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Day 102: Self Hatred and Inability to Cry

Posted by intrepidshe , in Crying, Healing Work 22 March 2014 · 321 views

Mar. 22, 2014 (31 Days Into Becoming):
 
I find myself revisiting in my mind the subject of crying. I want to be able to cry. I sense I could release a well of painful emotions and memories if I could cry. But, I have so much doubt. I think the doubt comes from self hatred. Ironically, I hate to admit that.
 
I am beginning to think that self hatred is the primary culprit behind the pain . . . that is, if the pain is real. My broken memory, my propensity for happiness, my outward signs of success and my inability to cry cause me to have such incredible doubt about the genuineness of my pain. Is it imagined? Am I simply holding onto the idea out of familiarity?
 
Am I unable to cry because of numbness; or am I unable to cry because I have processed everything successfully? Are the emotions stuck; or are they simply not there?
 

"When they become adults, men cry 7 times a year on average, while women cry 47 times a year" (http://www.wikihow.c...-Let-It-All-Out).

 
Really?? That seems unbelievable to me. I haven't cried seven times in 30 years and I'm female.
 
Well . . . whether it's legitimate or not, I feel the need to cry. I can't help it.
 
I remember crying once as a kid. I was about 12 years old. My parents laugh at me about it to this day. The thing that brought me to tears was pretty nonsensical. I was hurt that my siblings took candy from me when I asked them not to. I had dropped it and the pieces were spread out all over the floor. It was a small betrayal, utterly unworthy of tears.
 
Up to that point when I was crying over the taken candy, the last time I had cried was when I was eight or nine years old when my dad and two older brothers drove away after my parents' divorce.
 
I didn't cry about other things, things that probably would bring many people to tears. I didn't cry when:
  • we moved from one city to another.
  • they left our dogs behind.
  • I got bullied at school.
  • when my grandmother died, or when my great aunt died.
  • I was raped . . . neither time.
  • I fought my step-father off.
I became terrified of crying when I was a child. My step-father was so violent. He hates tears so much that he'll "give you a reason to cry," if you dare to cry. Beatings happened. They were violent, with a rubber Hotwheel track or a wooden arrow stick. (He was a bow hunter.) So, I knew not to cry. I saw the welts and the blood on my siblings. I heard the wailing that went on for an eternity when they were punished. How very much I wanted them not to cry. I knew the whipping would stop when their tears stopped. And, that's what happened. When their tears stopped, the beating stopped.
 
And, then afterward they didn't cry.
 
I also realize part of why I accepted his sexual abuse was because it was less painful than the physical abuse. During the times when he was touching me or taking pictures of me he didn't fly into one of his rages at anyone. 
 
Furthermore, I learned from my childhood that my pain is not worthy of mention. "That's not worth crying about. You just need to let it go. Don't dwell on it. You're making a big deal out of nothing. You're being childish."
 
However, in spite of the terrifying barriers, I have had a few brief bouts of tears recently. Sometimes a scene in a movie or a certain song will bring a tear to my eyes. Sometimes tears well up when I read here in Pandy's what others are going through or what happened to them. I cried for a minute or so when I was at the gynecologic appointment. I was so frightened that my emotions were freed to surface. It helped that I was alone. No one else was in the room. I am sure it wouldn't have happened otherwise.
 
I need to get past the programming, the fear, the self hatred. Also, I need to accept this is a slow process. Just as it took years to reach this state of numbness, the way through it is not speedy. I need to accept that what I am experiencing is depression. I haven't been able to accept that.
 



I found that very painful to read. The 'small betrayal' that you talk about is actually a big betrayal. Your siblings told you 'your wishes don't count. We will hear you ask something and ignore you'. And your parents laughter about it is even worse, it says 'you don't count. We decide what matters and this didn't matter'. This is a devastating betrayal. And aged 12 it is worse still because this was no toddler spat - this was about power used against you and your parents effectively backing that up. What you talk about with your stepfather is beyond painful to read. You had nowhere to go. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and believing that the tears will come when you are ready.
Intrepid, I so relate. I hate crying. If I cried, it was worse, so better to hide, to control..... When my pastor told me that tears were given to us to heal the hurts to our soul I found I could cry. It is very hard to cry for myself. It feels self indulgent. Last week, with my T , I said I realised I was not allowed to be a little girl. I felt myself start to well up and I heard myself saying "you must not cry, don't be so silly" and the tears were insanely gone. Not a single one fell. And I wonder-was that a missed opportunity to grieve for that battered, broken, abused little girl....? Stay safe my friend, and thank you for writing this.

"That's not worth crying about. You just need to let it go. Don't dwell on it. You're making a big deal out of nothing. You're being childish."

 

Gosh, that's familiar - although it was seldom actually said in my family, it's the way we live - stiff upper lip and all that.  I also seldom cried until I began to address my CSA and then (this is no exaggeration) cried desperately every single day for almost two years, like there was an ocean of tears just waiting to be released.  It wouldn't surprise me if you had your own ocean that still needs to be discovered.  :hug:  :hug:

I relate to your words ""That's not worth crying about. You just need to let it go. Don't dwell on it. You're making a big deal out of nothing. You're being childish."    I am starting to remember that little Chris cried.  Sobbed.  It didn't stop anything anyways. 

 

I know this isn't RIGHT.  That this shouldn't be how it is.  This is also what I was taught.  Although in my family there was an allowed "acceptable" crying.  The type at funerals or in moves or when your dog dies that is quiet and soft and doesn't really say anything. 

 

I dream about expressing emotions on a deep outward level.  Of being able to say SCREW what is appropriate.  

 

You will get there when you are ready.  Not crying is nothing to panic about.  I will say- from recent experiences sobbing with Izzy- that when it comes it's a scary storm.  I hope that you find a person and a place that can hold and comfort you and tell you it's okay and not to fight it- when it finally comes. 

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FinallyHere
Mar 23 2014 11:51 AM
You have processed it all so very well there is little to say! A very natural human response to many of life's experiences is to cry but your tears were seen as an inconvenience to your abuser. He makes me want to use a string of the most biting swear words. Now you are inconvenienced because you have need to cry, want to cry, but cannot do so with ease. But you are wise to accept it takes time. You recognize the causes of this issue and the reality of the solution. I wish you a rainfall of exhausting tears. May you be able to weep for you, you are so very worth it.
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intrepidshe
Mar 23 2014 11:59 AM

I found that very painful to read. The 'small betrayal' that you talk about is actually a big betrayal. Your siblings told you 'your wishes don't count. We will hear you ask something and ignore you'. And your parents laughter about it is even worse, it says 'you don't count. We decide what matters and this didn't matter'. This is a devastating betrayal. And aged 12 it is worse still because this was no toddler spat - this was about power used against you and your parents effectively backing that up. What you talk about with your stepfather is beyond painful to read. You had nowhere to go. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and believing that the tears will come when you are ready.

 

There is a strong similarity in our experiences of being diminished by our family members. I'm so very appreciative of your writing around this topic. And, even more so, your reaction to the candy-taking incident I described. I still feel ashamed about it . . . I shouldn't. Once again, the shame belongs to them.

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intrepidshe
Mar 23 2014 12:03 PM

Intrepid, I so relate. I hate crying. If I cried, it was worse, so better to hide, to control..... When my pastor told me that tears were given to us to heal the hurts to our soul I found I could cry. It is very hard to cry for myself. It feels self indulgent. Last week, with my T , I said I realised I was not allowed to be a little girl. I felt myself start to well up and I heard myself saying "you must not cry, don't be so silly" and the tears were insanely gone. Not a single one fell. And I wonder-was that a missed opportunity to grieve for that battered, broken, abused little girl....? Stay safe my friend, and thank you for writing this.

 

Thank you for your understanding and relating to this topic. I'm the same in that I can feel tears well up in relationship to someone else's suffering, but not for my own.

 

It sounds very powerful to me your realization in T you weren't allowed to be a little girl. Perhaps one day the tears for that loss will find their way to the surface.

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intrepidshe
Mar 23 2014 12:10 PM

 

"That's not worth crying about. You just need to let it go. Don't dwell on it. You're making a big deal out of nothing. You're being childish."

 

Gosh, that's familiar - although it was seldom actually said in my family, it's the way we live - stiff upper lip and all that.  I also seldom cried until I began to address my CSA and then (this is no exaggeration) cried desperately every single day for almost two years, like there was an ocean of tears just waiting to be released.  It wouldn't surprise me if you had your own ocean that still needs to be discovered.  hug.gif  hug.gif

 

 

Yes! The whole stiff upper lip thing is very familiar. I'm glad you shared with me about your process. It helps to hear both that it can break loose and there is an other side once it does. You give me hope. I do feel there is an ocean inside me.

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intrepidshe
Mar 23 2014 12:13 PM

I relate to your words ""That's not worth crying about. You just need to let it go. Don't dwell on it. You're making a big deal out of nothing. You're being childish."    I am starting to remember that little Chris cried.  Sobbed.  It didn't stop anything anyways. 

 

I know this isn't RIGHT.  That this shouldn't be how it is.  This is also what I was taught.  Although in my family there was an allowed "acceptable" crying.  The type at funerals or in moves or when your dog dies that is quiet and soft and doesn't really say anything. 

 

I dream about expressing emotions on a deep outward level.  Of being able to say SCREW what is appropriate.  

 

You will get there when you are ready.  Not crying is nothing to panic about.  I will say- from recent experiences sobbing with Izzy- that when it comes it's a scary storm.  I hope that you find a person and a place that can hold and comfort you and tell you it's okay and not to fight it- when it finally comes. 

 

I like that idea of letting go of what is "appropriate." And, I really appreciate the intensity of your words, "I know this isn't RIGHT. That this shouldn't be how it is."

 

Thanks for the encouragement and sharing your experiences. I am hoping that person to be there for me. I sense I will need someone when the time comes.

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intrepidshe
Mar 23 2014 12:18 PM

You have processed it all so very well there is little to say! A very natural human response to many of life's experiences is to cry but your tears were seen as an inconvenience to your abuser. He makes me want to use a string of the most biting swear words. Now you are inconvenienced because you have need to cry, want to cry, but cannot do so with ease. But you are wise to accept it takes time. You recognize the causes of this issue and the reality of the solution. I wish you a rainfall of exhausting tears. May you be able to weep for you, you are so very worth it.

 

Your anger is validating to me. "He makes me want to use a string of the most biting swear words." I feel it a little bit myself right now. I feel a bit of that anger I have toward him and my mom.

 

Thank you for the encouragement. I love the phrase, "a rainfall of exhausting tears."

I totally understand. I cannot cry either about pretty much anything. I also heard the stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about. And emotions were not felt or discussed in my family. I tell myself I'm too strong to cry. If I cry that shows weakness. My mom passed away last year and I cried some but not as much as I know I could've. Sometimes I wish I could cry but just can't.
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intrepidshe
Apr 16 2014 09:46 PM

I totally understand. I cannot cry either about pretty much anything. I also heard the stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about. And emotions were not felt or discussed in my family. I tell myself I'm too strong to cry. If I cry that shows weakness. My mom passed away last year and I cried some but not as much as I know I could've. Sometimes I wish I could cry but just can't.

 

I am just starting to accept the idea that I need to cry. And, it might be the case for me that touch is the key. I'm scared that I might actually tap into these emotions, but also hopeful about it. I can feel hopeful as long as I'm thinking about it in the abstract. But, when I am touched in a nurturing way, I feel incredibly frightened.

 

But, I'm going to keep pushing through this issue.

 

I hope you find a way to connect with your emotions and let them out . . . if that's healing you also need.

 

Thanks for your comment! It's affirming to hear others have this same question.

 

Take gentle care, goddess.

 

About Intrepid She

This is a moderated PUBLIC blog. This blog is a therapeutic tool I am using to help me get over my fear of doctors, which is made difficult by a history of abuse by them, to learn to grieve, and ultimately to integrate my dis-integrated heart.

 

View postings specific to health care.

View postings specific to touch.

View postings specific to crying.

 

The content of this blog is not appropriate for children or for anyone who might be triggered by reading about sexual abuse.

 

To the many others walking your own version of this path, I wish you well on your journey. -Intrepid

 

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