I have discussed many times here how I have felt the need to hide my tears to ‘protect others’ from experiencing my pain. Thought: If they are crying because I was raped, then I am causing them pain so I shouldn’t let anyone see my distress. Truth: Others cry because someone they love was hurt. They cry because they are in pain, and I didn’t cause it. They cry because they love me and seeing me suffering is painful. If someone I loved was raped, I would cry. Still, I had lost my tears to protect my friends and family from my torment, and to avail my guilt.
Saturday, I heard two young women share their stories of abuse one said how she finally found her tears again after many years. My heart was touched. I cried. Wet tears. Down my cheeks. I knew what it felt like to hide them and I knew how good it felt to share them again. Joy for this woman ran down my face and onto my shirt. Tears. Real, heartfelt tears. Then, anyone who tried to talk to me evoked more t e a r s…till I was weeping… in public. And it felt so good, and warm.
This morning I met with a friend who was my best from K-12. We touched base now and then, though currently I had not spoken with her in almost ten years. Through email, I was finally brave enough to let her know about my rape and she reluctantly shared with me that she had survived sexual abuse growing up. I sobbed on my computer because of my intense ache for her. I sobbed because I knew that story. I sobbed because together, we were going through it alone, in silence.
Her childhood was eerily similar to mine. It turns out we were both artists at hiding, stuffing. pretending. Best friends enduring the same horrors ‘in the dark’ playing the same game of make believe ‘in the light’.
We talked and cried, together, for nearly seven hours. We felt a place in each others hearts that most will never be able to feel. She reminded me that one of my favorite songs as a child was “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson, and said it finally made sense that someone so young would like such a depressing song. Here is an excerpt:
Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room I cry
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around
I walked away from our time carrying her pain as I am sure she carries mine. So I realize it is with friends. So I remember it is the command of Christ,(Gal 6:2) and I praise God for bringing us back together ‘for such a time as this.’