How do you cry?

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I am someone who generally doesn't cry. If it's about a soppy film, yes the tears come. But if it's about my feelings, much harder to cry.

I have cried, in the sense tears come out sometimes. And I have sobbed on occasion (these are countable occasions).

But I really feel like I need to cry and I just can't. I feel like the tears are welling up and the pressure behind my eyes are there. But then: nothing.

I'm in a mindset of "if I could just cry it would make it better. But I can't, so it won't". Maybe that's what this thread should be about. Idk. My T has said that maybe crying isn't all I am making it out to be. But I see other people cry and let things out like that, and that seems to help them?

But sticking with the "how do you cry?" Question. How do you cry? Does it just come out? Do you try and cry? Can you start and stop your crying?
 

ninja

MyPTSD Pro
I find I have to "knock into" something (a podcast, a book, a song, etc.) that resonates with the grief and makes it more visible. I also find it difficult to cry about certain kinds of experiences.

Sometimes crying comes easy and brings relief. Other times, I feel I have to "fight" for every tear (not to go numb) and it's just very effortful (and doesn't really help I don't think?).

Do you feel angry? Sometimes I find I have to express/recognize that first before the grief will actually come.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i have this problem, too, all the way to envying people who seem to be able to turn on the cathartic waterworks with natural ease. or, is that "with nurtured ease?" that nature/nurture conundrum is always muddy to me, at best. one theory has it that my tear ducts are underactive and my waterworks facilities are not physically equipped for the job. dunno. . . to the best of my knowledge, medical science has yet to find a way to test that possibility, so one theory is as good as another.

in living practice, allowing my feelings to come as they will and processing them as they come allows me to process the grief whether the tears come or not. my anger and grief are deeply connected. i am another who frequently needs to channel the surface anger before the underlying grief can achieve the freedom to express itself.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Do you feel angry? Sometimes I find I have to express/recognize that first before the grief will actually come.



. i am another who frequently needs to channel the surface anger before the underlying grief can achieve the freedom to express itself.


Thank you @ninja and @arfie.
I hadn't thought about the anger element before letting the grief out. And that is helpful to think about.
I think I have mostly been so placid and numb and that maybe I haver let anger out. Other times I do feel angry. But I don't think I feel angry when I am feelings in this 'consitpated crying' feeling. But maybe that's because I don't really know how I feel?

Then there's the: 'how to let anger out' question.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I was shamed and made fun of if I cried as a kid. I learned how to shut it down. When I started my healing journey it took a long time before I could cry.

Like you I would feel like the tears needed to come. All i know to say is when its time, the tears came. Not much support here. SORRY. But i couldnt make myself cry.

Looking back it seems when I felt a sense of inner strength and felt safer the tears came.

It's a horrible feeling to want to release those feelings. But one day they became mine and I cried.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @ladee

Yeah, I don't know if I'm trying to force it or not.

T has previously said it is sometimes turning the tap a little at a time. And she has also said, some people don't cry.

Having said all that, 4 tears came out earlier.
I don't think any anger was there then, just overwhelming sadness. But maybe I am just so placid and frozen and compliant and quiet that I am actually hugely angry but no idea how to get that bit going.
Idk.
Just very confused and trying to fight the strong desire to make everything disappear.
 

barefoot

Sponsor
I cry very easily these days with things like watching TV/films - especially if it involves animals! I have to turn over donkey sanctuary to adverts as I end up in bits!

But crying because I need to let emotion out…it’s not something I’ve ever done much as I used to be quite numb and shut down/disconnected from feelings.

Now, I sort of experience the opposite…if I talk about something difficult that I feel sad/grief about, my voice starts to tremble and I feel my lip/chin quiver, and I start blinking hard because the tears are there, threatening to come. But I don’t let them.

For me, containment feels so important. And, part of that is not crying. For some reason, not crying = containment = good.
It can take huge effort and energy to stop it and I do it by myself as well - sometimes a few tears escape but I move quite quickly to shut it down.

Probably not very helpful as you are wanting to cry and finding you can’t and I am wanting not to cry and sometimes (esp in therapy) find that hard!

As an aside - it feels like a lot of pressure to put yourself under, to cry? And maybe every time you think ‘I need to cry, but I can’t’you embed the impossibility of crying, which leaves you a bit stuck in this pressure?

What are you hoping crying will give you? What’s important about it? Do you hope it’ll bring relief? Release? Is it a means of expression? If you can identify what you want/need from crying I wonder if it’s possible to find anything else that offers you that at the moment if tears are not forthcoming?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Now, I sort of experience the opposite…if I talk about something difficult that I feel sad/grief about, my voice starts to tremble and I feel my lip/chin quiver, and I start blinking hard because the tears are there, threatening to come. But I don’t let them.
I'm the same. Though now I feel I need to let it out.

For me, containment feels so important. And, part of that is not crying. For some reason, not crying = containment = good.
I have that feeling/thought pattern too.

Probably not very helpful as you are wanting to cry and finding you can’t and I am wanting not to cry and sometimes (esp in therapy) find that hard!
I innately stop myself I think. So it's not even a conscious thing anymore. But conscious me is now wanting to find ways of getting it out. And crying seems the solution.

As an aside - it feels like a lot of pressure to put yourself under, to cry? And maybe every time you think ‘I need to cry, but I can’t’you embed the impossibility of crying, which leaves you a bit stuck in this pressure?
Yeah, I think T was saying this the other week too. And trying to get me to shift my perspective a bit.

What are you hoping crying will give you? What’s important about it? Do you hope it’ll bring relief? Release? Is it a means of expression? If you can identify what you want/need from crying I wonder if it’s possible to find anything else that offers you that at the moment if tears are not forthcoming?
I feel like it would be a realise.
T feels I want a good cry and all the emotions to come out and be healed, so maybe re thinking what crying might achieve might help. She thinks it's a child magical thinking that I am doing about the crying. I E. It will make everything ok if only I could do it.

So yes, a release of some sort. Like a thunderstorm breaks the hot humid weather.

But if I can't do that, how else to get the release? Not. A. Frigging. Clue.
 

Huxley

Learning
I cry. A lot. Usually when I am alone as I know it saddens my spouse so when he approaches, I try to shield him from it.

it just happens. The tears come. They often flow down my face without me realizing it. it’s not sobbing. i just cannot stop the tears overflowing and spilling. The why is not clear nor are my thoughts especially coherent about why. I just continue with whatever activity I’m doing as best I can and if I’m in public, which is rare as I am retired, but for example in the grocery store, I don’t draw attention to myself and most people never notice. I used to wake up like that often; we would joke and call them “leaky mornings.” It still happens but not as constantly.

in the therapy room, I did not try to shield my therapist, so I was always crying openly. To not be in tears would have been unusual. It would start as soon as I tried to speak about myself, and we didn't make a big deal of it. At the end (he moved), after a couple of years, I could actually go for good parts of a session without tears silently running down my face, which I counted as good progress. I was fine with him as long as the topic wasn’t me.
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
Does it just come out? Do you try and cry?
Seems like sometimes I can and sometimes I'm too overwhelmed/shut down/blocked up. Before trauma I typically only cried when I was too angry. As a relief valve.

Now? My crying doesn't make sense to me.

Sometimes it's just coming out and in my mind I'm thinking "just get it out, I don't need to know why I'm crying"

Allowing myself to be open when I feel is difficult after trauma. That seems to be how I cry now though. Just sign myself up to feel cut open.
 
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