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I could protect the whole world. If I could just stop crying.

February 10, 2007

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. Ever since someone replied to me

‘So….. you keep crying at everything..? Do you think you may be depressed?’

I seem to have developed an inability to refrain from tears at any given moment that involves a remote link to sadness or happiness in any degree. I’ll cry at the news, sure, the news is sad sometimes. Sometimes its happy. That also makes me cry.

Not strange you think.

I’ll cry at a good drama on TV, or a good movie.

‘Sure. Don’t we all?’ I hear you mutter back to your screens.


I have started crying at adverts. X factor for god’s sake. It’s now a running joke at my house.

I’ll cry when I’m just trying to tell someone that sad story that made me cry in the first place!! šŸ™„

I didn’t even watch X factor further than the audition episodes which make me cringe šŸ™‚ . But I did catch up with the final episode – just to see who won – when they announced Leona’s name – I could have burst into little sobs. For her though.

The kind of welling that you know you could allow to turn into a good 10 second cry – out of happiness. Pride almost. I was thinking if she were mine.. I don’t even know the girl. Hadn’t even watched the series. But I was proud of her. Proud of her humble acceptance of the result and how shocked she looked.

But anyway. This post is not about X factor.

(I restrained it to a little ‘wah-huh’ and then pulled myself together šŸ™„ )

So I have resolved to think about this behaviour. To try and understand it. Dig into my brain and try to understand this reduction to tears at sometimes the slightest thing.
It’s never great wracking, heaving sobs you understand, but not just a tear to the eye either.

I have always had this tendency to be a little over emotional. Sensitive. Over sensitive I suppose I have to admit. So I have wondered if I just have this heightened ability to empathise. I have always found it incredibly easy to read thoughts so to speak – to put myself in someone’s place and imagine what I would be feeling if I were them.

I can be quite snappy. Quick. Sharp even, sometimes. I also always had the tendency, as a child, to cry when I was at the extreme of any emotion. For example, if I got really angry, it would provoke tears. In domesticky situations I still do cry sometimes. (It’s not the same if I were to get angry at work. That’s different and doesn’t have the same effect).

It can be very frustrating though. Especially if it’s not the true representation of the emotion that you’re feeling.
I remember having a full blown shouting argument with one of my parents when I was about 13 or 14 and I was so angry that tears just started.

‘Don’t cry’ they shouted ‘it’s so annoying’…

‘Oh, to have the choice’ I thought.

It’s just not that simple for me. So maybe I just cry now because I have always cried. Whatever the emotion. It just seems that these days, post children, the instances of tears are just a lot more frequent. Does that indicate depression? Or am I just tired? šŸ˜†

Kids are very draining. I am constantly tired. When you have small kids you are working 7 days a week. Forever. They are never quiet. They are repetitive. It can be like having the worst kind of repetitive, mind-numbing job you can think of. And then having it talk to you as well. Saying the same thing over and over again. Whilst hitting you on the head with a rubber hammer. šŸ™‚

SO. Am I just knackered? Could that make you well up at every snippet of sad, bad or happy news, story or TV show?

But that comment keeps coming back to me. The word depression filters through to me every now and then.

So now I have started to think, ‘am I just thinking depression because I am thinking about it? Or does it keep coming back to me because it’s only a matter of time before I admit it?’

šŸ™‚ I mean talk about over analysing!

Since having children, my ability to remove almost any person from the role of ‘child’ is almost zero. I look at sad news stories like this and I am instantly thinking ‘if that were my child..If anyone ever did anything to my child…’. and I well up.

Stories of starving infants in the 3rd World, reports of murder victims, abuse, neglect, accidents whatever. I’m there with my tissues šŸ™‚

That comment filters through again. Am I depressed? Or is it normal to think maternal thoughts toward any person that looks like they need them?

I know I am unlikely to be alone when I say that since having my children, my realities have shifted. My world isn’t just about me. It’s about my girls.

I want to keep my girls safe at my side. Always.

Protect them. Keep them from harm. Keep harm away from them.

So maybe the reason I am moved to tears at so many things that move me is because any person that has something happen to them is someone’s child. Not just an infant child but any child. A grown child. An adult. Through fault or neglect or abuse or from just not being in the right place at the right time.

There was a news story that hit the headlines at New Year about a poor couple whose daughter was killed by dogs at the pub they lived in in Leicestershire.
How would you ever get over not being in the right place at the right time? They left her for a minute and then she was gone.

So I suppose, tears at sad events are pity but could it be they are also relief to an extent?

I am sensible. I have been sensible in my life. Fairly. I know that the lessons I have learned from ‘don’t talk to strangers’, ‘drugs can kill’ to ‘don’t walk home alone in the dark’ are things that I have got from my parents, my friends, my TV, magazines, books … But where will my girls get these lessons from and will they be listening?

Will they be sensible?

Will they be as sensible as me? Will they say no to experimenting with drugs and avoid being dead on the dancefloor? Will they realise I’m not just being a killjoy when I won’t let them into town at night at 15 years old or will they sneak out and go with their friends anyway? Like I did. šŸ˜³

My mum was a worrier when I was younger, still is now in actual fact. She worried just that touch too much and I rebelled ever so slightly. Not masses. I smoked. I smoked some things I shouldn’t have. But I never ever took drugs. Because no matter how much I wanted to be me and I wanted to dictate my own life and not be ruled (yawn šŸ™„ ) I understood, even then, that the worrying was not unfounded.

So I was a cautious rebel I suppose.

I watched the news. Sometimes. I knew that drugs did kill. I knew that walking home alone could get you killed. Even walking home with your boyfriend could get you killed.

So how do I protect my children? How do you protect anyone?
I read a blog before Christmas about a 33 year old woman that died suddenly from a cancerous tumour in her foot that she didn’t even know she had. It stayed with me for weeks and to be honest, I still think about her now. I didn’t even know her but I think about her mum and her family. How terribly sad it was for them to have lost their daughter, their sister.

When I think about it though I am usually thinking what if that were my child?

Her mother couldn’t do anything. There was no being in the right place at the right time. It was out of her hands. You would think that by the time they get to 33, you aren’t quite in that same role anymore. But I can see now (infuriatingly šŸ™‚ ) that my mum was so right when she used to say I was her little baby – when I was 18,19, 20 and so on.

Of course I was.

I suppose that this is what this post is really about. This is what I have concluded. Having thought about this comment for a couple of months now, I have been writing this post and turning the comment over and over and coming back to writing this again and again, trying to make sense of what I want to say. (Hence its rambling process šŸ˜³ ).
I think it’s this.

When will my girls stop being my babies?


So. Am I depressed? Or is it just normal to face every day, once you have people to protect, with such a feeling of luck that you are managing to get through each day and keep them in one piece?

Am I just daft that most things make me cry or should I just laugh at the fact I can even well up at how cute the little girl is in the Persil advert pretending to be a penguin…? šŸ™„

You tell me.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2007 12:13 am

    Oooops. Sorry šŸ™‚

    ” It can be like having the worst kind of repetitive, mind-numbing job you can think of. And then having it talk to you as well. Saying the same thing over and over again. Whilst hitting you on the head with a rubber hammer. :)”

    This gave me the first laugh i’ve had all day though. And now i’m going to link to you so i can prove something to my readers.

  2. February 11, 2007 2:34 am

    I felt like I was reading one of my own posts as I read yours here, with the exception of the British/American spelling differences, of course. šŸ™‚
    I don’t know the answers. All I know is what I think. I think that feeling this way makes you a better mother. Certainly, it’s not always fun to feel everything so deeply. Crying sucks most of the time, especially when you want people to believe you are a strong and powerful woman as I do! There’s nothing wrong with worrying as long as it doesn’t paralyze you. There’s nothing wrong with empathy as long as it doesn’t consume you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to protect your children and the rest of the world as long as it doesn’t make you too suspicious of everyone around you. I wish I could take this advice myself, but most of the time I don’t. Also, from a physiological standpoint, I don’t know how old your baby is, but you are likely still having hormonal fluctuations. My doctor told me they last more than six months after you’ve given birth. That can certainly make you more emotional than usual. In addition, you’ve got to be exhausted and emotionally drained. You’ve just gone back to work, which is tough on every mother. Sorry this is such a long comment, but I just wanted to offer you some long-distance emotional support. I’ve felt these feelings so many times since I became a mom.

  3. February 11, 2007 10:06 am

    So long as you are still functional it doesnt really matter. Its when a trait begins to impact on you and your ability to cope that it matters. Perhaps you are simply a hormonal wreck šŸ˜€ I remember when I was preggers with Boss looking at a Persil advert with a newborn baby on and I cried buckets. Sobbed from the end of my toes. I just wanted to hug the baby. Of course having real children soon knocked all that out of me šŸ˜‰ Still dont read the news though….

  4. Mrs HoJo permalink
    February 11, 2007 10:58 am

    My sprogs are 10, 8, 6 and I still get like this, mostly when the hormones are raging, I think it is a self defence system that is stonger in some than others. It stops you letting the wolves steal your children from around the fire when you are so damned tired you want to sleep instead of staying on guard.

    A doctor may diagnose stress (no shit sherlock) but not necessarily depression


  5. February 11, 2007 11:35 am

    I think its definitely a parent thing as I am the same. My son is 9 now and I can still get like this over various things – particularly the tv and news!

  6. Amanda permalink
    February 11, 2007 11:44 am

    just my pov here ;0) (I came over from Merry’s blog btw) I did’nt used to cry until I had kids, they are 10, 8, 6 and 1. Over the last year I’ve cried at EVERYTHING!! For me I think its a mixture of Motherhood, wanting to proctect them, taking too much on board, worrying, being very tired and hormones. Probably not much help. Its not just you.

  7. February 11, 2007 4:04 pm

    I’m a cryer too. I cry over stupid Hallmark commercials! I think some people are just more sensitive than others.

  8. February 11, 2007 9:01 pm

    I think it’s a Mummy thing (I’m also over from Merry’s blog by the way!)and I agree with what Debbie said, if it doesn’t affect how you function then leave it be, I’m pretty sure supressing stuff is worse than acknowledging it.

  9. February 11, 2007 9:06 pm

    Oh – i cried at the beauty and the beast music this morning šŸ™‚

  10. February 11, 2007 9:21 pm

    Over from Merry’s…
    I used to be so un-emotional that my mum was seriously concerned about me….then I had Adam….and I got all wibbly….and my mum was pleased (??!). I still get wibbly occasionally, and he’s 18 now…. It’s definitely a hormonal maternal thing!

  11. December 21, 2007 1:26 pm

    Just re-read this and I have an edit to make…. I am still crying at everything and this is a year later practically… I balmost cried last night trying to tell BN about a motivating marketing video we saw at the conference just because it had the stand-on-desk scene from Dead Poets!!?? I mean SERIOUSLY!!! šŸ™„


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