Zephaniah for web cropped

I’ve always cried easily, something that has caused me much embarrassment over the years. With my recent diagnosis I learned that this super sensitivity is a feature of BPD. I finally realized that my life-long problem was the result of an illness all along.

One of the things I best remember about our wedding forty-seven years ago wasn’t the great reception we had, it was the many tears I shed during the ceremony. Standing at the front of the church with my back towards the guests, I had to work hard to stop the flow. I never managed it. All I could hope for was that somehow – miraculously – no one would notice, or at least that they would have compassion and not stare at me. How can you hide a contorted face with tears running down? Fortunately we faced the pastor through most of the ceremony. But the discomfort of it all! I had no Kleenex on me. What to do with all the wet stuff?

I’ve learned to be a little less embarrassed about crying in public. At least, at the church I attended tears were quite acceptable. They were an indication that the person was sincerely moved by the worship. I was well known at this church as the leader of a support group for people with mental health problems. Everyone knew me as a person with emotional difficulties. I was accepted and loved in spite of it.

But now I’ve left that church and have started going to another church. Last Sunday was my second time. As we sang the worship songs I started crying again as I stood, sandwiched between two husky men. I could not hold back the flow. Sometimes a phrase of a song set me off. Other times it was a single word. I would like to go again this Sunday, but can I trust myself to stay together? No one there knows me. No one knows my history. Would they accept me if they did?

The worst of it would be to be ignored. The best would be for a person to show empathy and put an arm around me. What is it about being in tears that makes me feel like a child all over again, having a need to be shown I’m loved. Is that where my BPD condition stems from?

Yes, tears are embarrassing. Feeling deeply can be good. It shows sensitivity, and sensitivity is not altogether bad. But I want to show myself as a strong person too. I want to be in control of my emotions. I want to be respected.