She kept asking questions. She was very polite and though I’ve only known her a short time, I really enjoy her company. We’ve had many deep conversations to date, so her gentle prodding has been a natural, inoffensive progression of our exchanges. As new coworkers, I’ve managed to circumvent answering her each time she asks my age. Not ashamed of it mind you; I was just raised to keep it to myself is all. I love to hear her laugh when I respond, “Old enough to know betta…” served with a smirk and a cup of side eye. Not to mention her guessing my age as many as 15 years my junior, has my weary feet flying a million miles above ground.
So this morning ’round ’bout 4:30am when my shift was nearing an end and my defenses were as low as my eyelids; she, driven by youthful vigor and insight beyond her years asked how I ended up in the southern state we live in. I hesitated and tried to get my bearings together. I had been doing so well. Though I had mastered the art of telling the story; the test behind the testimony, without dropping names and managing to package hell in an ornate box with a beautiful ribbon; before I knew it the tears began to fall. “Its been rough….so rough…a long 5 years”.
I fought to hold back the tears and fasten my politically correct seat belt; grasping for the filter fused together with scriptures, smiles and scotch tape I’d used for so long. Voice wavering and tears flowing, I don’t remember too much of what I shared, but figured as she handed me tissue across the desk as she was fighting back tears, that I must’ve really needed that cry.
I am not a victim, I am a victor or in some circles referred to as a victim survivor. I now know that holding it together for others while holding it all in with no outlet was not wise. Maybe you are the strong one for everyone; the “go to” person. The one everyone relies on. I pray that you will find the time, space and healing you need and hey maybe even..that cry.
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits Hadi Alakhras via Google Images. No copyright infringement intended.