I remember the first time I made someone cry.

It was more than four years ago now. The spring of 2008.

Well, technically that’s not the first time I made someone cry. There was that time I pulled that girl’s hair, and the time I threw sand into that guy’s eyes, but those were different. I’m talking about inflicting emotional pain on someone to the point where they cry.

The instance in question happened during one of the late night telephone conversations that I frequently found myself party to in those days. In all honesty, I don’t remember much of what was said before she started crying. We weren’t fighting. Our voices weren’t raised – it was 2 AM after all. All I remember is at some point, she broke down and started to cry because of something I said.

As I comforted her, I felt disgusted with myself. I felt like a lowly, sick human being. And I also felt this sense of power. And then I felt even sicker for feeling powerful while someone was crying on the other end of the phone line.

I don’t think about those days much anymore. But I think about that feeling from time to time. I mean, here was someone who I cared very deeply about, and who I had just made cry. And while most of my attention was focused on trying to cheer her up, a small part of me was smiling. Does that make me a bad person? Or does it make me just like everyone else? In either case, the implications aren’t good.

Maybe it was just a natural emotion to have. This person had pulled my strings for the better part of four years and had exercised a good deal of control over my emotions. Maybe it just felt good to turn the tables.

 

Since then though, I haven’t had that kind of power over anyone. As far as I’m aware, that was the only time I’ve ever made someone else cry. I don’t seem to be able to faze people much emotionally. Even if I wanted to hurt someone, I don’t think I could. Just looking down my Facebook list, I see a small handful of people that deserve a verbal lashing for something they’ve done recently. And if called upon, I don’t think I could elicit anything in response besides a blank stare. Is that a good thing, or does it make me weak? I don’t know.

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