My Complicated Relationship With Emotions
I used to be proud about being the girl who never cried. It seemed as if not even the most cheesy romantic movie could soften my heart. Sometimes my friends even joked about me having a heart made of ice. I was tough, independent, and high-achieving, but with that came: cold-hearted. I thought that if I was to open myself up and be more emotional, I would not be considered cold-hearted, and one day it did change.
There are two main reasons I associate my emotionless state with, one being an inward desire to be strong and the other, is my association of tears with anger. The first one is like a side effect of toxic masculinity; social constructs assume that only men are tough because they do not cry. I wanted to be viewed as strong, which lead to my lack of visible emotions. On the other hand, the only times I did cry was when I would get into a fight with my parents, which meant that I only cried when I was angry.
Last year, I experienced a difficult period in my life. A mix of the after effects of a breakup, coupled with the stress of preparing for high school exams and applying to university. It was evident that a lot was on my mind. With so many pent up emotions, before I could even realize what was going on I started to cry. After that, I felt like I wanted to cry every day as if I had to cry out the tears that had been trapped inside of me for all these years. At first, I was confused and didn’t know how to deal with all of the emotions bursting out of me. Crying out all the bad feelings brought me relief yet I hated my tears because I felt like I was out of control. My relationship with emotions was and still is complicated.
I realized that I had to learn to accept my emotions. Emotions are beautiful and they are different, and we need them. How else do we know we are happy if we haven’t felt sad before? I had to accept my sadness to heal from it. My healing involved lots and lots of crying but it felt as if by allowing myself to really cry for the first time in my life, I was learning to deal with my feelings instead of pushing them away.
Nowadays I do not cry as much, and I still consider myself to be more rational than emotional. And I am still learning to accept and love all of myself, all the sides of my emotions and all the tears. Whether they come from happiness or sadness, the important thing is that they are all mine.