Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Don't Cry I

I know different parents teach their children different tactics about dealing with life, but sometimes certain issues don’t come up for whatever reason - maybe a parent has a fear that if they do teach about this one thing, then their child will somehow develop it or suffer through it - like bad karma of some sort. When I was younger, I was taught to be polite: say “please” and “thank you” to people who I would come across. I was taught how to sit properly, help with homework and of course, don’t let the boys touch you. Boy did that advice go a long way. All these things my parents have taught me are wonderful, but sometimes you have to ask yourself: what about life? What about the other things like anxiety, depression, bad breakups and divorces or nervous breakdowns? What about life’s struggles that we sit here now, as adults wondering, “why me”? If you were lucky enough to have been taught all of this, then hats off to your parents or guardians. They certainly don’t teach these types of things at school, unless the kid is going to a guidance counselor.

During my childhood years way into adulthood, I heard my mom say many of times, “Oh don’t cry mama - don’t cry, please!” She wasn’t saying that crying was bad for me, but she just wanted me to be this happy-go-lucky type of person that wore a smile on my face 24/7. I was never taught that crying was a healthy outlet for me. I didn’t know how to deal with certain things in life. When my first boyfriend had broken it off with me, I didn’t know what to do other than sit inside my room and secretly sob, where nobody could hear me. It would upset my mom if she saw me crying. I remember when I found years ago that a girl that I had been seeing was dating more than five people besides myself and dealing drugs on the side as well. I had to end it. The pain I felt was so intense. I cried so hard that evening - it must have been 2am and my mom heard me. She walked inside my room and asked, “Whassamadda?” To her, someone must have died, but it was only my heart. She didn’t say one word other than bring me out to the living room and made me hot tea with honey. She just sat there and said absolutely nothing. She just watched me sob and drink my tea. That was all I really needed from her at the time. She then went into the kitchen and sliced a potato. She placed two round little potato slices on each of my eyelids.  It took the swelling away. My eyes had become little slits from crying so much. The salt blew my lids up like balloons. I’ll never forget that night.

Some people don’t know how to comfort others when they are sad, and that’s okay. What my mom did for me that night will never be forgotten. It was her way of being there for me, giving me the emotional support that I needed. These days are sometimes similar, except I have a wife that I tell mostly everything to. Sometimes I don’t want to burden her with the things that are heavy upon my heart, so I secretly keep it in and try to do things like exercise or write to get it all out. I know I can tell her everything, but sometimes I just don’t want to. I can’t. I’m used to keeping it all inside, but when will the time come when it just comes out automatically on its own, making an unexpected appearance? That will be the day I dread the most.

But most of the time, I try not to cry.

To read part II, please visit this page.

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