My dream where I cried in public made me ponder when exactly the last time I cried in front of others was. My initial thought was that it was probably a long time ago when I was a child, but upon rummaging through my memories more, I recall three instances.
A childhood buddy of mine had died unexpectedly. We had had drifted apart then as we attended different schools.
Some time before her death, she had walked out of Sunday class to answer a phone call (which she was reprimanded for) and came back crying. The few of us tried to console her as she spilled out her troubles: she had lost her lead role in a play because she had had missed a couple of rehearsals due to her illness, and the teacher wasn’t forgiving of her situation. She had always been a sickly child who was in and out of hospitals frequently. When we were little, she explained to me that her intestines “moved around”.
A few days before her death, she had texted me to ask if I was going to the church camp. We had been to the previous camp together, but I wasn’t keen on a repeat of the camp events and could get away with not going that second time. She begged me to accompany her as she didn’t know anyone else there, but I declined. That was the last I heard from her.
A couple of nights into the camp, she wasn’t feeling well and was experiencing pain in her stomach (which happened frequently for her). She had called her father in the middle of the night and he decided to take her home early from camp. Her health deteriorated rapidly. She fell into a coma later that day (or the next; my memory is fuzzy) and died some hours later. Her sudden death was a shock to everyone. I was shocked, though I didn’t feel sad.
During a lull at her funeral, a priest was making chitchat with my parents and asking them about my relation to her. I was just listening to the adults talking candidly about how we lived near each other and used to go to the same school when, all of a sudden, tears started spilling uncontrollably and I rushed off. I was confused as to why I cried out of the blue, and so was the priest who looked shocked when I rushed off.
I’ve always wondered why it had been her and not me. She’s the type who would have changed the world — in her INFP ways — and I was (and am) a good-for-nothing.
I arrived hours late at school and was sneaking in through the back gate as usual. A teacher caught me and questioned me. Her words cut deep — she was a fellow iNtuitive — and I burst out crying, to the point I was hiccuping. She frowned at me and let me go even though I hadn’t answered any of her questions.
I went to the washroom to splash my face before slipping into class by the back door. My eyes were red and puffy and I was still hiccuping. The group of classmates sitting by the door tried to comfort me and asked what was wrong, but I kept mum.
I was crying on the phone, begging and pleading. I felt so betrayed. Two others were in the room so I had turned to face the wall for some privacy. I knew the others were listening in, but I had no other choice — I was trapped. After a while, the lady (an ISFJ perhaps) came over to hand me some tissues and walked out of the room to give me more privacy. The man (an xSTP) stayed behind to be a busybody.
Tears come easily these days, and not just in dark cinemas and theaters. I just want to be alone, to be removed from my situation and this world, to live in a bubble and learn remotely.
An INFJ used the term “burden” recently. It struck me how accurate of a description it was. I am carrying around such a burden. It is me who’s the burden. Not so much a burden to others, but a burden to myself.
I don’t want my sadness to engulf others. I don’t wish to drag them down with me. I want others to reach their potential, because they can.