I have to say this is a very different and emotionally exposed blog entry. I'm writing this in hopes to help someone that has a hard time "letting go".
I have read and heard about others going through stressful and emotional times and how they have not been able to stop crying. I have thought, "Is there something wrong with me because I am not doing the same?"
There have been two times I have really sobbed in my adult life. I cried so hard, in fact, that I was dry heaving and pacing from room to room. During a 23 year relationship with my previous marriage, there were many times I had to condition myself to repress emotional pain. I learned to cry without making a sound as to not upset my two daughters. Sometimes I didn't cry at all, I was just numb with repressed emotions.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, surrounding the time of my youngest daughter's heart surgery, I teared up several times, but just couldn't let myself go emotionally. I never let my emotions go and cried. I found myself asking my husband if he was ok and being affectionate towards him in a comforting way. I was trying to be strong and was actually giving what I wanted. However, everyone demonstrates love and support in various ways in their own "love language". I did have the presence and support of my husband and family and I'm so thankful for that. I absolutely do not take that for granted!
I had a few people tell me it was ok to cry and "stop trying to be strong". I honestly thought to myself, "If I could cry, I would!" I also thought maybe this was God giving me a peace and keeping me strong for my family.
But of what consequence is all of this? I’m writing this post because I’m on a quest to make crying something normal and acceptable in my life.
Whether because of parental, cultural or societal influence, crying has become something swept deftly “underneath the mat”. Crying, to many of us is uncomfortable, awkward and even embarrassing. It signifies physical weakness in men, and emotional fragility in women.
Is it possible allowing yourself to cry, “break down” and sob is so difficult because it requires you to really “let go”? Am I so tight from life baggage the prospect of being fully human, letting myself be free enough to grieve, mourn, be entirely vulnerable is terrifying at a subconscious level?
Is the reason I haven't released current emotions because I was trying to be strong for my two older daughters? Is it because I was afraid of being too exposed and vulnerable? Was I subconsciously afraid of appearing weak? Or was there no need to let emotions go because I knew God was ultimately in control of Savannah's open heart surgery and this was in fact, God giving me "peace that passes all understanding"?
For me the answer is "yes" to all of the above. I have never taken drugs of any kind, including those to suppress emotions. I want to cry, but I have repressed so much over the years, it is hard for me to do so. I believe I simply feel too exposed and vulnerable if I really "let go". Crying is a God given emotion and acts like a pressure release valve. Crying has also been clinically proven to release toxins! As a Christian, I have verbally released burdens and pain at the foot of the cross. Reconditioning myself to know my worth and being ok to "let go" is a process. It is a process worth walking through, not only for myself, but for those precious daughters I wouldn't let see me cry before.
Society has taught us that " real men" and "big girls" don't cry. Life and relationships are hard enough, but to tell both men and women to shutdown, that crying is for sissies, or to be vulnerable is unacceptable does not make for a happy life. I believe allowing myself to be more vulnerable around my loved ones takes a great deal of strength and exhibits tremendous trust. With time, I pray to gain more of both and teach my children that "real men" and "big girls" that are strong and trusting, actually do cry.
I write about life and family. My heart's desire is to educate as I am being educated, while inspiring and encouraging others through the beauty of Down Syndrome.