September 6, 2012

Cry Baby, Stick Your Finger in Your Eye

Today's BlogHer "eye" challenge post... Are you okay with letting people see you cry?

We all heard it as kids, the classic

Cry baby, cry baby
Stick your finger in your eye
Tell your mother it wasn't I

Okay, I looked up that last line. I only knew the first two. Still, it's just not cool to cry in public, especially when you are young.

I'm not a crier, in general. A good book can cause a lump to form in my throat, making it hard to swallow, and even cause a tear to fall down my cheek. A sad movie might cause several tears, but full-out crying... it's been a long time.

I'm more of a cry-out-of-frustration sort. If I'm crying, I've reached the end of my rope. So, I find it even harder to want people to see me cry. If I'm at that point, I'm about to crumble and have reached a heightened state of vulnerability.

Plus, I fight a cry. You know what I'm talking about. I'm the one waving my hand in front of my face (someone please explain to me why that helps!) while saying, "I think I'm going to cry."

Happy tears are something I've never understood. If I'm crying, I ain't happy. Being overcome with happy, excited, or proud moments doesn't usually bring tears... it brings joy and hyperactivity! I didn't cry at my wedding, but I danced with a fervor that shouldn't be allowed (might have been a bit aided by alcohol).

For those that find tears cleansing and therapeutic, it might be different. For me, I don't like the feeling of helplessness of someone seeing me losing control. Good friends and family only. Aren't they so lucky?

Do you mind people seeing you cry? What usually brings on the tears?


Unknown said...

I hate other people seeing me cry - it's super embarrassing IF I do well up in public - and YES I fight it, I turn around, and do the pointless hand wavy thing. I don't even like to cry in front of the hubs - but, eh! Three babies in three years.. what's a Momma to do? These days all it takes is Sesame Street to turn on the waterworks;)

Unknown said...

As a guy, there is an even bigger stigma with crying in public. Until this summer, I hadn't cried outside my house, or in company aside from my wife or mother, since I was probably about 10 years old.

Then I went on a mission trip as a group leader this summer. The last night was set up to create an emotional atmosphere, but circumstances throughout the week made the ceremony all the more emotional for our group. I spent about an hour sobbing in front of everyone else at our site. Looking back, it seems a tad bit embarrassing, but it was the most natural thing in the world at the time. Every one of us, boy and girl, man and woman alike, were crying, and it was a bonding experience like I have never experienced before in my life, nor will I ever again, most likely.

This night has really changed me in respect to public crying. While I think that crying can show weakness, crying can be so therapeutic, and going through a shared emotional experience like ours made crying the right thing to do.

Thanks so much for a post that motivated me to give such a heartfelt response.

Jo Michaels said...

I have no qualms about crying anywhere. I'm a super emotional person and if it makes other people uncomfortable, they can look away :) I have had tears of joy when I felt such overwhelming love and caring, there was no way my body could contain it all. It needed an outlet and only tears would suffice.

Great post today!! WRITE ON!

Tia Bach said...

Josie, I feel you (I had 3 kids in under 5 years, but 3 in 3... wow!).

Mike, What an amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing it.

Jo, Good for you! The day that emotions get me to cry in public (I'm foreseeing kids going off to college, having their own babies, etc), I will embrace it fully!

Callie Leuck said...

Most people haven't seen me cry, at least not sad-crying. Most of my friends haven't seen me cry. There are probably only a handful of people who ever have, and most of those are immediate family. I hate crying in front of people, most of the time. Freshman year of college, I knew where all of the out-of-the-way bathrooms are, let's just say that.

I actually had a teacher in middle school pull me out of class and berate me in the hallway. To put this in perspective, I was a "good kid" -- the type that would consider detention akin to the apocalypse. I'd been absent for several days as part of a school-organized trip, and I hadn't been able to make up my work in the allotted time. So this teacher is berating me, and I start crying. She tells me the "stop crying" in this tone that implies that she thinks I'm doing it intentionally for pity, which obviously doesn't help. I meet up with the rest of the class in the gym locker room, and they can tell I've been crying, which is totally humiliating. BUT that said, they were incredibly nice and supportive about it, and I've never forgotten that. My peers have never mocked me for crying.

Knowing that makes it easier to cry in happy situations. It's just not the embarrassing thing it used to be. For some reason, first dances at wedding receptions really get me.

Tia Bach said...

Callie, I think we all learn to embrace our emotions more as we get older, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier. Thanks for sharing.