Have you guys ever heard the “Testosterone” episode (#220) of This American Life? In one segment, they interviewed Griffin, a man who was born as a woman. He said that one major change after he started living as a man was that he had a hard time crying.
“Before testosterone, it was great to, you know, if I was frustrated or angry or sad – have a good cry; you feel better afterwards,” he said. But that as a man, the quality of a cry and the amount of tears was never the same.
That segment really made me appreciate the power of a great cry. Not even the emotional part – just the physical act of crying.
Every now and then, people will sort of marvel at how positive I’ve managed to be during this whole ordeal. But the secret is: I would make sure to cry.
Over the past few months, I would find the dumbest moments – moments where I wouldn’t need to cry, moments where I was alone – like watching 90210 or Jersey Shore. I would just let myself physically cry and let it out, and it would somehow be enough to get me through the next day or two, especially those moments when I was faced with something scary or sad.
But now the situation with my dad has gotten worse, and I’m finally at the point where I cry when I’m actually sad, and it happens all the time. I don’t want anyone to see me cry because I don’t want to bum them out around Christmas.
But because it’s Christmas, there are people everywhere right now. Everything is a total bitch to accomplish. I’m at this point where sadness could hit me anywhere, like the grocery store, and there are just millions of people passing by me and freaking out, like, “OMG is she crying?” Usually I can camouflage it to resemble a bad cold, but there’s a second or two of glassy eyes and an escaping tear – at a random place like the bread aisle – and someone is bound to catch me.
Let’s be clear: I’m not sad that all this is happening around Christmas (I used to be, but I’m used to this by now)… I’m just sad that other people have to be sad for me around Christmas. Do you know what I mean? I don’t want to bum people out by telling them about my problems right now. But eventually people ask how he’s doing, or someone sees me crying, or… I have nothing else to write about on my stupid daily blog…. and it comes out. Only my 2 best friends and my boyfriend know all the details, and even though those are the people I should call, who want me to call them, I still feel like shit for bumming them out.
*That This American Life episode also includes a great segment where everyone on the staff tests their testosterone levels and they take their results so personally and get giggly about each other’s and it’s one of the most fun segments I’ve ever heard. TAL and Frank & Erik are getting me through the day.