I Wish I Cried

I Wish I Cried

When I was seven, my mom took me to see a therapist.

My school had thought I should be tested for ADHD.

I sat on the floor, once every month with some lady in glasses and played with dolls, blocks, and trains while she asked me some weird questions.

I never knew why at the time. I just knew I liked to go see her. 

One day, one month, I never went back. I never saw the lady with glasses. I don’t remember the goodbye. I don’t remember the final words. I don’t even remember if I was sad or not.

But I always remember the room. Bright, full of colors. The location, middle of Manhattan, we always took the train. The waiting room, I knew I was in a hospital. No emotion though. No feeling.

Anyway, I was never diagnosed with ADHD, so I guess I was fine. For that.

I have a lot of memories about what some would call pivotal moments. My first birthday party at my school. My mom brought ice cream cake. 

The first time my mom never came home. 

I remember these moments but not as I lived them. I see myself, alone, never talking, going through these events but never actually living them.

The women at church used to make comments to my mom about how I’m never bored, never lonely. My mom used to get mad at me because it seemed like nothing ever affected me. I was always fine.

And I was. Younger Diannah was always fine. Even when she went into a strange new building with the women who asked her all these weird questions.  Even when her best and only friend moved to a different state and she didn’t have anyone to come over for playdates anymore. Even when the medics came to the apartment because her diabetic mom had a low blood sugar episode and had to be carried out in a stretcher. Even when her cat died from lung problems and she woke up in the middle of the night to her mom crying with the dead cat in her arms.

I envy her.

She was always fine. And right now, I’m not.

I don’t know when the switch happened. Some would say it’s pretty obvious. When younger Diannah had to take the last five months off of middle school to have a very dangerous spinal cord surgery, maybe something flipped. Or perhaps when her doctors allowed her to go home for a bit so she could attend her 8th grade senior dance, except by that time things were different, she lost connection with most of her friends and didn’t know where to be, or who to be. And of course, the neck brace didn’t help.

Younger Diannah cried in the bathroom of the majestic hall that night.

But, no. I wouldn’t say that’s when the switch happened. Because, next year, when she was released from the rehabilitation center and off to high school, younger Diannah was fine.

I don’t know how, but she was. I don’t know how she got through anything. Because, I would break at the mere thought of going through a fraction of it.

I can’t be fine with anything.

There’s innocence in youth, but there’s also strength. When you don’t fully understand the weight of what you’re carrying, it all seems the same. I envy that strength. I envy tantrums over nothing. 

Everyday, it feels like I’m drowning. Chained to an anvil dropped in the ocean that just keeps floating down and down.

I sometimes think, maybe if I had been more expressive as a child, I wouldn’t feel the weight of everything as heavily now. Like maybe, I suppressed all those emotions for years and years and that’s the reason why I’m so fragile now. 

Maybe if I had cried when I missed my mom at age 8, I wouldn’t be crying over a history exam at age 21.

Maybe if I had cried when my cat died at age 12, I wouldn’t be crying over not being able to write a 700 word article at 6 in the morning right now.

I wished I’d been more emotional. I wish I allowed myself to feel more. Because all these emotions piling on right now is suffocating me. Tears come too easy now.

I long for that lady with glasses. I long for dolls, blocks and trains. I long for the days where my biggest problem was making sure I colored inside the lines, and outlined them with marker because the neat pictures are always the prettiest. I long for worrying about what game I’m going to play at recess instead of what path I’m going to walk for the rest of my life.

If I could tell my younger self anything, I’d tell her to go on an adventure early. Find the fountain of youth and drink every last drop. No moment of adulthood is worth it. Not a single second.