No one knows this about me: I cry a lot. If you asked my family, they'd probably explain that somehow, in a weird freak accident, I lost the usage of my tear ducts. To them, seeing me cry is like seeing Big Foot chillin' poolside with the Loch Ness Monster. To me, I cry a lot; possibly even more than necessary. I cry when I'm too angry to speak, too happy to explain and too in-between to do anything else. But the thing about me is that I hate crying in front of people.
Growing up in a family consisting of mostly men, I was taught that crying was for the weak. “Big girls don't cry,” they said. “Do you want to be a big girl?” or “Suck it up. It didn't even hurt that bad.” It. Didn't. Hurt. THAT. Bad. But it still hurt!
What I've learned (and must remember) is that crying doesn't symbolize weakness. Rather, it symbolizes strength. It takes thick vaginal walls to cry. You are allowing yourself to show vulnerability, but hoping no one takes advantage of it. That's strength: revealing vulnerability—not putting on your “big girl panties” so no one feels uncomfortable by you showing human traits. Weakness, to me, is putting up a shield (or a smiley face) so no one can see your pain. That's going to fuck someone up in the long run.
I'm not saying to put all your emotions out on display for the world to see, but stop adding negative stigmas on crying. I'd rather cry now so I can smile later than end up having stress ulcers for keeping so much stuff bottled inside. Crying does not make you weak. Not crying, being voluntarily depressed and not talking to someone makes you weak.
And for those who claim that men crying is weak, or “girly,” care yo explain your reasoning? Don't men have emotions and working tear ducts? Why shouldn't they be able to cry? Huh?