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#32645 - 03/26/05 08:06 AM Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
willtobecomplete Offline

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 51
Loc: IL
So I was cutting onions for my awesome guackamole, just read a survivor story of a good freind of mine, thought I would take advantage of the natural reaction to cutting onions to greive about what happened to all of us. EVEN WITH THE ONIONS AND MAKING FORCED CRYING SOUNDS I WAS BARLEY ABLE TO DO IT AND CONNECT WITH THE IMMENSE SADDNESS I FEEL DOWN THERE BURIED!!!! AHHHHH!!! All the while, all I had to do was lose focus for a moment and I started automaticly humming and I would come right out of it. I hate that there is a wall between me and my feelings and I have so many highly sofisticated mechanisms that take control to keep me from feeling my feelings.
Just a rant to get it out there, anyone relate?

"Him....who is healing all your maladies. Who is reclaiming your life from the very pit" Ps 103:3-4

#32646 - 03/27/05 02:58 AM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA
Oh yes! I can relate.

My latest motto is "It's a good day when I can feel my feelings".

Many of us not only covered the SA trauma with disassociative techniques to avoid its impact, but we started building layers of distance from our feelings out of fear that allowing/feeling them even a little bit would be a slippery slope into the abyss of our trauma.

After a year of intensive therapy, my experience is that I have been able to peel off some of the layers, little by little, in a safe place, and I am beginning to learn how to separate the current feelings from the ones from my past.

I notice that this has helped me to sometimes allow myself to feel day to day things. For example, I used to feel some panic along with my normal feelings of empathy for my kids' problems. It was hard to separate from that and respond to them IN THE PRESENT. Now my feelings are not so entangled with my fears and grief from THE PAST. It also has helped me to be a better Father to them.

I think in some way emotions from my past and present will always be connected, but the present is more tolerable and it feels so good to sometimes separate from the past and feel/process my feelings in real time. That for me is a "good day".

It is a slow process, but when it happens, it feels so hopeful and rewarding. I would never want to go back to the emotionless deadness with which I dealt with feelings in the past.

It gets better and, as it does, I feel more complete.

Will, your name says it all. We are fragmented and part of healthy recovery means understanding and putting our parts back together in healthy, more appropriate ways.

"..this place isn't a discussion's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

#32647 - 03/27/05 03:37 AM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...

peeling onions, is maybe the nearest thing I get to crying. I maybe cried so much as a kid, that I numbed out a lot of emotion.

As Thad said, it equates to childhood trauma, when the child can see no way out of the problems he faces as a kid, so he deals with them anyway he is equipped to do it, and he finds some tools to help him along the way.

Don't get me wrong, he should never have had to use these tools, but in some way it makes him strong, it also makes him sensitive to others' problems in this sh*t.

I know that I dissociated, as a kid, I did not know what the World meant, it seemed so unreal, and it was at this time I needed help, but it never came, so I dealt with it the only way I could, but I have become stronger through it, even through the seemingly impossible struggle.

Nobody had the right to do these things to any of us, but you seem to be on the right track, and positive with it.

See yourself as the one who got through so much, so much more than most others you meet, I know you would love to tell them about everything, but it is the silence we all have to keep, because we never know the reaction that others will have.

Keep strong, and always believe, that it never was your fault, nor mine, nor anybody who is here, we are all as innocent as the little boy it was done to, and see it as your strength.

take care,


Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#32648 - 03/27/05 05:12 AM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1798
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
I keep my copy of Mic Hunterís Abused Boys in the office, but to paraphrase, he says we are afraid to let any emotions out because we are afraid we wonít be able to rein them back in again.

When I was on my level I retreat we wrote a letter to ourselves. I wrote mine from the little me to the big me and used my non-dominant hand so it looked like a childís writing. It was like a huge breakthrough for me. That was when the tears really came, it felt so cleansing.

#32649 - 03/27/05 05:28 AM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
PiePro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 15
Loc: Montreal
Emotions are a force of life. It took me 30 years to realize this. It took the hell of a addiction for me to comprehend that my emotions were trapped inside of me. Therapy did not release these emotions.

I do weekly meetings ( almost dayly in fact ) for my addiction. I am seeing a sexologist which is a great help. I am seeing a massage therapist.

The massage therapist ( woman ) is what did it for me. It was extremely hard but through the massages I finally got my tears out. I finally trusted someone in a controlled environment. The massages gave me the affection, the sensation that I was greatly lacking. And, I still cannot believe this, I am now crying ( and laughing )almost dayly.

Last week I tried a dual massage, with my therapist and a man massage therapist. It was extremely hard to accept the pleasure of the massage from the man, but it greatly help me understand what was going on inside me.

I hope you find what will help you live your emotions.

#32650 - 03/27/05 05:43 AM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
FLRich Offline

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404

I never used to cry. Even things like death of a loved one barely moved me at all. I never used to cry until a few months ago. Then I would only tear up. I won't cry in public, but lately, I get weepy out of nowhere! I call them panic attacks for lack of a better word. Turst me, when the time comes, you will not have to force yourself to cry. It'll happen. Man, I still fight it. When I was a little boy being abused, I never let 'em see me cry.

#32651 - 03/28/05 04:29 AM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
you're right, I feel the same way. Now I've found my emotions - or the connection to them - I find that I cry emotionally often now.

Earlier tonight I was watching a TV documentary by Ray Mears, a survival expert, who was in Tanzania with the Hadza people. They are a small tribe and in great danger of losing their ancient way of life.
The sadness of that possibly happening in my lifetime was very emotional to me, and I cried.
A few years ago I'd have changed channels very rapidly, I would not allow myself to feel emotions and far less display them.

Some of that was macho shit, "cry about some African tribe? no way" that's the bullshit attitude to emotions that men have been fed for way too long.
The other part for me was exactly what Curtis related from Mic Hunter's book. If I let the emotion out where the hell would it take me, and would I ever get it back in the box again ?

Men can feel emotions and cry, that's a fact.
And they do go back in the box, if that's where they belong. But sometimes we have to find a new box for them, and that's also possible.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#32652 - 03/28/05 01:01 PM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
Malidin41 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 140
Loc: Utah
As I begin to make my responce to this thread I strive to recall the last time I was able to cry. But no matter how hard I try I cannot remember. I hate not being able to do so and I envy people who do it so easily and sometimes get angry at them because they can. If you ever find the key to cure this problem please let me know.

Mother of the kingdom of silence I have obeyed you long enough!!!

#32653 - 03/28/05 11:55 PM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
ForeverFighting Offline

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1253
Loc: New Mexico, USA
Belive it or not, I was the same way at one time. They were on or off, and for the most part, off. I remember the most bizaar non-feeling episode was when my piano teacher of 15 years died. She was an older lady and I was really close to her. She got cancer that ate her away until she couldn't teach anymore. When she died, I played the piano at her funeral. Not one tear. Felt nothing.

I used dissociation when I was a kid. I could fly, I could imagine anything. It was the dissociation that provided me a safe world to live in. And when it finally all came back, it was like pulling teeth trying to get that wall to come down. My therapist said something about me playing games with myself. And I finally realized, What's the worst that could happen? I'd start crying and never stop? So slowly I found the fear that was holding back my feelings. I had a chat with my fear, so to speak, that I did have control, and I could put those feelings aside when I was done with them. The fear just had to let go so I could take care of that little boy that needed me, needed SOMEONE so bad. The fear had to let me be that someone. Let me hear the little boy's pain.

Then it came. It would go away again. The fear was a strong force. But slowly my fear has lessened in power so that the door to my feelings isn't quite so big and heavy anymore. And if I'm in mid-conversation with my therapist and my mouth just stops, me shutting my T out, I know the fear is back. I tell him my trust flag just went up, I go inside to see what I'm afraid of, chat with myself about it, and open the door again.

In my case, my lack of feelings was learned. My mother has two modes: Vulcan, and blubbering. It's either on or off. And when she was blubbering, it was my responsibility to hold myself together. I was the helper. I took the place of my dad.

Calg, remind yourself that you are worth helping. You are a good man with a little boy inside that was hurt very badly, so badly in fact that his pain used to be too much to hear. You're a man now. I believe in you. You are strong enough to hear his pain now. And so what if you cry for 24 hours? It will stop, and men like those here at MS and I will be here to listen, to support you, and help you close the door again if you need to. Trust us. Trust your T, and trust yourself. You are strong enough to look behind the door. I know you are.

You're a good man, Calg. Most people don't even try to feel their pain.

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17

#32654 - 04/01/05 04:48 AM Re: Why does it take onions to make me cry?!
willtobecomplete Offline

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 51
Loc: IL
Onions reloaded:

Thanks everyone for your as always, right on the money suggestions and thoughts!

I was having a really safe feeling day and I decided to go for my now patented onion method of getting in touch with my pain ,greif,and sadness. I achieved, Nextel Direct Connect! YES! So much so that I was bent over bawling an hour after I finished cutting the onion. It was INTENSE, very painfull, but very worth it, because it blew open the feeling part of me that I had been working very hard to keep buryed. These last couple days have been beautiful because of it. Anything is better than numb, I still have a long way to go until I am feeling the things that some of you enjoy every day. I know I will get there though.

"Him....who is healing all your maladies. Who is reclaiming your life from the very pit" Ps 103:3-4


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