“Why are you always crying?”
“What are you getting so excited about?”
“Why are you so naive?”
“Why do you get so upset about things?”
“What are you so angry about?”
Questions asked of me… repeatedly over my life. “Lose the rage girlfriend” said to me just last week.
And yet, I am that I am. To this day I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m frustrated/angry, and I cry when my heart is afraid or in pain. I have been that way since I can remember. I just hate doing it in front of others.
I learnt to hide this emotional side for my own protection at a very young age. People can be so bloody scornful and contemptuous of emotions. If you cop this from your childhood you naturally think something’s wrong with you.
My son’s a crier. Has been since he was born. Now, at fourteen and amidst testosterone, peer and self pressure he suppresses his crying and wonders why he has explosions of anger. I have never berated him for his tears. But his teachers did from the very beginning, and then there’s the cool image stuff.
But I’m forty-seven now; way over image and the facts are as follows:
I cry when I am emotionally moved.
I am moved by amazing sunrise/sunsets, dolphins and whales swimming before me, the beauty of that moment as the sun goes down when the colors of the trees and flora take on a kind of glow and moments of love and kindness between any and all.
And equally am moved by injustice, by cruelty; and by apathy to injustice and cruelty.
In me there are emotions and I own that they are strong. I can’t do calm and rational; I don’t want to. How about emotional and rational. That’s who I am…for good or ill.
Even today, Tuesday, 15 June 2010, I felt good and mad. Around nine-thirty I put on BBC World Service as I have done the last six or so months. It informs me of world affairs, world news and educates me with its documentaries. But this morning the first thing I heard had me turning it off and yet again experiencing a sense of anger mixed with frustration.
The news was of Kyrgyzstan; innocents being murdered by some group, mums and babies running away from homes and literally from the maternity wards with newborns, dads and sons staying trying to protect their homes, weapon-less against machine guns.
And to my horror, the nearby country, Uzbekistan, where the mums and babes are running too, had closed their borders because…?
The BBC reporter said people are standing along the border begging, chanting “Please Help Us”.
I stand in the kitchen hearing this and cry because I just can’t help it. I don’t understand.
And the scariest part of it is, I can’t say to myself, oh it’s because I wasn’t raised over there that I don’t understand, because I don’t know if right here in Australia we wouldn’t do the very same thing.
I never thought we would be like that until the babies overboard saga, then watching the public turn a blind eye to Johnnies lies, letting another man take the fall, and voting Johnny in yet again. And now Abbots (Johnny plus) going up in the opinion poll. Crikey!
Until all that happened, I though it was just my parents and the grey generation still under the ‘generational-post-traumatic-stress disorder’ of the near invasion in the Second World War. Like Americans willing to ignore Bushes lies in reaction to the trauma of 9/11. But none of that seems to be true.
Instead, as I look around; at what we allow to happen to refugees, the mentally ill, families in need, our young, our disabled, our hurt, sometimes with our very lives; well yes it moves me, saddens me, and yeah, makes me mad.
I hope whilst I breathe that my emotions will be moved not only by the beauty of this gorgeous life but also by the injustice and cruelty. Like closing the borders to mums and bubs trying to run from machine guns. When I picture this I see any and every mother.
Perhaps I’ll lose the rage when we finally see our interconnection and interdependence on each other where ever fate lands us at our birth.