Her tone, her glances and grimaces, and disapproving, admonishing animations from her face all collided for me today in tears. It’s happened before, with different people but similar situations with similar types of people, and I know why it happens, but awareness doesn’t equal action.

As the tears flowed in front of this other person, a shaming person, I willed myself to not take it personally, to freeze the tears in their place. I tried focusing on other things, let my mind wander, but those bloody tears kept billowing on and on. As soon as I dabbed under my left eye, I’d switch to dab the right, and more tears trickled from the left again.

I have cried on and off throughout the day, long after the incident occurred. And now the tears are more about the shame and guilt of having cried at all in front of that person in a professional setting. It’s a vicious vortex, sucking me in, never ending.

The worst bit of it now is the crying pain. It’s as if my head, currently blanketed with an ice bag, has not cried enough. My jaw feels watery and hollow, making me nauseous. Trapped tears weigh on my corneas, the optic nerves, the socket itself. My head feels like a balloon to the point just before it will burst when blowing it up with air.

It is the crying pain, long after the crying ceases, that reminds me that someone hurled emotionally damaging pain at me. My eyes carry so much pain that I can no longer keep them open, they are so heavy. My mind, heart, eyes beg me for sleep in hopes that healing will arrive with the dawn.