Monday, October 22, 2007

The Crying Gene

I'm not sure if it's biological or environmental, or a little of both, because my mom and my sister have the same problem, but somewhere along the line I became a crybaby. Okay, I've always been a crybaby--my brothers would chant, "Cry! Cry! Cry Sally, Cry!" and say things like, "If you just cry, you'll get whatever you want," and I would just bust out crying. I even have the special talent of being able to cry on demand (I would be a great soap opera star!) But now my crying isn't over toys or scraping my knee--it's over just about everything else. And I'm getting a little sick of it. I used to wear regular mascara. Then I changed to waterproof. Now I don't even wear any, because I know I will cry at least once a day.

It's good in a way, I guess. At least I know I'm not a stone-cold human being without feelings. But seriously, is there any way to control it? It's really embarrassing. I hate being the only one crying all the time!

Just take the last few days as a typical example:
  • Driving home from San Antonio, I'm alone because we took two cars, and Brad has Ty with him. I put in my CDs and cry basically the whole time because I'm so grateful for my life and my two boys, and the Temple, and my family, and sad that I'm away from them, but happy that I know the Lord has a plan for us, blah, blah, blah.
  • At a thrift store, Ty talks to a lady all cute, and she says, "He'll grow up so fast," and I blurt out, "I know!" and start bawling all over because he is growing up so fast!
  • Football game--so proud of the players for working so hard. It reminds me of my joy in playing sports, and the fun I had. I cry at the end of another game as a player makes a winning field goal--I'm so happy for him for playing through the pressure!
  • Just thinking--I didn't even hear it this time, I just thought about it--about that Tim McGraw song, "If you're readin' this, with my Momma sittin' there, it looks like I only got a one-way ticket outta here..." all about a man who doesn't come home from the war. This one was late at night. I had to go wake up Brad and just hug and kiss him because he was alive.
  • Primary program--the whole thing--I never make it through a primary program! I can't even sub in primary without just bawling. Kids singing and bearing testimony gets me every time!
  • Gospel Doctrine, Relief Society. I can never make it out of church.
  • Getting Ty's birthmom's wedding announcement--so happy for her, so thankful for her decision to place Ty with us.
  • Reading Sue's post.
  • Reading Emily's post.
  • Ty playing the message my mom left on the machine for him for his birthday over and over again and the sheer joy on his face, and me thinking about how he used to be so close to his grandparents, and how we've taken him away from them. Waaahhhhhhh.

Those are just the examples I could think of right now. I'm sure there were more tearfests that I just don't recall because they are so commonplace. When I'm alone I really don't mind it; a good cry feels good. But Ty has started noticing, and asks me why I'm sad. How do I explain that it's a good cry? Does anyone else struggle with this? Any tips on controlling it?


  1. Thanks for the link Sally...

    We must be related or something. I totally do the whole - hear a sad song and imagine my husband dying - THING, and always have to go find my hubby to give him a hug.

    I wrote about the whole good cry thing on my blog a week or so ago, (I swear I am not trying to pimp my blog more - you already linked me, tee hee - it just SO closely goes with what you were saying) in a post called, "The One With All The Crazy," and you would not believe how many women commented saying they do the exact same thing, tee hee. So you are NOT ALONE ;>

    Sometimes it just feels good to cry - cathartic. I tend to invent reasons to cry, instead of crying over real stuff. I just let my imagination run away with me instead :>

  2. About 4 years ago, I thought I was losing my mind when I actually teared up as the car in front of me nicely allowed another car to merge in front of it (a random act of kindness in our road rage filled society). Ok, so I'm not usually as teary as I was that day, but being a parent has seemed to bring that out in me.

    As far as Ty asking why you're sad, I would consider his question a compliment, since you've obviously done a great job at teaching him empathy and concern for others.

  3. I guess I am one of the stone cold humans without feelings. I don't cry very often (unless I get my feelings hurt). Sometimes it's almost embarrassing...for example, at the temple when a family member is getting married, and I'm the only one who doesn't need a kleenex. It makes me feel like I'm not very spiritual, but really I am. I guess I am just a pretty private person and I strongly DISLIKE crying in public.

    Maybe you could share the wealth a little bit... :)

  4. Sally-I like to call it the "Gift of Weeping" and consider it a spiritual gift. Makes me feel better about it. J.K.
    Kelli has the crying "problem" too, since it seems to run in the family. She has tried to explain it to Brooklyn because Brooklyn will notice Kelli crying and wonder what is wrong. Now Brooklyn tries to explain her own crying...recently she was crying about bedtime or some other 4 year old issue and she said, "I'm just crying because I love Jesus!"

  5. I'm with Nettie (is she the same Nettie from Wells Hall??). Sometimes I wish I could let my tears flow a little more. My girls seem to have your problem, though. I guess I just do my weeping vicariously through them.

  6. How about this one, Sal. I cried today when I was driving and heard an Onstar commercial on the radio. Beat that. (It was really sweet...the lady in the accident wasn't responding, but the Onstar operator kept talking to her telling her she wouldn't leave her and that help was on the way) Now I'm going to cry again...

  7. I think it's just a woman thing. I'm very much the same way. I think part of it is the spirit, and thats just how we deal with it. It comes out our eyes! lol. Very sweet --

  8. I think being emotional is a gift. And I'm dead serious. I think it means you're sensitive. And that's good. I am a huge schmoltz; love a good cry, and just get really tender hearted about lots of little things. Embrace it, Sal! You're darling.

  9. I cry at nothing. Seriously. It is strange, but every now and then I just need to cry. There are a few specific things that are a given... father playing with child, parents not taking care of their children, children in countries that need help (but because of selfish people, it is expensive to adopt), holding my different friend's new babies.


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