By Alan D.D.
One thing that my father always told me while trying to help me cope with life in general, was that “Only the girl cry”. He wanted me to take a deep breath and face the world, conquer it and make it the place I wanted it to be. He meant well, I won’t deny it. But his words were a silent torture for years, until I understood that adult men can cry too.
The defective, fake prince
I’ve never been that Prince Charming on a white horse, strong, brave and fault-free, that the world wanted me to be. I was weak, I was small, I was scared. And I was never able to meet that standard, to be that lie I always saw on the TV, in the movies, in the tales my mom used to tell me. I could only see that character in my dad. He was everything I wanted to be and that he wanted as well. The difference was that I never told him how wretched I was inside, which is why I cried more often than my parents wanted.
It was a never-ending cycle I couldn’t stop, that I never understood, that made me feel caged, and I hated it more than anything else. I couldn’t be myself or explore my options because I was way too terrified. It was confusing for me, and even worse was the fact that I didn’t know who or what I was. Those questions confused me, the bullies at school made me feel like the worst mistake my parents made, and my inner war was getting bigger as I grew up.
Prince not Charming
One day, my dreams started to control me to the point that I felt scared of my own mind even in daylight, and I had a crisis in front of my dad. It was only the two of us, in the apartment I still live in nowadays, and I saw something I’d never seen before. The strongest man I ever knew cried. Years later, when he was fighting cancer, I spent a whole week without him, and when I finally could see him, there it was again. The King, the ruler, so weak and so scared, was crying just because he saw his first son about to hug him again, just like I did years before, locked in my room, not wanting him to know.
Now that I think about his words, I can understand that it was how his family taught him to be. He didn’t know otherwise, but still tried to understand me the best he could. Adult men can cry too, they can suffer, and there’s nothing wrong with it. I did it as a child, scared of life, and I did it again when he passed away. I may not be Charming, but I’m a Prince because of him.