"Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it." Albert Smith
I learned to fight. I learned to fight to survive. And to never show weakness. To show weakness meant defeat.
And he had taught me - his fist in my face, 'don't you dare cry.' I never did. I swallowed the fear. I forced myself to be strong. I cut my body instead to fight the urge to give in - to buckle - to fall.
When he beat or ridiculed me - I refused to let him see how terrified I was. And when the rapist held me in that house I cried only the first time - After that - I never did. I forced myself to be strong - to never let him see my fear. When I was detained - I refused to cry. I wouldn't show them I was afraid. Instead I fought. I fought to stay strong.
I was driving back from a friend's. My 13 yr. old, then just a baby, was in the back in her car seat. Without thinking, I pulled off to the side of the road and started crying. The tears kept coming. They wouldn't stop.
I wasn't crying because I had to fight someone to stop them from hurting me. I was crying because I felt inadequate as a mother.
This baby depended on me to protect her and keep her safe. I felt overwhelmed. I had no idea how how to be a mother. I only knew how to fight - I only knew how to survive.
I cried not because of someone's hatred towards me - not because someone was hurting me. I cried because I loved this child and I didn't want her to ever feel shame and pain and fear like I had. I cried because I was afraid I couldn't give her what she needed.
Love made me cry. Not hate, not violence, not having to fight to survive.
An Overseas Tale...
5 days ago