View Full Version : Still can't cry...

09-16-2001, 05:03 PM
I don't know, am I the only one?

The night before everything happened I went on a random, HUGE crying jag, about... just anything I could possibly cry about.

So then, Tuesday, I saw what happened on TV and I was horrified, and I just couldn't believe the scale, and I do feel deeply affected. But, no crying.

I've been watching the TV and reading and looking at photos and everything to try and soak up an understanding of what happened, that it's REAL and that so many people are dead or suffering as a result... I saw angry people full of misplaced, purely racist hatred... Gave blood, gave money, talked to people online who had lost friends or family...

But, I still can't cry. I wish I could, actually, if only as a sign of respect and sympathy. I usually cry at the drop of a hat, at the movies, everything... but not this time. I guess it's self-centered in a way for me to focus on this fact, but I just can't figure it out... maybe it's some kind of emotional defense mechanism? I keep trying to break through to how I really feel and I can't catch it.

On the other hand, I think it's good that I did so much crying the night before... because, now, if I do cry I know it will be genuine sympathy for all of us, and NOT just a kind of excuse to get cathartic release for all the OTHER stresses in my life.

At the same time I feel so guilty for not crying, as if I'm somehow so far removed from everything that I've subconsciously taken this attitude as if it "doesn't have anything to do with me". I DON'T really believe that's the case, but it's one of those sneaking anxieties -- again, self-centered I know. And that self-centered kind of feel is also pointlessly guilt-inducing.

But I mean, I FEEL like I care. It just seems like somehow, crying would be the only thing to truly prove it.

Does this make any sense?

-=- Jen...

09-16-2001, 06:23 PM

Yes it does make sense, but I don't believe that crying is the ONLY way to express how you feel about this terrible atrocity, yes, it is ONE way, but, as long as you know what you are feeling in your heart, that is the important thing.

Your tears may come, probably at a time when you least expect it, if and when they do, then it is probably for a reason.

Please don't condemn yourself.

Take care


Phyllis Rennie
09-16-2001, 08:24 PM
Jen, Don't beat yourself up! I haven't shed any tears yet either and I too usually cry easily. I just feel an overwhelming saddness--it's almost too important to cry about--I cry over stupid, trivial things. Tears will come.

09-16-2001, 09:11 PM

I went to college to study speech, drama and writing. My whole life I have spent talking, talking, and writing. At this point in my life, I can't get the words to come out, I can't find the words to express all that I am feeling, but I can cry. Ironic isn't it?

There are so many things I want to reply on all these posts, but I can't get the words to say them. Everyone is in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope my lack of posts is not taken the wrong way by anyone...I am here, I am reading, I am weeping...

09-16-2001, 10:41 PM
Im just the opposite. I have cried more this week than in my entire life. Everything sets me off. I cant speak bad of you for not crying, I have been that way before when someone dies. I hurt, but cant get the tears to come. Different things affect people in different ways.

09-17-2001, 07:36 AM
Way back when I was in 9th grade John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Texas. A nation cried. I did not. My friends did not understand. They called me weird = well she is in Art they would snicker. Tears might come or they might not - go with
your emotions. I wish I could reach out and hold you let you know I understand.

09-17-2001, 01:25 PM
Thanks for the responses, everybody. I think I see your point(s).

I guess I'll just wait and see how I end up reacting in the long run. I keep telling myself that whether I happen to actually cry or not doesn't change how I actually feel about all of this, and it doesn't change what I do to help other people who're affected...

-=- Jen

09-17-2001, 04:26 PM
Good Girl ...

09-17-2001, 07:50 PM
I have cried, not sobs, just tears running.
It is different for everyone.
You know the feeling you get when you are just about to cross a street, a car zooms by honking it's horn and startles the beegeebers out of you?
Thats how I feel a constant tingling, burning, pain all over.

We are a resilient people.

09-18-2001, 04:02 PM

you're in shock, thats all. it won't help to force the tears, and it won't help to beat yourself up for not crying. no one is judging your response, we all respond differently. give yourself time.

when my father died this may, i had a week of daily crying, a week of no crying...back and forth. but the tears seemed shallow for the pain i was experiencing...i kept feeling guilty. i was told by someone who also lost their parent recently that ANYTHING could set off the tears. i kept wondering and waiting for sometype of reaction that I felt was apropos for my pain...nothing.

than one evening around midnight i couldn't sleep and was pacing in my studio...sure enough...i sunk down onto the floor and balled my eyes out for hours. i wasn't thinking about my dad, i wasn't even aware that i felt so strongly at that moment...it totally surprised me.

i suspect you'll go through the same thing. just accept your show of emotions right now and relax...we all need a little relaxtion right now...please take yours.


09-18-2001, 04:39 PM
oh gosh, ((((Jen))))
you are only experiencing one of the facets of shock and grief. Numbness is a blessing at this time.

A few years ago, our very closest friends 4 month old baby boy was diagnosed with a terminal illness. We were close enough to this family to consider Matthew like our own child. From that point on, the grief process began, but I don't remember crying. I instead grasped onto whatever could give me strenghth- be it keeping strong and brave for the parents' sake, being strong for the sake of my three young sons, I'm not sure. We watched this tiny infant deteriorate, and knew that each loss of physical ability was one step closer to the inevitable.

He passed away in his parents arms, with my family present, at the age of 1 year and 4 days.
I still didn't cry. Had to be strong and brave. I didn't know whether I was unfeeling, unaccepting, or whether I had just 'handled' it better than most.
6 months later, in the car on the way to my sisters house, the dam finally broke. Out of nowhere, rivers of tears and anguish just poured out. I thought the tears would never stop.

Each of us deals with tragedy differently. We will go through the grief process, but not necessarily in order, and not necessarily in 'reasonable' time. But we will move through it, and we will survive it. And in time we will heal.

On a last note, as for the recent tragedy, I cannot cry at the images of the buildings falling, the fires burning, and the people who are lost. I think that is all too difficult for me to accept right now. What does move me to tears is the images of people all over the world standing in support and sharing their sorrow.


09-18-2001, 06:05 PM
(((((Jen))))) It will happen when you least expect it. All your emotional floodgates will open and you will cry. HUGZ and thank you for helping me.

09-18-2001, 09:36 PM
Jen, take care of yourself. I hope you have loved ones around, because I haven't wanted to be alone today. If and when it hits you, you need support.