One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

June 11, 2010

Breaking the Seal

Yech. Crying is totally one of those “don’t break the seal” things. Once you’ve let yourself a little bit, it’s almost impossible to get it all bottled back up and finish your work day. Again, I say, Yech.

Not really much to say about it. Just had an argument today and some of the things that got said to me sparked a whole lot of trauma. We were all out at lunch, so I got really rigid for the drive back to work and then went straight to the bathroom where I found I had choked so hard that there was no way I was going to get air in or out of my lungs without making a bunch of crying-gulp-y sounds. And then once that started, I couldn’t stop. Hate-hate-hate crying at work. I used to have a job that made me cry at work all the time and I figured, when I left there, that I was done with that. But, I suppose the issue is that you can pick your jobs to be as healthy for you as possible. But you still can’t pick all the things that someone might say to you. And, worse, sometimes you can’t predict what’s going to be triggering to you.

And I do have some take-away abstractions that I would like to discuss and explore – but it’s one of those things that, done in close proximity to the event, turns into, really, blog posts where you are just trying to better explain your position and figuratively win the argument. I’m going to give the whole thing a little mental space. We’ll come back to it some day.

Well anyhow, back to this not breaking the seal. I did my best to take a lot of deep breaths and then splashed water on my face, cleared some of my eye-redness with some eye-drops and left the bathroom. But I still looked wan and startled and, holy shit, every time I opened my mouth to say aaaaaanything, nothing would come out and I knew that as soon as I engaged my larynx it would start with the sobby sounds again. And then I would look even more startled and freeze up worse. It was a long afternoon – though I managed to not be constantly leaking tears by about 30 minutes before the end of my day.

Picking up my kids made things quite a bit better. Ethan came walking up to the car and he caught my eye and smiled at me the whole time he was walking up. Then he got in and I asked how his day was, and he’d had a great day. The whole time he was talking I sat and watched him raptly because I think he must have gone and grown up overnight, the way kids sometimes do. He has always had a ridiculous glow about him. And then he finished talking and he said, “is something wrong?” And I choked up even while trying to answer him, of course. But I said, “yeah, I was going to warn you guys that I’ve had a bad day. But I figure we’ll just get Hannah and go straight home. Maybe Hannah will watch a movie, then I’ll go lie down or have a good cry or whatever I need and then we’ll all feel better.” And he just smiled at me and said, “yep, okay.”

When Rachel came up, it looked like she’d been crying and she yanked open Ethan’s door and barked, “You sat on that side yesterday.” And Ethan? Oh man, you know how his sister pushes his buttons, right? Well he just looked at her and said, “Hey Rachel, I got you something,” and handed her a bag of chips.

She was so astonished she forgot about fighting for that seat and even forgot about crying more and got in the other side of the car thanking him profusely. She said, “these are my favorite kind of chips.” And Ethan said, “I know, that’s why I got them for you.”

So I was starting to feel all glowing as we picked up Hannah and drove home.

Then at home, Rachel took Hannah upstairs to play while I hung out by myself recuperating. And when they came down, Hannah climbed into my lap and said, “can you put some music on?” So I hit play on my dance playlist.

Well, Rachel jumped up and started dancing. And Hannah ran over to her yelling, “shimmy! You shimmy.” And then they were both shimmying. Ethan and Rachel’s dad arrived for them in the middle of the dancing, and so I took over dancing with Hannah and we kept going for another two songs.

I never did have that big cry. But I think dance is maybe just as expressive.

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