This culture is sick in so many foundational ways. There’s so much we’re committed to ignoring. The fact the oceans are acidifying and rising, for one. That Nestle is making a grab for the drinkable water. That generations of women were forced out of the work they loved because the men in those industries were allowed to torture (physically, psychologically, sexually) the women around them.

I think the hardest part of life is more and more or the darkness of the world being unveiled as you age. That’s kind of the hardest part to trauma- you know something the people around you either don’t know or are steadfastly committed to ignoring. You’re alone in it.

Which is why recovery from trauma always involves a relationship. A relationship with someone, or perhaps sometimes some transcendent force, that won’t let you be alone in it. This is, of course, why detransitioned women need each other.

I always forget until after I’ve cried that I need to cry. That if the darkness of the world is being revealed to me, my body needs to react to it, even if I need to be strategic about when I can schedule that reaction. A human body needs to cry and needs to shake. Our shock and sadness hides in muscle knots, tension way down deep near the bone. It needs to come out.

There’s no way to be a healthy person in a sick culture. Reacting appropriately to reality when the culture punishes people who react appropriately is a double bind there is no individual escape from.

This might seem crazy to you, but women have to get together to cry. Why “women,” and not “people”? Ideally it would be “people,” but you get “people” together to cry and the sick cultural imperatives start rolling out immediately- it’s not that big of a deal what your family did, it’s not the big of a deal what you have to do to earn money, it’s not that big of a deal how your clothes hurt, it’s not that big of a deal how people treat you different, what you’re talking about is not that big of a deal and what is wrong with you that you’re crying?

It’s all that big of a deal. All the ways you feel crazy, all these conditions and double binds and traps you walked right into- it’s all that big of a deal. I need to cry about it. I need to be there while you cry about it. My body needs that.

Life isn’t going the way anyone of us thought it would. The stories we were raised with about who to trust and who to be scared of were written to confuse us. It is ok to react appropriately to how hard things are. You do not need to be a robot to be heroic.

I find it scary to cry with other women. I look around and try to figure out who is in charge if someone really loses it. And that makes sense, that I’m scared, because the women in my family do not cry together. We resent each other’s tears, we don’t trust them, one person gets to cry at a time and she should be courteous about keeping it short. The men do not cry and we should do everyone the favor of at least TRYING to copy the men, who work so hard and can’t cry.

It’s not that by crying, the world changes. It’s only that by crying we can keep going. By crying together at least you know you’re not alone in how almost impossible it is to keep going.

 

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