Let Us Talk Tears

Do you think it is true that if you still cry when you tell your adoption story that you are not “healed”?

Was musing with a few friends on separate occassions about this.

I shared that no matter how hard I try, when I speak publicly, I choke up and stammer and cry.  I have a love hate relationship with this. Part of me is just plain old annoyed that the emotions take over cuz I want to sound all credible and smarty pants. Then another part of the psycho gemini that I am feels that it is good, okay, and natural to cry. It shows the depth of the pain and trauma. This is something I want people to see.

Yet, I reflect on a woman I met at the A Girl Like Her Screening in Hartford a few weeks back. After the Q & A she came up to me, remarked about my sharing and then said something like “so obvious that you are still not healed due to your crying”.  Part of me was like “WTF, seriously?”  Yet a few days later another friend brought this up to me.

I strongly reject the people who tell us how to heal, when, why, under what circumstances and what the benefits are of doing so mighty quick. (Don’t even take me there unless you are prepared to tell me that you also tell a rape victim that she needs to just get ovvuh her sorry ass self..)

Yet even still, I wonder, will the day come that I don’t cry when I tell my story or talk publicly about it. Is the lack of crying a sign of some sort of growth that I have yet to achieve?

9 Thoughts.

  1. No, not true. I don’t cry in public, and rarely even in private, because of how I was conditioned (as a child and after I lost my son). My lack of tears does not indicate that I am healed. In the first place, I don’t think we ever completely heal from this loss. And second, no one should ever make judgements about another’s healing process, how they go about grieving, whether or not they cry. Be who are, Suz, and do what you do.

    • I am inclined to agree with you on all counts but as you know there are believers in this “healing” process. Some are so hard core I have to wonder who they are trying to convince (like this random women I met at the screening).

  2. I can’t speak to the adoption aspect of this and healing, however, crying makes us human, pure and simple.
    ‘Not healed due to your crying’? HUH? WTF!!!! To quote Jack N: go sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.
    I will take the cryers anyday of the week, it means they FEEL and are in touch with their emotions.

  3. I am sure I will never stop choking up when I recall my story. I was traumatized. Suffering from grief and loss is ongoing. I am haunted by our seperation almost 25 years later. How are you really healed from the injury of separation from your own child? The subsequent lies, deception, degradation, manipulation, that caused the permanent seperation I never agreed to? How does the young, vulnerable, hormonal, scared, under the influence of desperate for a child ‘grown ups’ handle a life altering… Permanent…’decision’ like letting perfect strangers raise your child? Not only because of financial and marital status… Fear! Being told if you LOVE your child you would give her to this ‘stable’ couple.You will RUIN your child if you do not comply with fulfilling our dreams of Parenthood! You are SELFISH for wanting to raise your own child! Mothers are not inhuman, unfeeling. We are spiritual beings, flesh, blood and bones just like everyone else. We have souls. Empathy for the infertile played a pivotal role in the acceptance that the ‘choice’ was the most loving. No offers of support… Using religious faith to justify the breaking up of a sacred bond between mother and child is unfathomable. Would I like to be healed ? Of course! Do I accept what I can not change? Yes. I have to. Do I dwell every moment in sorrow? No. Will I go to my grave feeling the pain and emptiness of never meeting my child? Yes. Will I always pray for her? Yes. Will she ever leave my mind completely. Absolutely not.

  4. What’s healed?

    Or really.. can we heal? How are we supposed to? Are we supposed to?

    I don’t cry; usually. ( Which feels silly as I write this because I just did, literally. I haven’t even washed my face yet and tears are still dried and sticky on my cheeks) I can cry *when* I want to or hold it back, but that doesn’t make me more or less healed than you. Being able to speak without crying might be mastery of a certain control, but control is not healing either and who is to say that control is even good. Am I “better” for being able to remove myself from feeling when it suits me?The flip side is that yes, perhaps I am just as likely to cut myself off form feeling other things too and perhaps not when it suits me. Perhaps only a fool can think that they really are in control of all their emotions.

    I guess my point is that NOT crying isn’t all it is stacked up to be. And I think you are pretty smarty pants anyway.

  5. I can’t/don’t cry when talking to people of my adoption story. Oh ~ how badly I wish that I could though… I don’t consider my lack of crying to be anything positive or any sign of growth. All it tells me is that I was far too good at hiding my emotions for far too long.

  6. It’s strange. There are some days when I can talk about the experience of losing my daughter and some days I can’t. It was 33 yrs ago and there are still days when it can take me to my knees. Why do some people feel they can judge that kind of loss and the healing process. Personally I don’t think you ever really heal from it. It’s just too f’n big. We don’t heal totally, we just learn to cope with it and to hell with people who judge us for it.

  7. You could turn that around and ask “If you don’t cry does that mean you are over it?”
    It’s been almost 42 years. I will never be over it. It has defined my life. I don’t cry in front of people – ever. It’s a control thing. My whole life has been about controlling the situations I was in because for a few months others controlled my life for me with the result being the life altering relinquishment of my son.
    It’s been buried deep but it resurfaces often.
    They lied, they told me I would go on with my life and forget all about it. I didn’t and never will.

  8. I too have experienced this with certain people, people who seem to believe that one must “get over” trauma, and that if you dare show any emotion when speaking of “said trauma”, it is their sworn duty to announce to you that you “must not be/are not healed”. As if “not feeling” about the trauma, is in fact to be healed. I strongly disagree with this philosophy.

    What is healed? Is it something I need to seek out, to feel nothing when I speak of a trauma that changed the course of my life forever; I don’t believe that to be a true mark of being “healed”.

    Rather, I believe it is much healthier to feel what one feels without apologies, for we are each on our own paths here. I believe that it takes greater strength to “feel” the impact of the trauma, yet still have the grace to put one foot in front of the other as best one can at that moment in time or at any pariticular moment in time, and to hold their head up high while tears are streaming down their face, if that is part of their experience. What others think be damned. I realize that that opinion is highly impractical in this society, but it still remains my opinion.

    I believe we are, each of us, who we are, as a result of all that we have experienced in our lives, and that we serve ourselves best if we can accept all parts of ourselves. To reject part of one’s life experiences, especially something so life changing as placing a child for adoption, is to take a stance of aggression against oneself. To not allow that we are all made up of pleasant and unpleasant experiences; good and bad choices, light and dark; good and evil; I believe that is called denial.

    Whenever I tell my story, I still feel the strong emotions of that time in my life even now, 35 years after the fact. That is my truth, it may be hard for some to watch or hear, but it is mine. So my thought to those that like to announce that I am “not healed”; I will kindly ask you to look away or walk away. I am not telling my story to “take care” of your feelings.

    If you ask me to tell you my story, I will do so, in my own way. Do not ask the question of me, if you do not want to hear the true answer, and do not project your uncomfortableness at hearing my truth upon me. Instead, I ask that you listen with compassion and an open mind or do not ask the question. If my story brings up feelings in you that are uncomfortable, perhaps it is because it is not a story of comfort.

Comments are closed.