My therapist is a Chick Flick. She earns every dollar.

This weekend I watched the movie P.S. I Love You. If you haven’t seen it, (and I think I can safely say this without giving anything away) it’s about a woman who loses her husband to a brain tumor. I bawled the ENTIRE movie. Literally. There might have been short 10 – 15 minute reprieves scattered throughout, but for the most part, I nearly drowned in my tears. And by the time it was over, seeing through stinging eyelids that had swelled to the size of golf balls proved quite the accomplishment. With every thought, the pounding headache I felt only intensified.

I knew the storyline was going to hit close to home. Granted, the man in MY storyline, the man I loved, was my ex. And we were never married. And although he was sick, it was his failing liver and not a brain tumor that ultimately did him in. Nevertheless …

By the time I crawled into bed, my spent body huddled under the covers, I realized that although I’ve always been a sucker for sappy movies — even terribly bad ones — I now watch them for reasons very different than those of just a few years ago.

I watch them to cry. Because I don’t do much of that otherwise. I graduated from the School of Suck it Up a long, long time ago. Which serves me well as a single parent. Holding it together is crucial for our survival.

If I don’t, who will?

But if I’m honest I have to admit sometimes I need a break. Sometimes I want to, need to, scream my lungs out. Because I’m still angry at my ex for leaving. For dying. For leaving his daughter fatherless. I want to slap him and punch him and embrace him forever, all at once.

So I watch the movies to confront my sadness. To allow me to FEEL the pain. No matter how messed up the end of our relationship was, I miss him. And I have to honor that reality.

I watch them to heal. And to renew my faith that love CAN persevere. That magic can still happen. And to spark a longing that signals maybe, someday, I’ll be ready for it again. And maybe it’ll find me once more.


In the meantime, I’ll continue my weekend love affair with Blockbuster. And Advil. And lots and lots of tissue.



Filed under A Little Piece of My Heart

31 responses to “My therapist is a Chick Flick. She earns every dollar.

  1. I cried through that whole movie too. 🙂 We all need a cry break sometimes. Do you ever wonder if that’s why we (women, mostly) get depressed? Because we don’t allow ourselves to cry anymore?

  2. When you cry because of the movie, then it means it gotta be really really good. I miss a good cry.

    I think I’ve seen P.S. I love you posters in the coming soon area of the theatre. Hope they show it here soon. So far I’ve seen SATC in “Now Showing”.

  3. i’ve been meaning to watch that movie. i too, am from the “school of suck it up” (I am so going to use that), and sometimes a good cry is just what the doctor called for.

  4. I use different genres of movies to “enhance” or try to change whatever mood I’m in.

    Being a new reader I don’t know your story. I’ll have to go through your archives. Wow.

  5. Oh, MommyPie, you needed that. I’m so sorry. Somehow I didn’t realize he had died — but I think that anger and frustration are a very natural part of grief. I wish I could come over and give you a hug. Sending virtual ones ((( ))).

  6. KD

    Big Hugs Mommy…

  7. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because you are right…sometimes, we NEED IT! It’s like when I watch Beaches….or even Steel Magnolias….ohhhhhhhhhhh! Kleenex here I come.

  8. Oh man. That’s horrible MP – I am so sorry to find that out.

    As incredible as the movie was for me, I can imagine how much it was for you.

    I had my therapy session last week while watching a marathon of “One Tree Hill” (lame – so not as respectable as your therapist) – and bawled my eyes out for 2 straight hours. I felt like an a**h*le, but it felt good nevertheless.

    I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you will find that magic once more. No doubt.

  9. I had no idea about your story, and think you are doing amazing things with your life. Keep it up, and those good crying jags are balm to me, too. Watch “Moonlight and Valentino” sometime… Wishing you the best day today.

  10. That movie did that to me too. It was heartwrenching.
    It added to it that the Irish heart throbs were so appealing. 🙂

  11. MommaMary, Yvie, Myra, notsosahm, McMommy — It must be a universal chick thing. Does a body good, that’s for sure. And MommaMary, I think your not crying/depression connection totally makes sense.

    MommyTime, KD and Mental P — thanks for the kind words. Bloggywood is good to me. 🙂

    RH — Thank you for your optimism. *sniff*

    Shannon — NO KIDDING!! Those two are going on my secret boyfriend list for SURE. Where are the guys like that?? Um, Ireland, I suppose …

  12. littlemansmom

    Big BIG hugs to you sweetie. What a strong and wonderful mommie/person you are…..

    I WISH I had a regular therapy session, but unfortunatley, I’m apparently an ice-queen…lol…I have yet to find a movie that can make me cry…..I’m NOT kidding! When I DO stumble on one, I’ll surely let you know!

  13. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but will put it on my short list of what to watch when I need a good cry. Which, really, I’ll probably be watching it after Rob goes to work tonight. PMS is a betch.

  14. I didn’t realize that part of your story either. No wonder you cried. I almost got that on PPV a couple of weekends ago. I think I’m glad I didn’t, although I completely understand. I definitely get it all out sometimes with a movie.

    I’m kind of feeling like we all have to try to find one that will make littlemansmom cry.

  15. Thanks littlemansmom — I think Ok is right — we need to find you a good tear-jerker, woman!

    Jenny — P.S. is most definitely a good PMS movie. Yeah, definitely.

  16. Having just become your stalker, I wasn’t aware of this part of your history. I’m glad you could find some solace in the movie.

    (Crap, I suck at this kinda stuff – I’m much better at bitchy and/or sarcastic commenting.)

    I’ll just leave it with: I’m sending you good thoughts and those fancy, super-soft puffs WITH LOTION for your next therapy session.

  17. I will never, ever watch that movie, but that’s because I don’t need help crying. Ever since my first pregnancy I cry at small puffs of wind, indeterminant dog farts, and really bad PSAs. It’s gotten so that when Chas comes home at 11:00 p.m. from his late Thursday night and finds me bleary and puffy, he just says, “Awww, tough ER episode again?”

    I kid because I must. I am still humbled by your gut-wrenching experience, Miss Pie.

  18. Movies have the same restorative effect on me-and, unlike therapists, they work around my schedule. There is something sacred about a good Chick Flick cry.

  19. Nobody can suck it up forever…so I ‘m glad you have the release…AND it’s a healthy release.

    I cry like this too (usually though for no good reason). My favorite is when I start laughing, then the laugh turns into a sobbing, weeping mess. Again. For No. Good. Reason.

    Anyway! MP’s lucky to have a strong mommy like you who saves money on therapists and ODs on chick flicks and not bourb0n and crack cocaine.

  20. Amy O — Lotion Puffs goood.

    Foolery — I’ll send some of Amy O’s Puffs your way. Sounds like you need ’em more than ME! 🙂

    Mrs. G. — Sacred. You said it, Sister.

    San Diego Momma — Aw, thanks :). It’s good to have you guys to spill to, as well. Not so much of the Tatum O’Neil action goin’ on at the Pie House. …

    Yikes. Did I say that out loud?

  21. You know, I’ve been dying to know more about your ex since I stumbled upon your site a few months ago. This wasn’t how I wanted to find out though!

    I go through these periods of time where I’m Crying McWeepyface 24/7, then I’m Miss Steely Dan for a few months. I tried to figure out a pattern, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    You mentioned a love of chick flicks awhile back, and since then I’ve been dying, absolutely DYING to watch 27 Dresses. Why? I am not sure. I really don’t like the girl who stars in it, and I always hated chick flicks because they seem so unreal. And my life is just so REAL most of the time. Then I realized I need that escape! It would be nice! So, yeah, O went to bed early tonight, I’m all alone again, and I think 27 Dresses is about to be loaded on iTunes.

  22. You’ll definitely have to tell me how it is — I’ve been tempted to rent it, but she totally bugs me too. Can’t quite put my finger on it …

  23. It was “eh.” She bugged me throughout, so it kinda ruined it for me. And I so didn’t feel the connection between her and the love interest. But people who like her might like the movie.

    Also? I wouldn’t reco d/ling a movie on iTunes. It takes about an hour to load, and then your computer is so freaking slow–and once you start you only have 24 hours to finish it. But you pretty much have to finish it in one sitting b/c it renders your computer useless otherwise. Not practical for this single mom.

    And there’s all you ever need to know about 27 Dresses and renting movies from iTunes.

  24. Oh Miss MommyPie… what I learn everyday from my iMac is amazing. I’m so grateful all you guys fit into it and onto my desk, because it isn’t really all that big. But somehow you fit and I learn all this stuff. Even big things like your sadness and littlemansmom’s x being a jerkwad and everything else.
    And it’s like my heart gets bigger.
    Every single day.
    PS: I tried to stuff a smile and a hug into the slot where the CDs and DVDs go but i don’t know if they made it or not, so if you could let me know…?
    PPS: I tagged you today; info at end of the dopey “Lacoste: 75 Years of Preppy Love..blah-blah-blah…J Crew…blah-blah-blah” post.

  25. oh god. i cried ALL throughout this movie too!!!! UGH! the agony! the despair! the cute little outfits! but seriously i watched w my husband and every time some thoughtful letter came along, i would turn to him and say, “if you go first you better do something nice for me like that.” more like a threat. bec if not, i’ll dig him up.

  26. I want to see that movie. I’m in love with Gerard Butler, but don’t tell my husband.

    I have to admit – I’m a crier. However, I try not to let my girls see me cry. Sometimes a good, silent cry in the shower is so cleansing – pun intended. But, I think it’s healthy to scream our lungs out, as you said, also. To openly weep until our eyelids are hermetically sealed, letting the snot run down our upper lip, while our gaping mouths roar out all the pent up rage and emotion. We need that once in a while.

  27. Found your site through Five Star Friday (I’m a fellow 5*F’er from last week), stayed to read a bunch of random posts, now adding you to my blogroll…

    I watched P.S. I love You ON A PLANE on a business trip and I cried through the whole thing – and I haven’t had anything like it happen to me (knock wood) – so I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for you. At the same time, it was oddly cathartic even if my fellow passengers thought I was a little nuts.

    Love your blog.


  28. Well…I just got this movie in the mail yesterday from blockbuster and now I’m a little scared, because I AM a crier.

  29. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  30. After this movie I got into bed with my hubby and said, “you can’t ever leave me.” He was a little confused but played along very well.

    Putting on a brave face is good for everyone but you. Your psyche knew you needed to let it all out.

    I wasn’t aware of this part of your “story” and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  31. I do the same thing. I loved the movie even though like you I bawled through it. Sometimes it is hard to let it all go when you are trying so hard to keep going.

    I have watched more chick flicks since I got separated than in the last 3 years.

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