The sound of crying filled the operation theater. Everyone present there seemed to be taking a sigh of relief as the young infant cried as loudly as it could to welcome himself into the world. Everyone accompanying the mother was informed and they exchanged hugs of celebration with each other. The newborn boy continued to cry, little did he know, this was the only time people would be happy to see him crying.
As he grew up he was continuously put in situations which would make him want to cry but everyone said the same thing to him, “Be brave tiger. Boys don’t cry.” The same thing over and over again
Boys don’t cry
Stop being like a girl
He had heard it so often now that by the time he turned 13 he had been turned into a stone emotionally. He was about enter the teenage phase of his life with no outlet for emotions that are anything other than happiness. It was always going to turn all the sadness he had inside him into repressed anger. Due to some weird reason, it was okay for him to be angry, but crying was something that had been termed absolutely out of bounds. He was an athlete. He ran a lot, he sweat out a lot but still, he was never allowed to sweat from his eyes.
He turned 15, he fell in love and he didn’t know what he was supposed to do with all the emotions going on inside him. His love was not reciprocated. He felt broken; shattered in thousands of pieces but he could not cry. He had been hypnotized into holding back all the tears and he just had to get over it. He didn’t have an outlet for his emotions, he didn’t know what to do and he just knew he couldn’t cry or he would be made fun of. His friends were in the same situation. All of them had something wrong in their life, all of them wanted to let the tears out, all of them wanted to be comfortable with what they felt but none of them had the courage to be the first one to break down. The social anxiety among all of them got the better of their true selves and all of them found one or the other arguably unhealthy way of dealing with their feelings. Some took their anger out on other people; sought revenge from people who they did not know but only shared the same gender as the person who hurt them. This could have been avoided, all of it, if only they had been allowed to sweat from their eyes.
The boy turned 18; he joined college, a new phase of life, new people, everything new. The change was too quick and too large for him and he struggled to deal with it. He didn’t have friends to fall back on. He just had himself. He wanted to cry, he wished he was even capable of it anymore but he couldn’t. The thought that crying would be something disastrous for him had been drilled so deep into his mind. He was in pain, excruciating pain but it was the kind which couldn’t be cured by pain killers. He had to find some other ways, he found a blade on his table and cut his left arm. It was a superficial cut, but it was enough to make him feel good. For a moment it seemed like the pain he felt had been zoned out and he fell under the influence of endorphins. Slowly, he got addicted to it, every time he felt sad, he would whip out the blade and add another mark to his battle scars. It could have been avoided, so much pain, if only he had been allowed to sweat from his eyes.
He managed to somehow make it to 25. He was a married man now, he had a family to look after and he had to look after his ailing parents. All the responsibilities of the world had been burdened on him. Sometimes he felt he was not strong enough to tackle all of them, sometimes he felt it was not worth the effort and sometimes he even wanted to end it all. He didn’t have any friends because they had their own work and responsibilities. He had never dared to love again since his last heart break. He didn’t trust his parents who had been the first ones to tell him ‘not to cry’. He knew he had an obligation to them, but he also had a hidden disdain for the people who had not let him be himself and turned him into something with the emotional spectrum of a boulder. He felt unstable, he felt weak. He questioned the purpose of his life. He wished to know what his legacy was going to be. He didn’t get any answers that would make him feel good or more worthy about himself and yet, he couldn’t sweat from his eyes.
He was a 40 year old man now. His parents had passed away. He didn’t know what he had to do next. He didn’t cry when he cremated them. He didn’t even feel anything that could be considered an emotion. He was numb from the inside. He decided to seek help from a professional doctor and slowly realized how he had been indoctrinated into being a stone. He learned how he had other options than being a stone. It was slow, it took time and it took patience but finally
The sweat from his eyes rolled out.
This was piece about allowing men to cry and not making it a shameful thing for them to do. I have written previously about I had struggled with crying as well. You can check that out here
I got the idea for this from Akshata (twitter @Awestruck_Aks ; WordPress: akswritesblog.com) who had written about how the life of a girl starts when she stops crying. So I must give Akshata the co-credits for this one.
Thank you and Happy reading!