Crocodile Tears (Why Kids Cry)

Crocodile Tears (Why Kids Cry)

Whelp. School is back. Back to work. And stress. And crying from stress.

Crying.

Hm.

So today I cried in two classes, yes, I will admit that I, a seventeen year old who should really be more emotionally stable, cried, not once, but twice, maybe even three times today at school. I blame the heat, and the stress. School just began again today after a long two weeks of holidays, and it's like all that stress I'd been avoiding for two weeks was dumped right back onto me. I can't handle that shit.

I'm going to either magically have my grades go back up, or drop out before I fail year eleven a second time.

.

Anyway, this is all relevent. On the way home after school, I was berating myself for letting a teacher notice I was upset. He gave me that usual, 'keep on top of your work and you'll be fine' speech, which really doesn't work and never will. But a thought crept into my mind, well, a memory really.

I started thinking about a school trip I went on in primary school. We went up to Canberra (phew was that a long bus trip) and to this place which I can't recall the name of. There was this giant slide, and a whole lot of things to do. There was a room full of animal based activities, one of which you ahd to squeeze this cushion, and the screen would tell you your squeezing strength compare to that of a boa constrictor. Another room had a giant electro thing. You know those balls with blue or red electricity coming out from the centre to the glass? And if you put your hand on the glass, the electricity would gravitate towards it? Yeah, a giant on of those.

The point of this story is though, the souvenir shop. Now every other kid gravitated instantly towards these cool looking disk things. They're on string, and you spin them, and do tricks and everything and it was really cool. I wanted one. I had enough money for one. Everyone else was getting one and I really wanted one too. (that's an exaggeration. Only two boys and three girls bought one. Why do I remember that specific detail? Buggered if I know)

In that last five minutes before we had to leave and I lost my chance, I had a thought.

Would I get yelled at for buying this?

...

(So, some of you might know this about me. I had a pretty shitty childhood. I won't go into details, but just know it involves having almost every second of my life dictated, and always fearing my stepmothers foul moods.)

...

I eventually didn't buy the toy. On the bus back to the hotel the school had us all shacked up in, I began to cry. Quietly of course, I didn't need the other kids giving me another name to go along with Walking Manakin. Back then, I thought I was crying because I wanted the toy and couldn't get it. Because I had the chance to but didn't and everyone else had one. I was left out. That's why I thought I was crying.

I was maybe ten years old, I was being raised by an abusive woman who had in my head, stolen me and my brother away from our real mum, and I was crying over a stupid spinning disk thing. I told myself I was being stupid and to get over it. So while the others were performing their Red Nose acts that night with the disks and dancing and other stuff that was probably very talentless to the teachers but amazing to us kids, I grabbed my recorder and note sheet, picked the hardest song I had memorised, and performed that. (Red Nose acts was pretty much a talent show)

The reason that I was crying though, wasn't because I hadn't bought the disk. Or because I was the only one not to have one. I was crying, because it felt like I was the only one who had to think about her parents, and wonder just how much trouble she'd get in if she bought what the money had been meant for. I'd been given that twenty dollars for souvenirs. I was crying, because it felt like to me, everyone around me, they were all 'cool' kids. They had nothing to worry about. Life was great for them. They always invited friends over without parental permission. They always had money to spend at the canteen. They were always happy.

It felt like I was never happy.

I was crying, because not buying that disk, was just one more reminder or how different my life was compared to theirs. I was crying, because I had never done anything wrong to deserve what I had. I was a good kid. I did my work, I was polite, I was never (seldom) mean, and I rarely asked for anything. (rarely for a kid anyway, kids are always asking for soemthing). I had the short straw, and I was one of the nicest kids I knew. I never teased anyone like those other kids did, and they had the best lives ever. I was crying because I wished that I somehow deserved what I was getting. I was crying, because it all seemed so unfair.

And it was like nobody, including my 'friends' even cared.

I remember when I was eleven. We were at THE family friends house. You know, the one you always visit, who always visits you, your parents call them on their kids birthdays and we all have to sing over the phone. That family friend.

They had four kids, but only two who were constantly there. (the other two had different dads to the younger two, so were often with their father). Anyway, one visit, the two kids, two boys, had taken it upon themselves to piss me off as much as possible. They even got my little brother to join in.

They kept bugging me, and bugging me, and I was right outside the loungeroom window, so the adults could see what was happening. And they kept on annoying the piss otu of me, until the younger kid comes up to me and pinches me. I was so pissed off at this point, that I grabbed his arm and twisted, yelling (more like screaming) that I would sit on his head if he didn't piss off. In those words. I was angry enough to swear. (Yes, piss off, was considered a swear word).

Well, needless to say he didn't piss off. Oh he ran off, but he was quick to come back after a word with his older brother. He pinched my arm and I made good on my promise.

I shoved him down, held his head on the ground and sat on it until his screaming hit a higher pitch and the adults inside started moving.

I let the kid up and and pushed him away. His older brother just grabbed his arm and pulled him inside, my own brother was too scared of me at this point not to follow. I began to cry. Great big heaving sobs, and I could see my Dad standing there. I waited for him to yell at me. To tell me off and damn did I know I deserved it. But he just stood there, and looked at me. Then walked back inside.

The thing is though, I wasn't crying because I'd sat on the kids head. I wholly believed the little bastard deserved it. I was crying because I'd frightened myself. I scared the shit out of myself by getting so angry. I had only been angry enough to hurt one time before that, and my own brother had been the recipient of that, I'd tell that story but I'm afraid I might begin crying right now, and there was so much going on that I can't really analyse it anyway. Besides, that memory makes me feel like a dogs breakfast at dinner time.

Just one more story.

This will just confirm what we know about kids. That they are all just giant fakers when it comes to crying.

I remember when I was real young, I can't pinpoint an age, I was crying.

I can't remember why, something about not getting my own way (I was quick to learn it would never be my way) I was crying, and sobbing, and rubbing my eyes, and taking little peeks to see if anyone was watching. I thought I was so sneaky. Put the hands up, spread the fingers, peak through the fingers. I was watching. In my head I was perfectly justified, I had even convinced myself that I couldn't stop crying. I was at the point where the hiccups were beginning, which was usually when I wanted to stop because dammit hiccups hurt. If my older brother came out with a 'you faker' I would scream back with tears down my face and my nose screwed up in that way my brother would mimic and piss me off with, 'I'm not faker!'.

Sometimes kids are just crying for attention. I wanted attention. I wanted it to be my way. I wanted to do whatever it is I wanted to do and I wasn't allowed. I didn't stop until I got a smack on the bottom. Then I was crying for real and put in the laundry.

.

I did stop crying for attention by five years. I learned to cry with an audience meant being teased with an audience. I began hiding whenever I felt the tears come on.

.

So yeah, this isn't really a 'why kids cry' but an insight as to why I did.

Some of these could be applied to the kids around you. Not always of course, but it at least might give another perspective to that sobbing child you see down the street. You don't know why they're crying. It could be a very valid reason or it could be 'I want an ice cream. I want an ice cream'.

Whatever it is, there is always a reason. If you ask a kid and they shake their head, they probably don't even know why they're crying. It's very hard to figure that kind of thing out at the time of tears. That or they're just embarrassed because they know it's a stupid reason.

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tldr: Kids cry for reasons beyond your understanding.

Everything was so simple as a kid. But that's what made it so hard.


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