These Tears Do Not Make Me Weak

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Photo by Troy Koltermann Photography

It’s a pretty pitiful site. Crying so hard that your eyes are swollen. The tears have been non-stop and you can’t believe your body isn’t dehydrated from the loss of fluids. Tears and snot are both streaming down your face and converging on your neck like two rivers. Finally giving in and curling into a fetal ball on your bed surrounded by a sea of soggy tissues, you continue to cry so loud and violently that your body convulses.

A good old fashioned cry; who hasn’t been there? I know I have countless times in my life. I’m an extremely emotional person so crying isn’t unusual for me. To all my friends I’m THAT friend who is a guarantee to cry if things get emotional. I used to hide when I needed to cry, especially in front of people, becauseI felt ashamed. The problem is, that I literally cry if a commercial hits me in the feels, so sometimes it can’t be controlled. But I always felt super embarrassed about it, like it made me weak. But it doesn’t show my weakness- in fact I think it shows my strength.

Cry It Out

Any parent has heard of the “cry it out” method. It’s referring to when your child wants you in the middle of the night, and instead of giving in to them, you let them cry it out in their crib, and essentially cry themselves to sleep. Over time, they learn to just self-soothe and will no longer wake up every hour or so wanting you. It’s not easy, but it’s good for both parent and child. Sometimes just crying it out helps you in the long run.

Honestly crying in my opinion is good for your health! Releasing those emotions helps you to heal, instead of holding them inside and letting them fester until you boil over and explode. Holding onto feelings is pretty toxic, and makes you feel worse, whereas just dealing with them head-on and gets them out of your system.

My favorite places to cry are the shower and the car. The shower is great because it’s one of the only places I am alone, unless a child HAS to come tell me they have a hangnail or some other life-threatening issue. And it’s great because the water washes away the mess so there’s no soggy tissues!

The car is great too (if I’m alone). I love to blast music, sing along, and just let the tears flow. I’m sure plenty of people have seen me on these outings, but frankly I could care less. In my car, I’m in the zone. Isn’t it funny how we feel invisible in our cars? Yes I CAN see you nose picker at the red light!!

No matter what the reason, just let the emotions out. Whether you need to scream in a pillow, or just have yourself a good sob-fest in your car, it will only help you to release those emotions.

The Moments Between the Tears

Obviously, life is not meant to be sad. It would be a really miserable life it it was! But just like in the Pixar movie “Inside Out” the emotions inside Riley’s head realized that the character Sadness was required in order for her to appreciate life. Some of the most tragic moments in my life have led to some of the most triumphant and life-changing ones after.

**Trigger Warning**

In 2004, I was sexually assaulted by a guy that I knew in college. There really is no other way to explain it than me being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I entered my friend’s dorm room on my floor, and was surprised to see she was not alone. There was very loud music being played and two boys whom I knew from the football team were with her. As soon as I entered the room, I realized I was in danger and tried to leave, but the door was shut, and instantly I was grabbed by one of the boys.

Without going into too much details, the one pinned me down on the bed and had his way with me as best he could (I fought as hard as I could the entire time). I wasn’t going to let it be easy for him. So, not only was it a traumatic incident for me, but I had to listen in horror as my friend was being raped in the bed next to me. Our yells were drowned out to anyone else by the music that had been playing, but her screams will haunt me forever.

It was a moment in my life that changed me. It led me to some extremely unhealthy life choices, and a few toxic relationships. I really didn’t talk about my own experience until about a year ago, and once I started to talk about it, and really deal with the emotions that came from it, I was able to heal myself. Bringing up this incident in therapy unleashed some strong emotions that I tried to suppress over the years and had been extremely toxic to hold onto. Releasing them, was like opening a dam. I cried a lot more than I had expected to. It was messy, but felt SO good afterwards.

Now that I have faced my demons head-on, a fire has been lit inside me to help other survivors of sexual assault. I have become involved with the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City. My sister and I were asked to co-chair the auction for their upcoming Hope and Healing Gala which will be June 8.

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Please come join us! It will be an amazing night with live music, a silent auction, great food, and it all benefits a great cause. We have tickets left, so if you’d like to attend either visit the website above. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me! Shoot me an email if you’d like: therawbrunette@gmail.com

 I’ll Cry If I Want To

I feel every emotion very deeply, which is a blessing and a curse. People who are more in touch with their emotions are more intelligent, (okay so I made that up, but it sounded legit, right?). I feel blessed that I am so in touch with my emotions because it helps me to connect with others on a much deeper level. I wrote before about my experience with energy healing and I absolutely believe that our emotions and energy can not only be felt, but can also be healed by others.

A few weekends ago I was able to attend a Women’s Retreat in Eden, Utah. It was put together by Utah Womens Retreats   and was hosted by Aaron and Veronica Benson, a husband and wife duo who are both life coaches and counselors. The theme of the retreat was “Recharge, Refocus, Reconnect”. We stayed in this incredible house, and in the two days we were there we did some group sessions which initially, I was hesistant about speaking up and participating at first because all these women were complete strangers to me. After about 10 minutes though, during an exercise we did where each of us had to write down a word that described ourselves, and I wrote down “trying”. I explained to everyone that even though I know I’m not perfect, and things don’t go as I plan, that I keep trying.

A woman whom I had just met in our group, Jessica, raised her hand and said that I should change my word to “doing” because she said trying seemed like a negative, and she looked me right in the eyes and said “Cuz girl you’re not trying, you’re DOING it!”. It may not seem like a huge moment to some of you, but I needed to hear those words. I needed to know that my efforts are validated and that despite me feeling like nothing getsdone or goes how I planned, that I’m still doing it and that’s all that matters. Of course, this hit me in all the feels, and she and I hugged it out. I’m telling you about this moment, because even though I had just met Jessica, she and I were connected through our energy and emotions. She was able to reach me without even knowing me.

The rest of the women’s retreat was such a great experience. We all opened up and there were plenty of tears and laughter too. When we left to go home the group of strangers was more like family. That’s the power of emotions and being open to expressing them.

Feeling All the Feels

I feel sorry for people who don’t express their emotions freely like I can. I cannot imagine what I would be like if so was not so comfortable crying when I’m feeling emotional. And it’s not just crying, it’s all emotions. Sadly, so many people feel like they need to keep any and all emotion under wraps.

How many times have you heard “boys don’t cry”, or “man up” referring to men and how, according to “society” they cannot show emotion. Emotions are “feminine”, which is a bunch of BS. I personally love a man that isn’t afraid to show his emotional side, and feel very lucky to be married to one who has openly wept many times in front of me. At our wedding in 2005, he cried WAY more than me! I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. Jess by far is not as emotional as I am, but I love that he’s comfortable enough to cry if he needs to.

I see nothing wrong with being very sensitive to my emotions, because it really does help me be a better person. How could you go through this roller coaster we call life without truly feeling anything? Is that even considered living? Or is it just going through the motions?

I for one, will continue to cry if I need to. There is no need to hold back my tears, and it doesn’t make me weaker to let them freely fall. Crying for me, helps me reach to conclusions in my most trying times. Sometimes, our tears are our bodies physical expression of how we are feeling even if we cannot vocally express it. The tears that fall all tell a story of the heartache, loss, anger, or joy that we are unable to vocalize, and it’s human. It’s also extremely beautiful.

 

XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette

 

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