Cry baby cry

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before – more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

It is okay to cry although if you were born to cry a lot like me, you’d probably try to control and fight back those urge to cry in your adulthood. Back home, I was known to be a crybaby. Growing up, I was often told by my parents what a difficult baby I was as I just couldn’t stop crying. This was backed up by photo evidence and validated by my grandparents, aunts, uncles, relatives and friends of my parents who never failed to remind me every time we met how much I used to cry. I nearly gave my mum a nervous breakdown she admitted to having thoughts of dumping me into the washing machine in a desperate attempt to stop me crying. At school, I was once called to the teacher’s desk for forgetting to bring my textbook and the very first sentence that was said to me was, “Don’t you start crying.” (If I could turn back the clock, I would have replied, “I would stop crying if only the school would stop punishing people for forgetting to bring their textbooks.)

I don’t remember and can’t explain why it was I cried so much and if I could, chances were, I’d not be crying. I take that as a sign that I was born to be sad. In hindsight, perhaps it was an indication that something was wrong.

“The first signs for parents in the pre-school years can be intense emotions, especially distress, and an inability to be comforted by affection or the intense despair alleviated by distraction or conversation.” (bold my emphasis) Professor Tony Attwood, What’s it like to be a Girl with AS (Asperger Syndrome)?

Given I was brought up and guilty of crying too much, I started to regulate my emotions and accepted that it is okay for anyone else to cry except me. Growing up and as an adult now, I was as quiet as my mum (according to her). My mum worries a lot and I sometimes thought she was too easily influenced by the opinion of others which can make her unhappy. I was told she had a history of nervous breakdown before I was born. My dad worries too for different reasons, he is a highly anxious extrovert. He is always anxious about being on time, anxious about abiding the laws, anxious about dangers and keeping safe, anxious about our grades and future etc., and most of all, he is anxious about not losing his face. Anxiety is not something easy to please, as I’ve come to learn. His anxiety is often a cause of a lot of arguments, stress and pressure in the household. Worry feeds worry. Anxiety feeds anxiety. Unfortunately, I take after both of my parents’ attributes.

I’m beginning to think that happiness is a feeling and emotion that needs to be taught. I named my cat after the one thing that is lacking in my life in the hope that she would be. I’m not sure if she would prefer a more exotic name but all I want for her is to be happy and by that, I’m not embracing the idea that happiness is something tangible that can be pursued or an end goal in itself (I think that will only produce the opposite effect). I only want her life to be as carefree as possible, without crippling worries and anxieties. And I shall extend the same to all my friends and anyone reading this. May your life be as carefree as possible 🙂

“I begin to think,” said Estella, in a musing way, after another moment of calm wonder, “that I almost understand how this comes about. If you had brought up your adopted daughter wholly in the dark confinement of these rooms, and had never let her know that there was such a thing as the daylight by which she had never once seen your face – if you had done that, and then, for a purpose had wanted her to understand the daylight and know all about it, you would have been disappointed and angry?”

Miss Havisham, with her head in her hands, sat making a low moaning, and swaying herself on her chair, but gave no answer.

“Or,” said Estella, ” – which is a nearer case – if you had taught her, from the dawn of her intelligence, with your utmost energy and might, that there was such a thing as daylight, but that it was made to be her enemy and destroyer, and she must always turn against it, for it had blighted you and would else blight her; – if you had done this, and then, for a purpose, had wanted her to take naturally to the daylight and she could not do it, you would have been disappointed and angry?”

Miss Havisham sat listening (or it seemed so, for I could not see her face), but still made no answer.

“So,” said Estella, “I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.”

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Featured image from PEXELS (Cat image belongs to mine)

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