made me vulnerable. I felt good knowing there was a reason why I had stifled my feelings. I hated to cry, but learned that I had to feel my feelings before I could begin to express them.

I used to attend a mood disorder group and someone said something interesting. “Your home reflects how you feel.” I have always changed things in my home. Moving things around trying to get organized yet I never seem to achieve it. That sounded like me and my feelings.

My emotional needs were never met and to some degree still are not, because I have always had a difficult time asking for them. I have never express those needs and always wait until someone frustrated me, then I blew up at them. My emotional needs are be loved, appreciated, supported, protected and listened too.

I needed to see a list of words to help me find what emotions I was feeling. Here is the list that I came up with.

abandoned
absent-minded
abused
affected
afraid
aimless
angry
annoyed
anxious
argumentative
avoided
bleak
battle-worn
beaten
betrayed
bewildered
bitchy
blah
bored
clueless
condescended to
confused
controlled
cursed
damaged
depressed
disbelieved
different
difficult
directionless
disappointed
disappointing
discontent
discounted
discouraged
disorganized
disregarded
dissatisfied
distressed
distrustful
down
drained
dumb
emotional
estranged
fatigued
fearful
flawed
forgotten
friendless
frustrated
heartsick
homesick
hopeless
hung up
hurt
indecisive
independent
insecure
impatient
inadequate
jumpy
let down
left out
lonesome
lost
loveless
low
misunderstood
mixed-up
needy
nervous
open-minded
pain
perfectionism
pissed off
powerless
pessimistic
quiet
resentful
resourceful
responsible
run down
reactive
reflective
repressed
restless
robbed
romantic
sad
scared
screwed up
second-guessed
sorry
spiteful
stressed
stubborn
stupid
suspicious
tension
trembling
unacknowledged
unfulfilled
unimportant
unnoticed
uncertain
unloved
unwanted
unvalued
unsupported
victimized
vulnerable
worried

Seeing this now, no wonder I didn’t want to feel!

Fear

I have always carried around a lot of tension. I thought it was from facing my feelings.I was afraid to. It was exhausting.

While exploring my feelings of fear I had determined that I was not sure when I was having them. I believed that fear had a lot to do with my anxiety. I didn’t tell people when they upset me; because I was afraid it would cause tension, and I have always been afraid of conflict. I did remember fearing my dad. I must have been afraid to keep the secret, afraid to tell the secret, afraid my family would leave me alone if anyone found out. I was afraid I would be alone when my father abandoned me. I was afraid of being a mom, afraid of doing the wrong thing, afraid of someone hurting me and afraid of what MIGHT happen. I was afraid of my abusive boyfriend.

Shame

Shame was another feeling I suppressed. I didn’t know I felt it until it we discussed it in therapy.

While taking to a friend my emotions stirred . She told me I was compassionate and warm and it brought tears to my eyes. Stuff like that always did. I had thought that I didn’t believe it but then decided that I was not hearing that sort of thing often enough. I was not getting enough of the love and appreciation of others. I felt so unloved.

Core Feelings

I had to break down that long list of feeling into my core feelings. It took me a long time to finally arrive at the following:

Inadequate – I often felt inadequate when I had to admit that I didn’t know things such as geography or my poor spelling. I needed and still need to have people tell me I am doing a good job.

Where it came from – My dad not recognizing my efforts in school.

What could I do – remind myself; that I am smart and that I know lots of things, that finishing school is not the only way to gain an education. Tell myself that I am doing a good job.

Powerless – I felt like I had to do what others told me to do. I have never liked that feeling. I wanted to make my own decisions. I was afraid of the potential reaction if I expressed my wants.

Where it came from – When my father told me to do something I obeyed. I did it whether you liked it or not. He instilled fear.

What could I do – Practice assertiveness. Find my voice and ask or state my wants and needs.

Alone – I felt no one was there for me. No one cared enough. No one else would do it so I had to do it. I couldn’t count on others to help me when I needed it. My family didn’t care and I needed them to.

Where it came from – I endured my abuse alone. I had to raise a child without any support. My life experience was, me doing it alone.

What could I do – Remember that I am not alone. I had a husband and kids who cared and were here for me. If I felt unsupported, I should have told them how I felt.

Doing this exercise helped me understand my feelings.

How about you? Do you have a difficult time facing your feelings?

Here are some links to articles on feelings that I think are helpful.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrea-wachter/managing-emotions_b_2717206.html

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-deal-with-uncomfortable-feelings/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-sociability/201201/feeling-your-feelings-0