Author Topic: What is your relationship to tears?  (Read 836 times)

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Online The Flying Lemur

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What is your relationship to tears?
« on: April 19, 2017, 09:06:35 am »
I have always thought that crying was a subversive thing for a man to do.  Guys are supposed to put up and shut up, and prove their worth by being strong and unemotional 24/7.  I think crying only looks weak if you cringe from it and apologize for it.  If you own it completely and unapologetically, I think it puts you in a position of power.  It certainly puts everybody else off balance as they try to figure out how to deal with you and the gender role rebellion you represent.

There are really only two reasons why I don't just go stand in the middle of the food court at the mall whenever I feel miserable.  The first is that in reality, I have this wounded animal thing going on where I want to be absolutely alone when I'm very unhappy.  The second is that I can't pass at this point, so all people would see would be a crying woman.  It's not the same if a woman does it.  Women sort of become public property if they cry in front of people.  Everyone flocks over and wants to touch you and tell you how to live your life, because if you could manage your own affairs you plainly wouldn't be in tears in a public place.

In what way is crying a part of your life, assuming it is?  Does it mortify you, or feel somehow empowering, or both?  Or neither, I suppose?  What do you think of men who cry?

I don't see why I should have to justify my existence. The ocean doesn't have to explain why it's valuable. --Madeline Kehl

Online Rachel_Christina

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 11:19:50 am »
You may have had a different experience, i duno how you have been with crying as you wher brought up as a woman. Did you cry readily? Would you feel bad for doing it?
I was brought up as a man. Crying never happened, not when people died, not when animals died, not when I broke bones, not when sad films wher on TV,  not when getting a beating for doing something wrong, not ever!
It never happened.
It has been so great transition and estrogen for me, it has allowed me to cry for like the first times ever, i feel like a real person and not a robot anymore, I have proper emotions.
I wonder as someone who was probably brought up in the opposite way to me, as you felt male did you try your best to maybe not cry too?
Did it work, did you manage to reach this level of cold unbreakable hardness? (It's horrible)
And even more curious to me is do you you want to not cry?

I like your idea that if you own it truly you could feel empowered by crying. I like that idea.
But as a woman now if I cry, I feel peoples reactions like you said probably ends up making you feel belittled or something? I duno...



Online The Flying Lemur

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 11:43:28 am »
As a kid, I definitely managed to internalize the message that crying was a weak and shameful thing to do.  I didn't want to be like my mother and sister, who cried at the drop of a hat.  I wanted to be like my dad, who I saw as strong and rational.  Nobody ever explicitly told me to think that way, I just kind of absorbed that attitude.  I recall that I never cried over my parents' divorce, and wondered at the time if that made me strong or just heartless. 

It was only after years of therapy that I started to feel differently about tears.  I like the idea that I refuse to have my emotional expressions dictated to me.  In the dulcet words of Rage Against The Machine, "**** you, I won't do what you tell me."  :p 

I have obviously never been a cis man, so I can't really know what it's like for them to cry in front of people, but just based on observation, adult male tears have a kind of freezing effect on people, so long as the man in question doesn't try to hide or apologize for what's going on with him.  If he acts like he believes it's a weakness, people act disgusted and tell him to suck it up.  If he refuses to cower about it, people just kind of stop what they're doing and pay attention.  I imaging they're thinking that they have been handed something that they don't quite know how to deal with.  I have never seen that reaction when a woman cries . . . there's usually more of a closing in effect as people rush in to comfort and "fix" whatever is wrong.  Maybe if an older and very stalwart woman breaks down people who know her would have that "freezing" reaction . . . I'm not sure. 

Personally, I don't like it when people rush to fix me.  I'd prefer to be stared at in a mixture of awe and horror.  The latter reaction seems more appropriate as a response to intense pain.  Rushing in to fix betrays the assumption that there's something going on that's easily fixable.         
I don't see why I should have to justify my existence. The ocean doesn't have to explain why it's valuable. --Madeline Kehl

Offline WolfNightV4X1

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 11:57:23 am »
Well I mean, I only transitioned recently.

I cried a lot as a kid...not to physical pain, but emotionally. I had a lot of rough interactions with my parents, mainly my mother, who I guess can be called abusive if I were to relay all the things that have pained me. I cried a lot, and I hated that I cried a lot. It was so pathetic and weak. I cried myself to sleep some nights, some nights when my mother put me through so much personal trouble I'd cry so hard I'd get terrible headaches, where I would immediately regret that I had cried so much.

Things came to a close two years after high school, I was a failing student in college going nowhere and experiencing the height of my dyshphoria and wanted to change so bad and unable to in the restricted environment I had. The day my parents found out about my dead end grades I was cornered, so I announced my plans to move out and start a new life. This was the most rage and fire Ive been subjected to in my lifetime; anger, shouting, threats, etc. Something strange happened that day though...I did not cry...I was a solid stone of emotionless steadfastness. I was so numb and dead I didnt cry, but I merely glared in silent anger at all the things my parents accussed me of and tried to pull from me. I think it was shocking how cold I was to all the guilty and hurt tears and anger my parents threw into my direction. My mom even stole my wallet so I could not go anywhere, I had to calmly tell her that I was of legal age, and stealing my financial property that I needed to leave the house was illegal, and in this case the cops would surely be on my side. Eventually logic won out so I got my stuff back, and a week later I left to a new life in another place.

Since then, I havent cried as much, the steadfast numbness to pain remains. Even when Ive wanted to cry Im surprised I had not, instead the most my body has done is shake and become mute and withdrawn, but no tears. This is a welcome change, perhaps Ive adapted since those stress headaches did me a lot of harm. All those years of crying every time my mom would berate me for something made me feel awful and weak. Since Ive moved out Ive been above that, have I gotten colder to pain and damage simce living there? Probably. But I am not truly emotionless, merely able to hold my stance and not be reduced to sniveling tears. Occassionally when the moment breaks I have cried, but quickly regain composure instead of long fitful crying sessions. These days I've surpassed what used to make me weak, inferior, and in tears. I know crying isnt weak itself, but after my stricken past I feel more power in being able to not cry...it feels good.



Online Rachel_Christina

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 12:08:38 pm »
I have never seen a man cry to be fair in real life never seen it.
Now I'm allowed to cry, and I do, sometimes it's a real pain trying stop, and times it would be totally inappropriate.
So far I have dodged doing it infront of people.
It's funny seeing someone enjoy crying less like you Wolf Night. It's something I have wanted for so long
More power to you if it makes you feel better.
Things we need will often be different. And us MTFs and FTMs will probably be the direct opposite lol
Pity we couldn't just trade bodys lol



Online The Flying Lemur

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 12:17:24 pm »
The times I've seen adult men cry is pretty much limited to significant deaths.  I think my stepfather cried more than I did when my mother died.  I live in a pretty liberal enclave of Michigan, though.  Just out of curiosity, what region are you from, ChristineRachel?  I know masculinity can mean different things in different cultures.
I don't see why I should have to justify my existence. The ocean doesn't have to explain why it's valuable. --Madeline Kehl

Online Rachel_Christina

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 12:23:58 pm »
I am from a small poor religious Irish family in the hills of Donegal.
With a very strict father and religious mother.
I suppose it would be as close to what you guys call the South or Bible belt lol.
People gossip and word goes around so fast.
It's this that has my family so feared of me coming out for



Offline WolfNightV4X1

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 12:24:46 pm »
I have never seen a man cry to be fair in real life never seen it.
Now I'm allowed to cry, and I do, sometimes it's a real pain trying stop, and times it would be totally inappropriate.
So far I have dodged doing it infront of people.
It's funny seeing someone enjoy crying less like you Wolf Night. It's something I have wanted for so long
More power to you if it makes you feel better.
Things we need will often be different. And us MTFs and FTMs will probably be the direct opposite lol
Pity we couldn't just trade bodys lol

Aye, I know it's silly to WANT to be a cold, emotionless robot, but when youre subjected to something your entire life sometimes being able to break off in the other direction is empowering, as in your case :P I think healthy amounts of composure and learning a good time to break down is good for everyone.

 In my case I think in my young mind my mother wanted to make me cry, as a sort of domination thing in making me know I was wrong and needed adjustment, so if I didnt cry it would mean I was in control, and not subject to her power over me. Moving out had succeeded for me in that respect.

...and boy havent I heard the body trade sentiment before, lol! I definitely would in a heartbeat x3 Anyone know a good doctor Frankenstein to whip up some lightning?



Online Rachel_Christina

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 12:33:56 pm »
It seems a very good job you got out of that situation WolfNight. Sounds real cruel :/

And for sure if it was possible it would be just a case of MTFs and FTMs that looked similar in a masculine and feminine way to trade.



Offline Kylo

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 12:46:05 pm »
When younger, crying infuriated me. It would happen sometimes out of sheer frustration and the fact it didn't do anything to help me fix a problem made it an utterly useless biological response to whatever the problem was, in my opinion. I mastered the stone face; I desensitized myself to plenty of things so that they wouldn't shock or bother me. That also worked. Self-control has always been important to me.

I think right from the get-go, little boys learn that when they cry their parents probably don't come running and fuss over them to the extent they do with little girls. One of the interesting things about my childhood was that I didn't cry much. Even as a baby. And if I did, my parents did not really know how to do the comfort thing. I expect much like any boy I learned it wasn't generally helpful for me to cry. I remember my father actually telling me on one occasion when he was giving me a chewing out that crying wouldn't help me out of it. My mother was much the same. Strangely with my female siblings, they were the opposite. The behavior was not reinforced in me by any positive outcomes. That's not to say I didn't have my moments - but unlike women saying crying makes them feel better ("have a good cry"), it never made me feel better, only worse. I do not like my body having salty outbursts without my permission.

Since HRT I now understand it's very much the influence of female hormones in the absence of testosterone that makes emotional outbursts so easy. I've not had any since starting testosterone and believe me, the stresses and problems I've been dealing with since would absolutely have caused some tear shedding before it. The difference is remarkable; you can still feel the various emotions of a stressed-out state but the body's reaction of crying is - for me - nonexistent. Nothing will cause crying unless I choose to (one of my hobbies is a drama group, no problem there, I can switch the emotions on at will there if I want to) but the sort of knee-jerk biological response of crying is gone. I expect you'll experience the same when you go on HRT.   

And you're right - people don't know what to do when men cry. They don't expect it. So they have no idea how to handle it. When a woman cries, it tends to stimulate an urge in other people (male and female) to help them. For women, crying isn't a bad thing, it doesn't invite ridicule and it does tend to cause people to care for you and find out what is the matter - or, if you're in a situation under threat for someone threatening to assume because you're crying that you're no threat, and to stop attacking you (or so you hope). For men, it's probably not going to have people flocking to see if you're all right. Though people recognize that fundamentally crying by anyone is a sign of distress, I think we're programmed biologically to worry far more about the wellbeing of women and therefore to respond the way we do when a woman starts crying.

I've seen grown men cry; they always had a good reason, and it's rare, in my experience, so when it happens I know they're really torn up about something and it's serious. They tended to cry only if a significant part of their life had just gone downhill - someone had been killed, especially a good friend or family member, or a long time spouse was leaving them and they didn't know what else to do to prevent it. Things like that.

But the fact that I saw them do it meant that I was a trusted friend or equivalent - they don't do it in front of just anyone usually, so when it has happened, I've been there as the support and my response was never to join in feeling miserable but to provide the foil for it. Frankly I've had lots of experience with people in states of duress and trauma, so it doesn't surprise me to see it. I know men are human and have emotions, it just takes a lot more usually to put them over the edge into crying about them. When it happens, I know they aren't feeling good about something, and not great about the fact they're crying, and they'd typically rather just stop and get it together than go on crying. When you're talking to a guy crying I think you have to assume he's on the edge, and they'd rather not have attention drawn to the fact they are. That's normal behavior in men, from what I see, and not just some social construct because bravado, or whatever. Most men literally don't delight in crying in front of people most of the time, myself no exception.

So for my part, I do not cry in response to things... instead I will quietly experience a bunch of unpleasant emotions internally, untangle them, and put them away. If something can be DONE about the situation, I will go and do it, which is 1000% more helpful. If not, I figure a way to move on rationally. Which is what I used to do as well, only now I save myself an hour's headache and constricted sinuses. It's not part of my life now.

How I feel about the guys crying? Anyone crying with a damn good reason for it is fine with me. The only time I get frustrated is with people who cry at the drop of a hat about what is essentially trivial problems, and to be honest I don't know any males who do this.

I'd never say crying felt empowering. Perhaps being in a fubar situation at rock bottom and realizing you can only go up from there kind of is, but the act of crying itself... no, I kind of see crying as like shivering when you're cold, a response to a state. Maybe it empowers females, but for me it never had the same effect as it maybe does for them.
   
I've also seen people complaining men should cry more and the fact they don't much is somehow some self-conscious play at hypermasculinity. Not true. Testosterone literally makes it much harder to cry and men have a whole lot more of it. It's a biological trait... and a fact for most with male T levels. Not much we can do about it. Personally I find it very comfortable to feel less highly-strung emotionally. I don't feel robotic or heartless in the least, but I do feel more in control which is the position I prefer to be in.

Offline Jin

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 12:51:55 pm »
crying is one of the things that (almost) keeps me sane.

Ya gotta get rid of the bad mojo.
I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam.
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Online The Flying Lemur

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2017, 01:29:24 pm »
It's quite possible that taking T will change my perspective on everything.  Or not . . . something's probably up with my hormone levels as it is, since even pre-T I have to shave every day or I get a beard that would make a high school boy jealous.  No mustache, though.  Go figure.  Honestly, I should probably have that checked out.  :p

But that aside, perhaps it just feels freeing to many people to be able to break rules they lived with and sweated under when they were kids.  It actually wasn't just sadness I felt I shouldn't express--it was basically everything.  Alcoholic home, etc. etc. etc.  Three years with a really good therapist helped me get to the point where I could have feelings, even really strong ones, and not feel scared.  I actually kind of enjoy getting really mad, too.  I think the idea is that the fact that I can have really strong feelings without acting like a nutball attests to the strength of my character. 
I don't see why I should have to justify my existence. The ocean doesn't have to explain why it's valuable. --Madeline Kehl

Offline Kylo

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 02:27:13 pm »
One thing to watch with T - when you get it - is that it's easier to get angry, harder to watch your words, and so on meaning you can get into altercations easier because there's less inhibition there, less awareness that you're reaching a point of anger, perhaps. By many accounts, that is. The idea T makes anyone who takes it violent is nonsense, but if you enjoy getting mad it might just happen that bit easier and you may have to watch that with other people.

I think it would definitely help you express more, feel more confident or less anxious. I immediately felt all of these things the first day of HRT. Before it I didn't think it would have much effect on me as I considered myself well and truly broken. But it's a powerful substance. May do a lot to help you.

Offline WolfNightV4X1

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2017, 02:55:22 pm »
For me it mostly helped with confidence, I had 0 aggression because Im not that kind of person, and generally dislike altercations and angry matches. Your results may vary, I suppose.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 05:43:26 pm by WolfNightV4X1 »



Offline CMD042414

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2017, 04:22:41 pm »
Pre-T I cried a good amount. Not at the drop of a hat but a sad movie, commercial, circumstance would easily bring the water works. As soon as I started T that changed. I cannot seem to cry at all anymore. Went through a devastating breakup that took me 2 years to get over and probably only cried twice. I find that I get angry more than sad now. If I do cry I don't feel less masculine at all. Now I wouldn't dare cry in public as a man. It just looks weak or effeminate to me and I know that's awful. Can't help how I see it though. I don't want to be see as either of those things. I am a counselor so I'm a dude that's much more in tune with feelings and verbalizing and fully experiencing them. I think more men should let themselves cry. It's cathartic and therapeutic. I've had so many instances where I wished I COULD cry. Things have change a lot since T.
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Offline Kylo

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2017, 05:22:05 pm »
That's the thing, I don't think many guys can cry just like that. Not because they're stopping themselves to seem brave like people believe, but because T makes it difficult. Or there's just no ...cry response at all.

I can't do it any more. The only time I can is in the drama group with a manufactured state of emotions I have to concentrate very hard with beforehand. If it's my own life, my own problems, somehow I'm so immune to crying about it. I could cry at a fake funeral scene for a damn play, but if it was someone's funeral I knew, I'd probably not be able to do it. A friend of mine died unexpectedly who was close to me when I was 19 and everyone was teary at the funeral but even then I couldn't allow the tears as a teenaged kid. Something about the gravity of real life versus what isn't real, I suppose, and the need not to lose it and have a breakdown or something. To be the one who has it together in case other people don't.

But what is weird is I noticed my other half (cis male) always gets watery eyes when he's tired. And the same thing happens to me when I lie down to sleep. My eyes water slightly from the corners. They never did that before T. I'll be damned if I can shed an emotional tear over anything any more, but there's water leaking out of there when I'm tired.


Online The Flying Lemur

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2017, 11:00:13 pm »
Very interesting responses!  I'm really fascinated by behavior that reads as gendered in some way, particularly when someone does something that is perceived as "wrong" for their gender.  Because how else can I come to understand gender role rules without identifying them and seeing what happens when they get broken?  :p 

I'll be interested to see what shifts for me and what doesn't when I start hormones.  The closest experience I've had is a massive infusion of steroids after a serious allergic reaction.  Those made me have sex dreams all night, and caused me to want to punch and hit things for no reason.  (I didn't actually damage anything but an old newspaper, but I shredded the **** out of that baby.)  I can't say it was a pleasant experience.  Hopefully T will be better. 
I don't see why I should have to justify my existence. The ocean doesn't have to explain why it's valuable. --Madeline Kehl

Offline ghoulified g

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2017, 04:54:45 pm »
...unlike women saying crying makes them feel better ("have a good cry"), it never made me feel better, only worse. I do not like my body having salty outbursts without my permission.

Yeah, that's kind of how I view it as well, if I end up crying then I end up with the fight-or-flight thing and I just want to get the hell away from human life and if they try to talk to me I won't listen, I'll tell them to shut up. I wouldn't mind it so much if I could wait for a time when there's no-one there to see me but it always happens because of something someone does and I can't stop it. I just can't deal with people shouting at each other for some reason, it'll happen and then my body has a lovely salty outburst that makes me want to bury myself in the garden. I think I might have anxiety or something but I never get coherent thoughts, just feelings, no memory of a past incident (my mum and dad would shout at each other a lot when I was little- they broke up when I was 7) or something telling me that this or that is gonna happen, I just get the terrible panicked feeling. It's weird. I end up with watery eyes when I'm opening up about something really personal to me as well, I'm not very open usually... If I could just put the tears off for another time, that would be great, I don't want to deal with my sister laughing and mocking me because of something totally out of my control

I don't really view it as a "boys don't cry" thing, cause they can, it just makes me feel like crap when it happens. q:

Offline Stone Magnum

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 12:17:45 pm »
That's a hard pass. Crying and I were never good pals and it wasn't something I frequently did pre-T unless I was under extreme duress or frustrated (maybe once a year, if that). Honestly, the last six months prior to transitioning--the point at which I knew I needed to medically intervene but had to play the waiting game to do so--were some of the worst of my life thus far. That period of time was laced with anger and very tear-laden.
I haven't cried at all in the past year and a half I've been on T. The urge simply hasn't been there; it's hard to say if it's impossible these days or if I just haven't encountered anything worth being that upset over.
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Offline TomTuttle

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Re: What is your relationship to tears?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 02:13:50 pm »
AFAB, cried a lot as a little baby - very clingy baby - but I hated crying as a little kid. I hated how people looked at you, whether it was the "i don't know what to do" stare or the "are you okay? let me help you" sort of fussing I was not into it, just everyone, get away from me. I cry mostly now when Im incredibly frustrated and I just cannot do anything. Its a very heat of the moment thing and its always accompanied by anger. But I don't cry out of sadness more than once every couple of years. And I haven't cried about someone dying since my dad died when I was 5. And I cried once in my life about that. Recently I have felt the need to cry ocasionally but cannot get anything more than static, non dripping warm moisture than does not leave my eyelids.

I really never had the impression that it was really okay for women to just cry publicly either, its just that men would like to pretend that they don't cry at all. By that I mean, if a woman cries with a group of friends they;ll feel bad for her and look after her, if a man does that his friends will probably still be pretty baffled as much as they will try and help him. If a woman cries in complete open-air public she looks hysterical, a man looks a bit like he's having a complete crisis, neither of which are really socially acceptable.

I like the fact that I think I cry less than other women because it makes me feel like I can look after them as the masculine one. And like men I probably would rather not ever cry in front of anyone I know or don't because of my pride. But also just because I hate the idea of people looking at me while im crying at all. That's the main concern.

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