The necessity of tears

I dream so much these days it’s hardly worth making mention of. And it’s not just any old dreams, they’re dreams full of meaning and emotion. It’s like my conscious life is being dissected and turned inside out and exposed unconsciously in my dreams.

I think there’s more truth in my dreams than there is my daily life. Perhaps it was ever so, but the difference now seems more critical than ever before. It’s understandable. Perhaps it’s even necessary.

I think I’m reasonably honest with myself, but there is the need for conscious intervention. I’m forever steeling myself, urging myself on, trying to be strong, to push through. With such a narrow focus on getting from one day to the next I barely contemplate the things outside of that. My dreams do though.

Last night I found myself sobbing in one dream. It felt good to just be and let it out. It happened during a sequence of complex dreams that seemed to deal with mental frailty. Not mine – I was the protagonist in the dreams seeking to help others, and to find a better way. Perhaps significantly I was frustrated in my dreams that there seemed no avenue for people to seek help, and be open about their fears and concerns.

In one of those funny twists I designed an app in one of the dreams to help manage this. In the dream it seemed a very clever solution to a condition prevailing in so many. I felt as if I understood the reasons why, and one of the answers was to bring it out into the open.

There’s no doubt that I’ve been running on empty for a very long time. Somehow I’m lucky in that I can replenish my meagre reserves every so often so that I never sputter to a complete stop. It only needs a little to get me by. My good fortune is others misfortune.

I survive because I’m inherently a positive person. Come the crunch I come down on that side of the ledger. So far anyway. There are many more without the power of positive belief to support them. When they get crunched they tumble to the negative side. Anything is possible then.

I believe still in a future, and that belief stems from self belief. I can do it. I have it. Just give me a chance. That’s where the frustration comes in of course. Opportunities are rare.

I get by, but clearly there are things happening beneath the surface of my life. I’m so tough in so many ways, more so than I would like to be, but so sensitive too. I don’t know if any of my friends have ever seen me in tears. I think most people who know me think I’m incredibly stoic, and strong. That may be the wash-up, but getting there is different.

I find myself regularly in tears these days. Generally it starts watching the news. I cried watching the events unfold in Paris, several times. I cry when I hear of sad things, or unjust things, or at kind things. There are prompts for my tears, but it’s hard not to believe that the tears are not already there, unshed. I might cry on behalf of others, but I do so on my own behalf too.

I always feel faintly annoyed by this. I don’t mind feeling things, but I’m still old school enough to wish I wouldn’t tear up at them. More than anything I dislike the loss of control. It feels as if I’m always on that edge and that anything might set it off. It’s so totally incongruous when you consider what an absolute hard arse I am at other times.

The tears come because that’s all I have left. The buffer that kept me from crying before has been eroded by time and circumstances. They’re like a circuit breaker – I need to cry, and so I do. They’re like oil that lubricate the system. When I can’t cry anymore is when I’ll be trouble. What I need is to re-build that buffer, but that will only happen in better times.

As part of this I’m still haunted by the death of my mother. I don’t mention this much, and in truth it’s not something I think of often – but I feel, regularly. It’s a key reason I cry – not because she died, but because she’s not there. Or, more accurately, because no-one is there.

What I lost when mum died was someone who loved me unconditionally, someone who cared for me, someone I could always turn to. I existed in her eyes. Each time I cry I remember this, and I realise when I cry for myself it’s because I’m alone and must do it all myself. I can’t be weak, because there’s no-one there to help prop me up. Tears ease that pressure, but then it all starts again.

That’s for the record.



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