Like the time that I was in 8th grade and I had written in my girls bible study workbook that I wanted to end my life. It was a hard time, I don't know that I would have ended my life, didn't know if I could actually follow through or not. But it felt better to write it down. My life was nothing but messy secrets. It was full of masks...each day or moment, depending on what I was going to be doing or who I was going to be with, I would decide which version of me to take out.
That day - I wrote that I wanted to take my life, I could imagine that ending the spinning in my head - would sure be nice. I couldn't see any way out of it, except for something drastic. The few hints I droped a couple people didn't trigger anyone to ask or to check more into my questions - and so I was alone in my own little world and in my head once again.
The day that I wrote those words, the announcement came over the intercom, during Ms. Henry's class. She was a strong, powerful woman of color and she was a woman that I thought very highly of. "Ms. Henry please send Pennie Delosh to the office, her mother is here."
My heart started to race, my mother never came to school, there were no appointments planned, no special events and I knew I never missed school for anything fun...so this couldn't be good. Ms. Henry asked me to grab my things and head to the office. I did just that.
There stood my mother - 4'10" tall, fire red hair, pale skin and a look on her face as though she had lost her best friend. She called me over to follow her out of the office and come be out of earshot of others in the hallway. There she stood. The grip of her hand on my arm was tight, she was holding my bible study workbook in her hand. My heart sunk. I never wanted her to know what I wrote. I protect my mom, that was my job. Do everything in my power to assure she doesn't ever experience any pain or hurt.
My mind raced, what was she going to say, what was she going to do, that is when I noticed the tears streaming down her face. She was expressing her hurt, anger and pain. I played it off a bit, told her what she wanted to hear. I was fine, wasn't going to do anything and that I was just seeking attention. My mind raced, if I told her the truth, that my father was coming in my room nightly and raping me...that he was grooming me day after day to be his sex slave - to
keep my family together,"she would be devastated. She thought my writing these thoughts were bad, I could only imagine what would happen if she knew the truth.
The truth of the matter is - messy is real. That is me...real and messy. Abuse, my mother's cancer battle...climbing the corporate ladder as a woman and with only an associates degree...messy is the only word for it. It's not been easy like many others.
Most of us have some messy - find your tribe - be truthful, honest and vulnerable...sharing your truth allows for others to find the space to share their truth. And the cycle begins...we all become truth tellers - sharing and asking for help and love and care and concern. Truth tellers - voices - that is my wish for us all.
Join me, won't you?