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No One Would Know2017-07-18T16:01:40+00:00

No One Would Know

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In our effort of ending isolation and shame, we are creating a Mindful and Compassionate Community where we share our common humanity and offer compassionate solutions. Please share your story about a situation that “No one would know”.

    The Stranger Within

    The stranger is one that I did not know was visiting. This very un-welcomed stranger hid behind every corner. It had visited everyone at various times, but we were able to send him away. But sometimes you don’t know where he is lurking. When you have a child you never want him to visit her. He is not who you are protecting your child from. You think of germs, pedophiles, and bullies. It is all external, you don’t ever want this stranger in your home!

    The scary part is sometimes you learn when it is too late, when you figure out he is there. My child seemed wonderful. She does everything teenagers do. She has fun with her friends, sports, does well in school. We have so much fun singing out loud and laughing. But lurking in the shadows there he was. For some reason she didn’t tell me that she had this darkness following her. Maybe I did see it, but didn’t understand. Teenage angst maybe? I don’t understand how this could have gripped her without me noticing. She tried to battle him on her own and had such a great struggle on her hands but did not ask us to help. Where did we go wrong, what did we miss?

    The stranger invaded our lives and has permeated the whole family. He is opportunistic and all consuming. He has tried to take my baby girl once, the thought of it happening again is all too terrifying! The shock, terror, and disbelief do not leave because he did not kill her. He almost did, he had her in his talons and I would like to believe that God intervened and pulled her from the grips of death. I would also like to believe that it was Mother Mary who called her name and pushed her to live! There is no handbook on this stuff. Now that we know he is lurking she is protective of him and not forthcoming. She gets angry when you try to discuss when he entered our lives or how.

    Yes, one time in the distant past she mentioned his cohort sadness, but to me she didn’t need to take action against it. I feel that this was a missed opportunity to save her from the throws of this terrorizing stranger. My heart is broken that my child has felt she has had to do battle with this demon on her own. Her parents are sitting there doing nothing while she is battling. #noonewouldknow

    mother of a teen who tried to commit suicide, June 14, 2017

    Grief is a hell of thing. No one would ever know that I experience grief on a daily basis. Too often I have heard people say “give yourself time and the grief will lessen but it doesn’t; it is always with me. Losing someone, especially a parent, is beyond devastating. My father died not so long ago and it came as a shock to me. He went in for an operation and the only real outcome to be expected was perhaps a long rehabilitation thereafter. This was never to be; he died nine days later. I made it up to New York two days before he passed away and I felt so cheated by his sudden death.As I raced up I-95 all I could think about was “If only I came to my sister’s on Easter I would have seen him but I stayed behind because I was in graduate school and I knew I would see him in May. It was too late. On April 9th he was gone. Since then, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him, talk to him and wish he was here.

    No one would know that I think of death more than I do life. When I was standing by his coffin during the wake all I wanted to do was crawl inside and lay beside him and go wherever he was going. I would have sold my soul to make that happen. The grief I felt that day was as deep as the ocean floor and still is today. So time doesn’t lessen the grief; it just gets different. Some days are bearable and on other days I feel I cannot breathe. Some days I just can’t find the “happy” mask to put on and pretend I am okay. So, I retreat to my room, pull down the shade and crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep. Other times I can spend a lovely day out with a friend or a sister and really feel good but then the car or train ride home my thoughts are often consumed of him. In my minds eye I see him as plain as day, beautiful, strong and kind-hearted. This is how I want to remember him but too often I remember him as a wounded soldier who never had the chance to heal the pain of his past. I hope he has found the peace he could not find in his earthly life. Now I carry his burden just the same and no one would ever know how deep and true it is.

    I long to see you on the other side. I miss and love you daddy.

    griefstrickenkd, July 18, 2017

    Once upon a time there lay a shiny silver book in my childhood bookcase named “Poor Little Rich Girl”. I never turned one page of the book, nor do I know who authored this piece of literature, but I often see it at the top of the staircase where that old bookcase once stood. Perhaps the book had nothing to do with being or feeling the lack of money. Perhaps, the character(s) experienced lack in other ways, such as lack of love for her/himself. I don’t know the meaning of the title nor does it really matter. What matters is those words resonated with me “Poor Little Rich Girl”. No one would ever know, since childhood I have always felt I lacked financial resources, self-confidence, talent, knowledge, and most importantly self-love and self-compassion. I was around nine years old when I came upon that book and forty-eight years later I still have that same sense of lack I felt in my young childhood..

    Although I have worked consistently for thirty-three years, I never amassed any wealth or tucked away any sort of real savings. I have lived by some people’s standards, lets say recklessly, although they wouldn’t say it to me outwardly. I could easily blame my parents for not teaching me the importance of saving up for a rainy day or retirement but I must hold myself accountable. Taking responsibility is hard, especially when one feels so much shame about it. Today, I am reliant on a measly Social Security check, although grateful to have this income, I barely survive on these funds. After bills are paid there is very little left to work with. But you learn to survive. No one would ever know I have for the better part of my life just been surviving not just monetarily wise but emotionally and spiritually. It really sucks. It’s like standing in quicksand for decades and it won’t overcome you totally but it makes you tread like crazy just to keep your head exposed enough to breathe. In essence, it still suffocates me as I grasp for air.

    So what about the part of “rich” in the title do I resonate with? Well, I can say that my life is rich in so many ways. I am loved and supported by incredible women in my life, my sisters, mother, and a handful of close friends. They love me unconditionally, most of the time (ha ha). Also, when I feel like I am suffocating from the feeling of lack I never have to look to far to see how richly blessed I am. I am not homeless, I am somewhat healthy, I can see, hear and move my body with ease. I am told I am smart, beautiful, generous and compassionate. I feel richly blessed that people see me in this light. If only I could see myself just the same-but I don’t. In truth, I feel inadequate, unworthy and hopeless most of the times but no one would ever know. Instead I put on my game face that tells a different story. When people ask me how are you doing I am quick to respond I am fine, everything is great-this is not the truth. I am in pain. I feel like a lost child. I am scared. I worry about the future-what will happen to me; where will I live, will I ever work again? The chatter in my head is constant; it takes a lot of effort to quiet the storm. But I find ways to escape and not necessarily in healthy ways. Some believe coping methods are for the most part adaptive-they aren’t.  Some coping methods are maladaptive in nature but are nonetheless methods to help one get through crises and dark moments. My moments are not always dark, as of late they have been more brighter than usual but still I cannot escape the darkness when it comes. It arrives unannounced, most of the times it is like an uninvited intruder to rain on my parade. No one would know how hard I try to keep the doors locked and to safeguard myself but it still finds ways to invade my mind, body and spirit. One day I imagine my life differently where the feeling of lack becomes feelings of abundance and hopelessness transforms into hopefulness. Perhaps I should try and quell my curiosity about the premise of the “Poor Little Rich Girl” because one should never judge its book by its cover.

    Poorlittlerichgirl, July 18, 2017

    Every where I look I see beautiful bodies in all shapes, colors and sizes. They are strangers on the street, on subway trains, on lines at banks and grocery stores. I glance at them and  wonder if their bodies and minds have been shaken, battered, beaten, abused or violated. Why do I wonder such atrocities and why do I care what their experiences have been, after all they are strangers. It matters, it will always matter and I will always wonder because those of us who have experienced domestic violence, teen-dating violence or any sort of violence often suffer in silence. We wear clothes to cover the bruises, the scars, the burns. We hide behind our beautiful smiles and hope we never get found out. We are filled with shame and often question if we are to blame for another persons behaviors and god awful actions. Too many of us walk around like  jigsaw puzzles, shattered pieces of ourselves that don’t seem to fit together anymore. But we try to recreate the people we once were; a beautiful tapestry of our true authentic selves.

    No one would ever know unless I broke my silence that I am a survivor of countless violent acts. It started in childhood, continued through adolescence and into my adulthood. It started out with shoving, then slapping, and  then closed fisted punches. All the while without my knowing my psychological , emotional and spiritual well-being was being annihilated by these two particular monsters.When they were long gone their shadows lurked in every crevice of my being. The physical scars have long been healed but the psychological damage is yet to fully repair itself. It is a process. But it starts by finding our voices. We do not have to live by the sword or live in silence. It is about letting go of the shame, empowering ourselves to never let this happen again. But in order to do so we must start by forgiving ourselves. We must pause and remember who we were before these experiences manifested in our lives. We are beautiful beings made up of so many masterful pieces. When we heal a beautiful masterpiece emerges and we remember who we are and what our true essence is. Be courageous, come out of the shadows, and find your voice. In doing so, you, me and countless others will rise above once again; more beautiful than ever before.

    Comeoutoftheshadow, July 18, 2017