Silent Laughter, Silent Tears

I laugh late. Or randomly. Or for too long. Or not at all. A Monty Python scene that I watched last month could make me randomly burst out laughing during a math test. If someone tells a joke, I won’t always laugh, but if I do chances are it will be just about when everyone else stops laughing, and I’ll keep going for several minutes.

I don’t cry happy tears. It could be the most heartwarming, emotional movie and I still wouldn’t cry unless it was sad or scary. Even then, I probably wouldn’t cry. I cry when I’m frustrated, and it feels like no one understands. I cry when things feel hopeless. I cry when I panic. I cry when, well, when I’m sad, internally. I rarely cry in public, and when I do, it’s silent.

Most of my external emotions are controlled by what happens inside my brain, not outside. For that reason, I have been called tough, sensitive, silly, and serious in response to things that happen outside my brain, depending on my internal perception of those things. Depending on how people expect me to react in a situation, I could come across as any of those things. If something sad happens, and I don’t cry, I’m either called tough or insensitive. If someone tells a joke and I don’t laugh, I’m called serious. If I start laughing randomly, I’m called silly. If a teacher corrects me harshly and I cry, I’m called sensitive. I am all of these things, but the way I come across to other people does not represent all of me. Everybody shows emotions in different ways, and if those emotions aren’t shown the way we expect them to be shown, then we assume they aren’t there. I can feel sad and not cry. I can feel happy and not laugh.

This doesn’t change who I am.