Inappropriate Crying Disorder


If you haven’t noticed, I’m still muddley. I’ve just been a little blah about the blog. Hence, the long lapses between posts. As I said in my last post, what happens is, I get an idea for a post; I start writing; and then, about an hour in, I decide it’s boring/stupid/crappy so I save it as “CrapIdeaXYZ” and add it to my “In Progress” folder… where blog ideas go to DIE.

I wouldn’t call it writer’s block per se… more like blogger’s indifference. Maybe we should call it the BLAHG. (I’m so sorry.)

Blame my kids. Because really, I get most of my material from them so obviously, they’ve been boring lately. I mean, I wouldn’t say that to their faces, but it’s kind of true.

The Loud One has been exceptionally enthusiastic (read: loud) since our vacation. The Nibbit is still all about turning passive activities into full-contact sports (read: Nibbity). And the Happy Dude is still happy and keeping us up at night.

Side note: Happy Dude is also really funny right now, so I tried to write about that, but it’s the kind of funny that doesn’t really translate well… you just kind of have to know how funny three-year-olds are when they say things on your birthday like, “I’m making her a card because it’s Mommy’s Christmas.” It’s just never as funny in writing as it is in person. But if you want to come over and hang out with him just let me know. I’ll run out to Starbucks while you’re here.

So, yeah. Life goes on but the writing does not.

BUT. Then I saw this on Facebook.

hony copy

Can you see the quote? The girl is saying, “When I get really angry, I start crying. It sucks. Everyone else gets to yell and be scary. I have to be like: ‘No! I don’t want a tissue! Quit comforting me! I’m angry, I swear!'”

This post about Inappropriate Crying (I.C.) really struck a chord because if you know me, you know I suffer from I.C.D. (I added “Disorder”). And if you don’t know me, just know that I’ll probably cry when we meet.

I can’t really talk about anything of consequence without getting choked up, tearing up or completely losing my shit. And it sucks. Because when you cry inappropriately, people usually mistake your tears for sadness and offer sympathy. And while sometimes I am sad (like if I’m talking about how they canceled Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip way too soon), OTHER times, I’m just frustrated. Or trying to express my opinion about an emotional situation. Or simply pissed off.

So I see this picture and read this quote on Facebook and I’m like ME TOO! And I then I’m reading the comments and I’m all, I’VE FOUND MY PEOPLE!! There are over five thousand comments, many of which say some form of, “I’m suffer from I.A.D. too! And I hate it.”

Why? Because crying is often perceived as weak. Crying during a P&G “Thank You, Mom” Olympics commercial? Totally acceptable. During a contentious meeting at work? Not so much.

So, what’s my point?

Well…. I’ve discovered that it’s possible my kids have inherited my Inappropriate Crying Disorder. And while there are a LOT of things I hope my kids inherit from me (my doodling abilities, rhyming skills, appreciation for a color-coded calendar…), my I.C.D. is not one of them.

I know. They’re only seven, five and three years old BUT the past few months, I’ve noticed myself saying, “WHY are you crying?? This is not something to cry about!” a lot.

What the hell is wrong with me? Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you, the World’s Biggest Hypocrite!

If KJ or my sister ever said, “This is not something to cry about!” to me every time I shed inappropriate tears, we’d be divorced or disowned. (And then I would cry more.)

But I got it now. Thanks to HONY, I realize that Inappropriate Crying Disorder is a very real and common thing. But it’s not insurmountable.

Everyone in our house is working on deep breathing techniques and other strategies to keep the tears at bay when they’re not necessary. Like when “Happy Dude’s car bumped into my book!” Or when we’ve been instructed to shower because we haven’t bathed in four days. Or because we’re out of brownie mix (wait, that actually is really, really sad).

Let me be clear. I am OK with crying. Girls, boys… I’m all for tears as an expression of honest emotion in an appropriate setting. In fact, it is important for my kids – especially my boys – to know that it IS Ok to cry because I know if they suppress those emotions, they will work them out in other potentially harmful ways.

I get that.

BUT… there are also times when we have to learn to keep our shit together. (Poetic? No. Succinct? Yes.)

Because I want my kids (and myself) to be able to talk about their opinions in such a way that they’re taken seriously.

Because I want my kids (and myself) to be able to discuss our relationships with people without making those people afraid to be honest with us. (No one wants to make someone cry!)

Because emotions, other than sadness, that manifest themselves in the form of tears often send mixed signals that will almost always muddy the waters of communication. And good communication is the basis for all good relationships – professional and personal. 

(Wow, that last part sounded really profound, didn’t it? Why don’t you read it again and pretend I always sound like that? Go on…)

So, I’ll just add that now that I’ve recognized this, we’ll all be working on our Inappropriate Crying together.

I’ll also add that I cried while I wrote this, so there’s still a lot of work to do.

The End.

Sand in the eyes? Appropriate crying.

Sand in the eyes? Appropriate crying. Because we can’t “bring all the sand in the world home?” NOT.

PS. You guys are ALL following Humans of New York, right? I KNOW I’ve asked you that already. YES, I’m nagging. But I just want to be really, really sure you’ve done it because this page is the only real reason to check Facebook everyday. Not including the other real reasons:

  1. I want to know what intellectually stimulating activities parents are doing with their kids so I can feel inferior.
  2. I want to know who went to what concert, sporting event, political rally, restaurant or birthday party in the past few days so I can feel inferior.
  3. I want to see perfect family portraits, so I can feel inferior.
  4. I want to see highlights from last night’s Jimmy Fallon show, because THEY’RE AWESOME.

3 responses »

  1. So this doesn’t usually happen to me but yesterday I got so pissed off, I cried and not like a light girly cry like a full on hyperventilating cry where it was hard to catch my breath. Then today on the phone with one of your friends (who introduced me to this wonderful blog) I was telling her how mad I was and I was crying again!! Did I catch ICD from you via the internets?? Well you’ve made me laugh so effing hard that its probably some balance thing so I’ll take it. Today’s topic was uncanny and you’re not alone sister! 😉

  2. Kris- I also cried when NBC cxl’d ‘Studio 60’. OK well maybe not quite, but my wife will tell you that I tend to suffer from this condition as well, and it’s only getting worse as I get older and the kids start doing more and more stuff. Didn’t really set out to be the dad that wells up at well, everything… but it seems to be happening. Great post! And Happy Belated B-Day btw 🙂 You rule.

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