When Was The Last Time You Cried in Front of Someone?
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I’m not sure why, but it makes me slightly uncomfortable. Maybe it’s the vulnerability it evokes. It makes me feel silly. That must sound odd, coming from someone who regularly spills their deepest thoughts to 14,000 people, but writing my feelings for thousands of people I’ll never meet provides a safe buffer. There’s still a computer screen between us. You can feel me, but you can’t see me. Not really.
You see, the thing is, for years and years I never cried. I could count on one hand all the times I let a tear escape—maybe four or five times a year? Certainly never in front of people.
Up until a couple of months ago, I’d cried in the presence of exactly eight people in the past 20 years. Three of them were therapists, another three were singular occurrences with friends, two of whom were both with me when it happened. One was a single tear shed in front of an ex from college, and the last was my ex-husband, and I’d never cried in front of him until our divorce (with the exception of when we put my cat to sleep).
I’m still not comfortable being THAT vulnerable in front of people. I can really only think of one occasion where I really allowed myself to be a full on train wreck in front of another human being. It was 13 years ago when I showed up at my best friend’s apartment at four in the morning sobbing uncontrollably, and she let me lay in bed with her until I cried myself to sleep.
Having another person witness your deepest pain is the most vulnerable any of us will ever feel. But when that pain is met by steady presence and total acceptance, it can also be the most healing thing any of us will ever experience.
When was the last time you cried in front of someone?