-“Doctor…At nights I hide in the bathroom—so my children can’t hear me cry.”

Veronica X. is a nice, attractive, intelligent and hard-working mother of two small children who has had to shoulder the entire burden of her household all alone as her husband is serving a two years-sentence for a minor offense. Her family cannot help her economically and only her mother is pitching in. Oftentimes feeling overwhelmed by all her responsibilities, she puts her kids to bed, finishes her household duties and then locks herself in the bathroom to well up at ease. It is an almost daily ritual that she needs to go through in order to decompress her strained psyche and get some needed sleep.

When she was telling me that anecdote in my office, I immediately felt the surge into my conscience of a stampede of sweet-sour childhood memories. In 1965 my father Mario—God bless his soul—was arbitrarily jailed for a few months to force him to pay an outstanding debt—a barbaric maneuver. My dear mother Gladys became extremely depressive and our grandmother Yolanda took us in her large suburban home so she could rest and recover. My brother and I were only 10 and 11 years old at the time but we knew that something was sorely amiss, especially when we heard her crying in the loo late at night. Those memories were painfully seared in our subconscious.

Modern women, who are employed full-time in demanding jobs, usually have to return home to complete the family tasks with little or no help from their live-in partners; to make maters worse they might not have the support offered by the female friendship. They decided to stoically hide their deep feelings of angst from impressionable children and from some relatives that might not completely share her opinions. In our digital age where most of the rooms in a house are invaded by a pinging or noisy device, they have to retrench to the bathroom as the improvised refuge for a safe, solitary exteriorization.

As sons and spouses of these most devoted women there is something we can do. We can wait until they get out of their hiding place and hug them tenderly in silence. We can tell them how much we appreciate their work and what a difference it makes in our lives. We can give them a lot of affection and moral support. And yes, we can offer to share more of the burden of homemaking with her. Chose the way you want to help (I love to cook for example) but do not ignore her suffering and extend her a hand. She’s waiting.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

24 thoughts on “Crying alone in the bathroom

    1. Aha there you are. Been waiting the whole day for you.. Thanks for your empathy. Yes it’s one of the more,if not the most, painful memories of our childhood (my brother and I)

  1. WOW, this hit home for me! I have been battling a flare up from MS and my husband has been fighting depression. Needless to say he unfortunately has not been all that helpful. I am trying to start working full time hours again but my pain gets to be too much and I can not handle it, so I have been pretty much part time. But, I come home from trying to work to NO help at all with dinner or household chores. I do hide myself away in the bathroom and cry because no one else goes in there or even knows about it. It is a frustrating cycle in life right now, but it will all get better someday!

    1. Aha! See it is a much more common feminine reaction than you might think. I am glad that I can be of some help to you, at least for an emotional catharsis.

    2. I’m gonna use the comment section to say hi to my lovely friend. Alyssa my dear, you’re here too! Now we can have a party (coffee and fox crime, what do you say?).
      Tell me, girl to a girl, what do you think about Mario? (I promise I won’t tell.)

      1. Good morning and happy Sunday dear Alyssa. Not only I enjoy being teased but in also subtly provoking our dear common friend Bojana. Hope you’re doing well dear. Un baccione. Arrivederci!

      2. Dear Alyssa (first) and Bojana( second): bon giorno e buona domenica a lei. Not only I enjoy being teased but also how I provoked Bojana with my snipets. Alyssa, you don’t want to know what she confessed in writing about her erotic status…She made me blush from head to toe and was left without words. Don’t read it! By the way, where is your promised commentary about my blog on Freud my dear Joycian-pupil? Un gosso baccione per compartire. Arrivederci!

      3. Well. I gave you detailed directions about “The first man that listened to women”and you chstised me because I didn’t know how to send you the link…Sniff, sniff (crying) Alyssa would never have done that!

      4. A-ha. We have favorites. Just so I know…
        Look, I didn’t find it, but I’ll be going back to your posts every now and then and read ALL of them. Is that better?
        Did you do your HW?

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