By Daddy X
I never was an easy cry. When I was growing up, big boys didn’t cry. Even though I was of average stature, I wanted to be a big boy. I determined to be determined.
To me, crying is the total loss of one’s comportment. A surrender of the self to pain, frustration, desperation or loss. Nothing wrong with that. Crying is cathartic, or at least I suspect that may be its natural function.
My family was certainly something to cry about. An alcoholic father and bipolar mother had few things in common. Who knows who was the chicken or what the egg. Perhaps neither. Perhaps each was simply going their own natural course. My mother’s mother committed suicide, her father a drunk. My father’s family Irish/German. Always lots of booze around.
So when things went sideways, which they often would, I, as the oldest, thought of myself as the only one in the nuclear family who had his shit together. That may or not have been totally true, at that young age, but the situation instilled in me a drive to be the one in charge. I knew better. The guy who could make the best decisions. Who thought in linear fashion with a sense of cause and effect. Of course, that line of thought brought me up against conflicts with elders who figured they had the last word on hard times. They, after all, had come up during the Great Depression.
I respect them for that. But it seemed as though they were subliminally recreating those grave times, possibly because they’d learned to get by and the state was comfortable for them in some obscure way. They’d learned their lifestyles by immersion. To get through any difficulty because there was really nothing else, and another difficulty to occupy their focus would come along soon enough.
However, I thought the opposite. That we should stand tall through difficulties because the good times were not far off. If we could just get through this little blip, then things would smooth out.
I believed humans were supposed to accept this life as a gift. Still do.
It’s not like I haven’t cried. I cried when Momma X left me the first time. I cried a lot when she left me the second time. I cried when my Father died. And when my Mother died. I cried when Momma’s brother committed suicide. And when my brother committed suicide (on the same day and month as Momma’s brother, six years later). For over a decade I cried and cried whenever Momma was sick, but never in front of her. I cried when each of our four dogs passed away.
You only have to read my bio in ‘about us’ to understand that difficulty has not bypassed my life.
Perhaps it was the times in which we were brought up. We were lucky to be around for the 50’s and 60’s, an optimistic period in American history. Things were getting better. That was our immersion. Though we complained during the 60’s, we really had it good. Too bad we can’t say the same for today’s kids.
And, like Sacchi suggested on Monday, we often defer our grief to surrogate elements down the line that have little or nothing to do with what has made us sad in the moment. We spread the grief out, sinking into longer periods of the blahs. We allow our depressions to attain a barely sustainable level over time, so we don’t go through a total breakdown all at once.
Such as crying.