In all the work Trevor and I have done in our sessions, one thing has never happened.
I haven’t cried.
I don’t you see.
And it was one of the things that made me feel like a cold, heartless b**h. And to some degree I still feel that way but I am slowly warming up.
I am sure there was a time when I did cry. After all, all kids cry.
But some kids learn that there is no point. Because no one pays any attention if you do. Or maybe, because when you do you get shouted at and it just draws the worst sort of attention to you. A sort of attention you don’t want.
When I was 6 or 7 I saved my crying until night time, with my head under my pillow. I learnt the art of silent crying where the tears flow but there is no sound. Other than the sound of the arguments, the fists through the door. The anger.
As I got older I learnt that I shouldn’t cry. That it would give away my feelings, that it would make me vulnerable. I couldn’t afford to be vulnerable. I had to be strong. To survive.
So I don’t cry.
And these days, sometimes when the little one is telling me how she will be ok about certain things “if I fall over I won’t cry mummy”, or as I kiss her goodnight “I won’t cry tonight mummy” what do I say to her?
I tell her “It’s ok to cry sometimes. Sometimes we need to cry because something hurts or we’re upset. If you feel like crying, you go ahead and cry darling” and I give her the biggest hug I can because sometimes, we just need to cry don’t we?