When was the last time you cried?

This was a journal assignment for one of my English classes. This term is really something else. English can be difficult because they often want you to write emotional things like this, but even my Spanish course is nothing but “watch this gut wrenching film and write an essay about how it makes you feel.” Aren’t there rom-coms in Spanish? (Note: I hate rom-coms, so you know it’s bad when I’m asking for one. lol.)

I cry all the time. There is no reason not to anymore. I’m rarely around anyone except my kids, and if they don’t like it, they can go into another room. I grew up in a family where the only emotions that mattered were those of the parents. My parents could be as insane with their emotions as they wanted. They could scream, they could throw things, they were allowed to do whatever they wanted. My brother and I were beaten when we so much as cried. 

Growing up in abuse lends to ending up in more abusive relationships. You end up with someone just as bad, even if you think you are being careful, simply because you don’t really know what you are looking for other than “better” and better isn’t always good. You stay because you don’t think you deserve better. So, in marriage, my husband’s emotions were the only allowed emotions. When the kids or I were emotional, there were consequences. If our focus ever dared to stray to ourselves and our needs, there were consequences.

Now I cry whenever I feel like it. Those people aren’t around. I’m not even on campus or at work, I’m at home. If I feel like crying, like a few minutes ago when I got an email from my daughter’s teacher and learned my daughter has been lying, again, about turning in her homework and she might get expelled from her program, I cry. It’s just me. I have no one else. The little comfort I got from meeting up with friends at school is gone. If that isn’t a reason to cry, I don’t know what is.

I wonder how I will deal with a return to the outside world. I wonder if I will be able to handle the social demand to pretend I am fine even when I’m not. I wonder how I will deal with stress without being able to release it immediately through my tears. 

Photo by Nandhu Kumar from Pexels