I stayed up most of the night last night. I couldn’t sleep, but mostly, I couldn’t stop crying. I cried feelings of hurt, fear, loss and confusion. I cried feelings for you, for him – for anyone who has ever left me. I cried out my disappointments, my mistakes, my regrets and for all the things I just cannot seem to forgive myself for. I cried until my eyes grew so heavy they closed. I cried until I fell asleep.
When I woke up this morning I felt empty – I felt numb. I shouldn’t have felt that way. Today was the first day of my dream job. I should have felt pride and joy – excitement and accomplished. Yet I felt empty. Not a relieving, weight-off-of-your-shoulders type of empty; the type of empty you feel when you don’t feel anything anymore at all.
Last night I cried so hard and for so long,
I must have cried until my feelings were gone.
For someone like me; someone who feels too much, too often, about everything. For someone who’s overloaded with feelings, I think it’s best to feel nothing. Even when I feel nothing, somehow, I still feel more than I should.
I think in life, particularly for women – women who feel the way I feel and how I feel – it’s easier to stay empty, to be emotionless. I think building up a barrier and wearing a suit of armor is necessary. Successful women don’t feel (or rather show) their feelings to anyone. They pull themselves together. They put on a smile to hide the hurt, fear or frustration lingering underneath. They smile to maintain a composed exterior.
I think, when the barriers have been built and the suit of armor has been put on, that’s when you know you’ve truly become a woman. You’ve dealt with so much from life you decide you don’t want to feel anything at all. It’s not worth it. After all these years, I finally understood what my mother was saying when she’d tell me to pull myself together. She wasn’t being cold, she wasn’t being unloving or insensitive – she was trying to teach me to be a woman. She was trying to help me grow – she was trying to protect me.
So I’ve decided to build my walls high, and to make my suit of armor thick – indestructible. Not because I don’t want to let anyone in but because I don’t want to let my feelings out. I can’t feel again – I won’t survive it. I’ve decided I’d rather hurt than be hurt, I’d rather be alone and lonely than feel rejection; the type of rejection that makes you reject yourself. I’d rather feel nothing than feel everything.
I cried most of last night, I cried until the feelings were gone.
I cried until the walls were built and the suit of armor had been put on.
I cried until the give-a-damn bridge – the one leading to the front doors of the castle I built from all these feelings, after all all these years – had been burnt to ash. If I feel those feelings again; hurt, pain, confusion, disappointment, regret or loss decides to creep towards my composed, emotionless exterior – I’ll simply put on a smile to hide behind until I have the nighttime to cry.
Even if it takes another sleepless night, a week without sleep or every night for the rest of my life –
I’ll cry so hard and for so long,
I’ll continue crying until the feelings are gone.
- The Dalema. September 9, 2016