Friday, June 17, 2011

Hello Emotions, Meet My Sleeve

I am a hot mess when it comes to my emotional well-being! This isn't something that just happened over night, it has been a constant thorn in my side for as long as I can remember. For someone with such a confident facade you would think that I would be able to keep it all in check, but in stressful situations I turn into a sucky baby, complete with tears. And when I say tears, I'm not talking that misty-eyed, dewy look that you see in the movies, I'm talking full on eyes red and swollen waterworks or as Oprah would call it, "the ugly cry."

The ugly cry ain't pretty folks! It is often accompanied by lots of snot and hyperventilation, which really helps to seal the hot mess deal. The more I try to control it, the harder I usually end up sobbing. It is a foolish reaction on my part and frustrating because there is nothing that I can do to stop it. So I cry and I cry and cry some more. Sometimes I cry so hard that I can't even form a simple word. When it does finally come out it sounds as if I've been afflicted with some horrible form of Tourettes.

Not only is it uncomfortable for me, but for anyone on the receiving end of that shit thinks they've stabbed me to the core with their otherwise harmless words. It really isn't you, it's me. You aren't hurting me any more than you would if I were able to man up a little. I just look and act as if I were, so please carry on, I am fine dammit!

When it comes to crying, I am pretty consistent. I make the exact same face today as I did as a toddler. Same big pouty lips and one of the most tragically sad expressions ever. I'd feel sorry for me if I had to look at myself. Crumbling on the outside, shaken but stoic on the inside.

When I was little my Mom would often play the "Free to Be, You and Me" album for me, there was a song on it called "It's Alright to Cry and to this day every time that I cry I can hear Rosey Grier's voice singing, "It's alright to cry, crying gets the sad out of you. It's alright to cry, it might make you feel better." It really does! A good cry, in my opinion, is therapeutic. It may not take all the sad away but it sure does help.

Crying is such a normal reaction for me, it is hard to imagine someone not crying. Holding all that pent-up pain and emotional stress inside can't be healthy! It manifests itself into destructive behaviors and aggression. It is unimaginable to me how someone could bottle that all up inside. I also can't imagine a life without a stable shoulder to rest your head on and a sympathetic ear to listen. Someone who can ultimately reel you back into reality.

My father is a perfect sounding board for these kind of events. He loves to tell me in his slow, southern drawl "Sugar, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." My response is always, "Well then I should have the strength of 10 men by now!" I really hated that expression for a long time because although I wasn't dead, I sure as hell didn't feel any stronger! Not after the first, fifth or thirtieth time he said it to me. Why? Because I didn't actually accept the context in which he meant it. After years of reflection, I know that he means my heart, mind and spirit.

Sure hearts break, but they eventually mend. Minds get lost, but are found in good time and spirits crushed, but never completely stripped away. I will rebuild. My foundation will be stronger, my perception wiser and my affection returned to it's rightful owner.

I'm just not there quite yet, but it will happen. In the meantime, it's alright to cry.


  1. Kara, your writing is so wonderful, open and honest, I love that you share so much. I grew up amongst writers, my grandfather and uncle are both famous for their writing in Brasil. I myself stumble and fall flat on my face when it comes to putting words down. not to mention my horrendous spelling. Thank God for my photography, like they say. "A picture is worth a thousand words" I wonder who figured that out.

    Love you Girl, even at a distance.

  2. Thanks Paul...I just now realized that I had a comment. Silly blogspot for not alerting me when someone posts, I literally just stumbled upon it. I really appreciate it though. I often get tongue tied in the heat of the moment when verbalization skills are super important, so I think about things & find the words that I would have said & finally put them out there.

    You know me, I do love to put it all out there.

    Thanks for the love....right back at cha!