You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’
I recently watched Real Time with Bill Maher and Bill’s last guest was the comedian, Louis Anderson. Bill said to Louis that he heard he cries every day. My ears perked up.
Louis told the story that his mother, who has now passed, protected all eleven children from their abusive alcoholic father, “… she stood between him and us, and she saved us, I mean she deflected, protected and then also fed us…” he said. The conversation leads to a joke about why Louis is so fat. “It’s the elephant in the room,” he said. I laughed so hard.
He said that he had a lot of mental illness in the family.
The interview was amazing.
I thought to myself, I’m not alone. I cry every day. It just happens.
Don’t get me wrong. I laugh a lot every day too. I have the biggest belly laugh you will ever hear. Humour is important too and Louis has turned his pain into something good. That is amazing.
When I heard Louis talk about his mother protecting the children, my heart ached. I would have done anything to have my parents protect me from my brother’s threats and bullying behaviour when I was a child. I was shutting down at nine years old and then I finally got help. A piano teacher noticed my mental health problems. I was introverted, fearful, having nightmares and was sleeping in my closet hiding from the bullying and threats I got at home.
I started sleeping in my closet, to help me feel secure. My nightmares stopped when I slept in my closet. Thank God for my piano teacher. She told my mother she better do something or she would end up losing me.
So I cry
I cry when someone supports me in all my efforts to educate on child abuse and neglect.
I cry because I am grateful for my husband and son who have stood behind me with all the family loss of recent years.
I cry because I feel other’s pain when they tell me of their horror stories of child abuse and neglect.
Yes, I certainly cry a lot more now.
When I get a tweet from someone saying “thank you for your tweets”, I cry. I cry because I helped someone. I am talking about subjects that are often not thought of as abuse.
When I receive an email from someone who tells me I’m courageous, I cry. I cry because maybe I helped them become more courageous. Maybe I have helped them find their own voice; their own inner child.
When I hear someone saying, “I believe you,”, I cry. I cry because no one believed me as a child.
When I do something nice for someone else, and they say how much I help them, I cry. People appreciate my kindness.
But, I cry because I know there are such good people in this world. I cry because I have a deep belief that we are all connected.
I think Louis Anderson is right in his interview that we have lost connection. I love social media! And I’m grateful I can reach so many people. But if I’m not careful, I need to make sure I have balance in my life. I think we all need to remember to get out and try and connect with others face-to-face.
I believe it’s important.
So, I guess crying is part of my life. Maybe it means I feel a lot. And maybe that is good.