I’m a survivor of many damaging messages of my culture. ‘Don’t cry’ is just one.
There is the “don’t-climb-you-will-fall” or the “you-are-incapable” message.
There is the “don’t-pick-up-the-glass-you-will-break-it” or the “i-don’t-trust-you-to-be-careful” message.
There is the “shame!-shame!” or the “be-ashamed-of-your-body” message.
There is the “did-you-fall-oh-let’s-beat-up-the-floor” or the “blame-others-for-your-faults” or “it’s-ok-to-take-revenge” message.
There is the “I’ll-supervise-your-exam-to-make-sure-you-don’t-copy” or the “i-don’t-trust-your-honesty” message.
There is the “be-a-good-girl-and-listen-to-what-mama-says” or "obedience-is-a-virtue" or “bow-down-to-authority” message.
There is the “eat-this-or-I’ll-tell-that-doctor uncle-to-put-an-injection” or “threat-is-a-legitimate-incentive-to-motivate-action” message.
And so on..
As I go through my own process of recovery from assault from internalizing many hundreds of such messages growing up, I so want to protect Isha from that painful process. Every time I see someone telling her some crap like these, I panic and react. I need to remember to have faith in Isha’s own intelligence in this matter. I need to remember to have faith in her own process of growing up through these essential evils of our times, while being her strongest support. I need to remember always that by healing my own wounds is how I can most effectively do that!