My Deep, Dark Secrets

Okay, this might not actually be much of a secret, but I feel, in light of recent events, I need to get this out there.

I DON'T LIKE SHOWING EMOTION. Not like excitement or happiness or even anger or frustration. I have no trouble with those. I don't like letting others know that I'm sad or hurt. EVER.

Seriously. I'd rather throw up twice a day, every day, give birth without an epidural, get cavities filled without novocaine, do pretty much anything else in the entire world than let someone else see me cry (incidentally, I have done all of those things, but that's neither here nor there).

Why? I don't know. Maybe it's because I don't want to be the stereotypical girl that cries all the time and gets what she wants. Maybe it's because I've never gotten everything I wanted when I cried. :) Maybe it's because I turn into a sniffling, coughing, red puffy mess when I cry, and no one deserves to see that. Whatever the reason or reasons, it's not something I like to do in front of anyone, even Cole.

Unfortunately, this makes me look like I don't care deeply about important things, even to members of my own family. I'm really good at showing passion, aggression, and anger in the heat of the moment, but I don't cry until after the fact. If something does hurt my feelings, I try to cover it up with sarcasm or jokes until I can get home and fall apart where no one can see me. So, in an argument, I always look like the aggressor, the mean heartless witch, even if I'm falling to pieces inside.

In addition, I care deeply for my friends and family. I spend a lot of my time thinking and worrying and praying about them. But, apparently, I'm horrible at showing that. I'm not sure if I'm extremely socially awkward or if it's somehow linked to my inability to cry, but I constantly find myself wishing there was more I could do to help someone in need or show someone I care. I don't hesitate to tell people that I'm there for them if they need someone, and I'm always very sincere, but am I just not believable? Do I seem too distant, too busy, too self-absorbed?

I have only a handful of people with whom I am truly close, and they are all family members. I do have friends, but my relationships with them all seem more casual and distant. I'm not sure our ties go deep enough that they would ever rely on me if they needed help. And I'm pretty sure any hesitation they'd have is because of some personality flaw I have.

I really don't want this to sound like a pity party. I don't sit around boo-hooing and complaining because I don't have millions of friends. I'm extremely blessed to have the close friends that I have. I'm just looking for ways to become a better friend to others. I want to be the kind of friend that others feel confident asking for help, or a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on.

But, maybe the key to being that kind of friend is needing that kind of friend. Not crying in front of people means I don't often talk about things that are close to my heart. So, I guess I can understand why people wouldn't want to confide in me--I'm not likely to reciprocate that level of intimacy.

So, what do you think, armchair psychologists? I could really use some insight.


Scott said...

I don't know why but this made me think of The Holiday since Cameron Diaz's character can't cry and gets harassed for it. That's it, no deep psychology from me.

FerneClan said...

I know how you feel, but instead of clamming up I let my feelings rage, then everyone and I mean everyone gets sick of hearing about it. Then I go to that place where I start to hermitize. I don't like that place, because that means that my feelings were really hurt and I don't know how to deal with the emotions that seem to be on over drive. I prefer to let it all out, And be done with it. We are all a big ball of snot and tears from time to time. I am sorry you are having a difficult time. I am here if you need an ear or a shoulder 801-336-7586. Hugs<3

Devri said...

Oh my goodness! This could be about me! I remember a girl in elementary school crying and someone saying, "She just wants attention." That incident along with an emotionally charged sister (meaning she cries at the drop of a hat!) made me so that I HATE crying in front of anyone. And I HATE asking for help, which means I tend to not depend on anyone, and then I think that this keeps them from depending on me, just like you said.

So, consider it a big thing that I called YOU after not seeing you for a few months to see if you would watch my kids while I went to a play.

My mom keeps telling me that when we let other people help us or let them see us in our weaknesses, it allows others to do the same. I think I started to kind of learn that through my last miscarriage, but I still stink at it.

Jessica said...

Scott: You seriously made me laugh out loud with your comment, so bonus points for you!

Andrea: I can't even tell you how much your support has meant to me this week. Thanks for your advice and for listening to me rant from time to time. :)

Devri: I can't even tell you how honored I felt to watch your kids that day! I am VERY stingy about who I let take care of my kids, so to me, that was a huge vote of confidence from you.

Maybe this is why we can be friends even when we don't see each other very often--we recogniz a kindred spirit. :)

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