I’ll never forget that day. I had become furious, which was rare for me back then, such a good girl was I, and that had carried over into my first marriage. The year was 1967. I was 24 years old, and we were living in a big old flat in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where my narcissist husband Patrick was a Harvard graduate student in architecture and I, the mother of our two young boys, was also a graduate student, at Boston University, in philosophy.
So I had gotten mad at him, in fact enraged. As usual, he went around silently, with a superior attitude, closing the all the windows, so the neighbors wouldn’t take notice of his wife’s unseemly behavior.
I ran into the bedroom, closed the door, climbed onto the bed, and suddenly the tears started flowing. For the first time. For the first time since I was a child, and the last time Dad had spanked me (probably for mouthing off, in some way). There I was, draped over Dad’s German lap, my hands and feet both reaching the floor. The situation was so absurd! Rather than crying, I laughed! He suddenly stopped. Pushed me off his lap. That was the end of that.
And that was the end of my crying, too. From then on, I would be strong, invincible. Nothing and no one could touch me.
Until that afternoon, twelve years later, sitting on the bed cross-legged, tears flowing down my face. Stunned, that salty tears would feel so good. That weeping was such a relief, a release. Never again, did I stop their flow when needed.
Here’s a terrific twitter thread on the connections among body, mind, and soul, specifically, with reference to the cleansing power of tears.