I just went through a bunch of old songs I used to like a lot. I found When I’m Gone by Eminem, which is about how he dismisses/ignores his child and family for his work, and being confronted for it by his young daughter. I watched its music video – and started crying hard. Not because I’m such an Eminem fan or because the video is so good, but because I never felt love growing up in my family.
My family has always been a really tough topic for me which I never even fully realized until last Christmas at my former partner’s place where I got a tiny glimpse of how these things can, and should, go. And how they never were for me, not the slightest, while I always assumed that it had to be that way. I had to cut my family out of my life last year once I realized how toxic they are (and always have been), consciously or not (in mos cases not at all; they want to help, but can’t).
In January, my brother was the last member with whom I had to do that. I always hoped he could manage to be better. He couldn’t. That means that I don’t have a family anymore – and beyond the biological connection, as I know now, I never had one. Which makes so much fucking sense now considering what affection, love, attention, and the knowledge of being important to someone do to me.
At the beginning of this year, my partner and I had to break up due to our depressions triggering each other too hard. As it turned out, that was an important step. I learned that I don’t depend on them, and that I’m capable of getting to know new people pretty well. I learned. But at first, it was absolutely horrible. I had just lost my bio-family who were supposed to love me “unconditionally” anyway, and then also the one person who worked as my “family of choice”? I never felt so much emotional pain ever before in my life – I ripped hair off my head, knees to the chest, and screamed so hard internally that I was audible in reality.
In the last weeks, I’ve started to miss my ex-stepfather. I had always liked him the most as I value his viewpoint on many things, because I always looked up to him in some way (and it’s incredibly hard for me to find a person where I can do that), and because a lot of how I work in rational and critical thinking comes from him. He taught me a lot, even though my bio-father forced him to not be a father-role. (Narcissistic asshole.)
One or two weeks ago, I finally called him after contemplating it for at least a week. I thought we might be able to reconnect, in some way. He hung up on me – without a word, right after I said my name.
I still remember that he cried in my arms years ago shortly after I started therapy after I told him some things about my mental health bullshit. He apologized for the potential case of being any part of or factor for that. I never saw him cry before – and I also never saw my mother cry, except once at age 8/9 when my brother and I told a lawyer that we wanted to live with our bio-father who always allowed us to eat and play what we wanted, and not go to school if we weren’t up for it. (Manipulative asshole.)
Besides that, I never saw any emotions on either of them. There certainly were some, maybe even many – but my non-standard intuition for body language and speech prevents me from emotionally empathizing with almost anyone, so I never actually saw it. (Which noone ever knew, including me.)
I also never learned that emotions have any actual value, or should have any impact on any decision ever. We didn’t want to visit our grandparents? Sucks for you! We never even got asked why. (Nothing serious, but they couldn’t know if it was).
The music video and the lyrics of When I’m Gone triggered a lot of things that are associated with this general topic. Loving, or not loving, family-stories have had a really high efficiency to trigger me in recent times, but I never cried due to any – I almost never cry, period.
As in: I almost never manage to cry. I want to. So often. It’s SO relieving. But my mental barriers and mechanisms of self-protection don’t let me. Don’t show emotion, it’s irrelevant! Noone cares anyway! It’s weak! You have nothing to be sad over! – well, I fucking have, thank you very much. But due to these walls being so burnt-in (and confirmed to be necessary so often), the process is highly automated and almost impossible for me to prevent. I know it happens, but I can’t stop it in alost 100% of cases, outside of very specific, very severe occasions. (I also have dissociative tendencies due to that in breakdowns, especially suicidal ones – which are not the most severe cases per sé.)
These barriers opened up just a tiny slip since the last year. I’ve been able to cry twice as often since then as I’ve ever been since puberty. It started in June last year, when I cried for the first time since four years after I got thrown out of my first stationary therapy (which was my first attempt of therapy altogether). Since then, it happened more often – probably on about 10 occasions of heavy severity, in some way.
Crying is incredibly valuable to me. Not just to let out pressure, but also because it shows my emotions. A person who’s potentially around me can finally empathize. Until then, due to how my body language and speech work, they can only ever sympathize – which works very differently. Even the most empathetic person will only feel the need to hug me if I start crying, even if the topic doesn’t change and what I say doesn’t either.
It’s how this works, that’s beyond anyone’s control. And I, of course, can’t communicate such things either because my inner mechanics “know” that noone will care anyway, so I’ll just say nothing to not get disappointed/ignored. Bullshit! But nothing I have under direct control.
That music video making me cry is a good thing. It shows I’m opening up more. The trigger and everything around it is awful, but then again, it would also be without me crying. So me crying is, in itself, a good thing.