It's been four days since we split up. I've read three books since then. I've almost called twice. I haven't even cried once.
I know how to cry at movies or books, when I hear about rape or a tragedy to a young child, or when I see an 80 year old man doing a 16 year old's job at the gas station, with a look of fulfillment on his face.
But, somehow, I'm unable to cry for myself.
In order to cry for your self, you need forgiveness and compassion, two traits antithetical to survival. To cry means weakness, self-pity and there's nothing more nauseating than that. Granted, it's not that I've never pitied myself, but only when I didn't identify it as self-pity.
The minute that awareness that I'm acting Dawson's Creek-y has ever hit me, I forced myself to stop whining and start fighting.
Pardon the cliché, but for as long as I can remember, I've been a fighter. The price – I have become more angry than sad, more actively fearful than passively depressed.
And it's better that way, despite the fact that I've become so aggressive, irritable and hard. Despite the fact that I've become bad-tempered and easily angered. Otherwise, I have no doubt that I would have given up long ago.
For the most part, I succeed in hiding the personal damages. People who have met me in the past few years think I'm a spoiled little uptown
It turns out that I look like someone who was protected, someone for whom smiling comes naturally. Of course that smile isn't natural! It's not even a smile, it's a grimace of stubbornness. Those in the know can immediately recognize it - a smile of a woman whose life is a fight to the death.
It's healthy to cry
And it was until a few years ago. I know that all of my killer instincts were once truly necessary. But now it seems that I'm stuck with them. They haven't been relevant for a while. It's over. Everything's fine. There's no monster under the bed or zombie in the mirror, and the anger is just a habit. So is the inability to cry.
Once I told someone that I was the person to stand next to during moments of crisis. When something really bad happens, I enter tough-mode and become omnipotent. If need be, I'm funny or sympathetic. If hunting is needed to survive, I'll head to the woods.
It's the small, daily moments that break me disproportionably. The same thing with crying. I can cry only when it's not about me, because I have a feeling that, if I start, I won't be able to stop.
And, for me, a couple of days is no big deal. There was a four year period when I didn't cry even once. It was the darkest period of my life, a time when I thought every morning that I wouldn't make it to the evening and trembled from fear all through the night until morning. When it seemed that I wouldn't make it without a prayer. However, even praying required internal gentleness, which I was lacking.
I'm afraid to cry to this day, in case I break down, but I know that I should, that it's a release. I have to cry hard and not just listening to 'My Tragic Sister' or reading about Beth's death in 'Little Women'. I feel a lump in my throat and it's clear that if I won't cry, the tears will choke me like wormwood.
It's healthy to cry. Crying means you're hurt, that you give up, that you're able to take things in. Crying means that you've stopped struggling. When the tears come, it means the war is over.
It's been four days since we split up. I've read three books since then. I've almost called twice. I cried once. Two tears. I don't know if that counts.