“You’ve been in a much better mood lately,” he says.
“Really?” I ask.
“What about the other night when I cried and opened up about my pandemic fears? I was a mess,” I say.
“Yeah,” he says. “But that’s just how you work. You get upset all at once. And then you’re better.”
I smile. I tell him about what my mother told me I was like when I was a little kid. I was clumsy. Always falling down. And a lot of times when I did, I’d skin my knee.
And when I fell down and skinned my knee, I’d scream bloody murder. Cry and cry.
But I’d do that for maybe 10 or 15 seconds — and then I’d be over it. I’d get up and smile. And be in a good mood.
“I guess that’s how I still am,” I say.
I can honestly think of times when it’s been confusing for the people I’ve dated. Because I do get emotional. I do have intense reactions sometimes. But if you leave it alone, I’ll get over it.
I know I will. But the other person involved hasn’t always been able to trust I would (even when I explained how I worked to them beforehand). Some people have seen a dramatic reaction and said, “Woah, you’re so dramatic,” and then maybe started yelling or something. Creating a secondary conflict where I’d have to calm them down — one that would take hours or sometimes even days.
And sometimes their view of me as “dramatic” would cause them to dismiss me. Lose respect for me. Even resent me.
They didn’t have room in their ideas about people for a person who needed to get it out and then get over it. Move on.
So in those relationships, I learned to cry in secret. I found ways to sneak off and have my dramatic moment alone.
It’s nice now to not have to do that anymore. To have someone understand that it’s a momentary fluctuation. To trust I’ll get over it; I just have to be dramatic first.