The Onion Man

The onion man is made of onions, and although everyone around him cried, he didn’t know how to. He always thought he was the one who made them cry. It used to make him sad, how folks cried around him, and how he didn’t know how join in. Maybe he forgot to cry when he was little, maybe he never knew how to. After a while he got used to it and eventually decided that feeling nothing was better than feeling left out. He was a man full of onions, but he felt hollow.

The onion man got through life, in a way. He may have forgot who he was, but he got real good at pretending to be somebody else. He didn’t know that when he shut off his feelings that it pushed people away he wanted to be close to. He knew how to be good to others, but all he wanted was to be close, and he didn’t know how to do that. The people around him were normal, and he didn’t feel normal, but he tried not to let on.

He eventually met someone who saw through his layers, they saw the real onion man underneath. The onion man appreciated this, and tried to be as close and as kind as he could, but he still felt nothing. This lead to problems with this special someone, and only because they were so lovely, forgiving, and patient, that he slowly realized it was worth being his real self, even if he forgot how. He looked back at all those years and wondered how he could start feeling again. He feared that this someone would reject him if they really knew him, but was assured that he was being silly and they wouldn’t have picked him if they didn’t see worth in him.

He knew how easily he made others cry and he was afraid that if he opened up it would just make things worse. He worried that if he opened up people would reject him. And because all he wanted was to feel close, rejection was his greatest fear. What he didn’t know, was that nobody had been rejecting him for quite some time. In fact most of his friends missed him and hoped he was ok. By staying away and avoiding everyone, he was unknowingly ostracizing himself better than anyone else could.

He worried he would always feel nothing, but he did feel a desire to feel and that was a start. He worried he could never know himself, but he did know what he didn’t like about himself, and that was a start. He worried he couldn’t do it on his own, but he heard there were people out there who could help, and that was a start.

So he started reading about feelings, which helped him understand the world and people around him. This made him smart and well liked, but he still didn’t understand himself.

Then he started journaling about feelings, which helped him understand himself, but he still struggled to open himself up to others. It was far too easy to keep his thoughts to himself in his little notebooks.

Finally he started going to therapy, which helped him name and sit with his feelings. This provided the most help and really should have been the first thing to try, but after countless sessions he still didn’t know how to apply what he was learning with his therapist.

The onion man was confused. He’d tried so many things. He’d read all the write books. Wrote all the right words. Even had a pretty good therapist that made him feel normal once in a while. He felt sad, defeated, and lost. So he sat down, held his head in his hands, and admitted he didn’t know what to do.

And finally, after so many years, the onion man cried.