Sunday, May 11

I wish I understood more about myself...

I can’t tell you why I cry. Only that they aren’t always tears of joy or tears of happiness. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you. I can’t. I don’t know why I cry. I don’t know why I feel the way I do. I don’t even know what it is that I feel; just an overwhelming urge to melt into a blubbering pool of wrinkled silk and snotty tissues. Some girls cry pretty tears. I cry a deluge of muddy rainwater and puff up like the day after a binge on wine and salt.

Wedding season has started. One down. Five to go.

The one yesterday left me emotionally destroyed and had me sobbing like a babe the entire drive home and late into the night. A day later and random tears still threaten to fall without a moments notice. It really is very much of an inconvenience. The inside corner of my right eye is raw from trying to wipe the tears away surreptitiously without people knowing that I’m crying. Because then they think I’m an emotional fool and I don’t want anyone thinking that, even though they might be right.

I don’t have wedding anxiety. Wedding anxiety is for the bride. I have attendance anxiety. Somewhere along the line, I began to dread weddings, and now it’s to the point where my emotional state is being threatened and it takes me days to recover. My chest tightens at the thought of weddings. It shouldn’t. Perhaps I’m making a much bigger deal out of this than I should. Perhaps I should do as everyone says and be an adult and suck it up. But I can’t and it scares me. Yesterday, as I drove to the ceremony and later again as I drove to the reception, I had thoughts of crashing my car into the concrete barriers so that I would have a legitimate excuse not to go. Death over attendance. I’m terrified of my own thoughts.

It wasn’t always so. Early on, the random tears feel at the appropriate sappy moments – the moment the groom’s voice breaks during the vow, the father-daughter dance, the speech where the parents welcome the new child into the family. I giggled at the slideshow, laughed at the raunchy games and groaned with the rest of the guests at the corny jokes the best man would make about how the groom didn’t deserve such a great woman. And then everything changed and the tears stopped being pretty.

Weddings suddenly became cookie cutter affairs. A thirty minute ceremony, pose for pictures with the bride and groom, followed by a night of awkward eating and drinking. Weddings aren’t as great a place for meeting up as people think they are – especially the Chinese 20 course banquets where food flows continuously for 4 hours along with the entertainment and speeches. Change the couple and repeat two weeks later – same food, same entertainment, same people. The only thing different – weddings were no longer happy occasions, they were occasions for the tears and the fear. Nothing is changing except for me and my “negativity”.

The feelings are intensifying with each occasion. The fear, the loneliness, the dread, the anxiety, the disappointment, the resentment, the knowledge that my father won’t be there for the father-daughter dance, the belly clenching moment where I know that I’m losing control of myself… they’re all growing. I don’t want to be this way. It’s not acceptable to me that I am this way. I hate how I feel, but I hate more that I can’t control the way I feel. I hate even more that I don’t understand why I feel this way. And I hate even more that if I don't get this under control, my family and the people I am closest to will reject me for something they don't understand because I don't understand.

Don’t get me wrong. I beg this of you. I am over the moon and around the corner happy for anyone getting married. Why I can’t be happy in person is something I do not understand. I am I trying to. I am trying to fight this every step of the way. But it has become overwhelming and the darkness is winning. I’m sorry I can’t be a better person. I’m sorry if it seems like I can’t be what I should be. I really want to be. I am trying really hard to be.

1 comment:

teahouse said...'s interesting that you react to weddings this way. Could it be that you're feeling a lot of pressure from your family to get married, and it's become a traumatic experience for you?

If you think about it, most life events are predictable and trite to an extent. Having a baby, retiring from your job (lame party with speeches and cake, etc.). But it doesn't mean that they don't have meaning for the people going through them or witnessing them. Rituals are a human condition.

I hope you feel better.