Ugh, it’s a horrible feeling. You’re on the train heading home and you feel as though you might burst if you don’t allow those tears to flow. You put on your sunglasses so other passengers don’t notice. You’re stomach won’t unknot itself and you’re not looking forward to any interaction especially with your family today. You fear one simple hug or “how are you?” will send you straight back into a tearful fit, full of heaving and choked up sounds.
You get home and all you want to do is curl up on your mom’s lap. You don’t want to talk about what happened or all the cruel and awful things that were said. You don’t want to admit to anyone else how hurt you are despite the fact that they can tell by your red swollen eyes.
She hates seeing you cry. She was never the maternal type. She showed love other ways rather than caresses or kind words. In this family, the women are warriors, their internal strength delivering them from every evil.
She gives you precise directions on what to do next:
- Stop crying.
- Get a haircut. Pamper yourself. Buy some new shoes or clothes.
- Go to church and pray – or yoga to meditate.
- Clean your apartment – make it immaculate. Throw out everything you don’t want. Get rid of things that you don’t need.
- Go and find a new boyfriend because “un clavo siempre saca al otro,” (one nail always gets another one out).
If this had been two years ago, you would have scoffed at her advice and thought that a broken heart was far too serious to remedy with superficial adjustments – but she’s been right too many times this year and you follow each instruction. The pain dulls away as though someone had put ice on the wound and each day you awake with less and less.
At some point in adulthood, you realize your parents are not just your parents, but human beings that have probably been through a lot of rough times they hid from you when you were a child. You realize that no matter what you’ve done or how horrible you feel that they understand you more than you know.