I am not a crier. After a bad day or tough break-up, you will not find me red eyed and sniffling. You will most likely find me in my car screaming at the top of my lungs. Let me explain.
In my first “serious” relationship, which was pretty tumultuous, my boyfriend had a strict no-crying rule. If we were arguing and I started to cry, he would leave. Healthy, right? But he was always upsetting me, and I was always crying, which means I was always begging him not to leave. Soon enough, I learned that if instead of crying—which made him feel like a dick, which in turn made him want to run away—I started to scream, he would yell right back. I discovered crying was not attractive, but being a hot-headed spitting hissing volcano of molten emotion was. Men like bitches, or at least this “man” did. So instead of crying alone in my incense infused bedroom as boyfriend sped off to smoke pot with his meat-head Lax bros in a dingy basement, we would have a hot argument, which would usually (always) lead to some even hotter I-Hate-You-So-Good sex. And then all would be forgotten.
So now, 7 years later, the boy is long gone but the conditioning remains. When I am upset, I begin to yell. “Lower your voice,” my last boyfriend would say in a soothing tone. “YOU UPSET ME AND SO I AM GOING TO YELL,” I would respond. This argue-till-we-fuck technique did not work on him, but lucky for us, he rarely upset me and so I rarely had reason to fume.
This is not to say I never cry–I do. But rarely. Usually, ocular fluids are only present when things are emotionally moving, not when I am frustrated or upset. At those times, when I can’t unclench my fists and my chest feels full of angry bees, I find myself screaming obscenities alone, typically in my car so I don’t terrify my room-mates.“Did you hear that? It sounds like Z is performing some sort of ritualistic slaughter in her bedroom…I think I just heard some sort of exotic bird shriek..or maybe it was a chimp..is she housing a monkey? Should we call the cops?” Sometimes the car is just sitting in the small parking lot behind my apartment, but usually it is speeding down the highway. I am always driving—I got a new car just under 2 months ago and have already put 3,000 miles on it. I feel better if I am constantly in motion. When I am screaming, I am usually projecting violent nonsense. Often it is just one long animalistic howl, or perhaps a string of four-letter gems, Tourrettes style. Oooh, yet another reason I wish I could afford therapy.
What about you? How do you let out your frustration? Do you cry? Yell? Punch things? Pour your energy into baking elaborate pastries and then throw them away? Vent to your therapist for 150 dollars an hour? Maybe I should get PayPal on here and you guys could fund my therapy sessions. Or at least get me some more sex toys (same thing). What do you think?