learning to cry

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She’s teaching me how to cry again, a gift I’ll never be able to say enough thank yous for.

I spent years learning how not to feel too big, becoming the quiet stoic one so he could rage, or so he wouldn’t rage. I taught myself that my feelings only mattered sometimes and only privately then, that the person I loved couldn’t handle them. I think it’s why I wrote more then, likely why I hardly wrote about the hard things.

And I think in the process I lost a lot, mostly the ability to really see how far gone I was, we were. But also just the permission to let myself be happy, or sad, or angry, or anything besides “strong” and “calm” and “patient,” (sigh).

It’s been almost a year since she shattered any control I had over not feeling joy. Anger has been fairly easy to be honest, I’m like a teenager that way and working on it.

But man sadness has been slow to come back. I can feel it inside which is quite a thing- both to realize that you hadn’t really for so long, and to actually experience it again.

The crying has not come easy though. Not like it does for her.

She cries beautifully, and whenever she wants or needs to. It’s magic I swear, or at least it seemed like it to me. That she could feel hurt or frustrated, and sit head in her hands, or curl into me and let it out. “I wish you could cry too” she said once, “it’s such a good release”. And I knew it was. I wish I was lying when I said I was jealous.

God I would try so hard to let sadness in and then out of me, to let tears well up and fall. Mostly I’d just look mad, or get mad. Which isn’t really helpful at all if you aren’t in fact mad. But she was always there… she is always here, showing me what it looks like to feel big feelings, begging me to trust her, trusting me more than anyone who’s been through what she’s been through should.

She pulls me in all the time (like the shore pulls the sea I said in my vows), with patience and soft words, wide open arms, quiet spaces and time to breathe. With those eyes and more kindness and gentleness than I’ve ever known she is teaching me all kinds of things – that I can be sad, hurt and weak, fragile, frustrated and sweet (god it’s never been my strong suit before).

She’s taught me that it’s ok to say “I don’t know,” and she teaches me how to be still, something I’ll write about another day, but my God it’s so good to learn. And when I say it’s so good to learn – I mean it’s so good to get healing.

My heart is so much more whole and healed with her (so much so that I’m out of metaphors and I have to say things like, “my heart is so much more whole and healed with her”). But it is the truth. The truthiest truth. She helps me find places inside me I didn’t know were still there, and then she loves them like I didn’t know was possible. I love her more now than I did a year ago, I laugh more than I have in my life, every single color is brighter, and oh my god, I can cry.


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