I've felt this urge to send an email to a friend. So I did today. Kind of raw, close to the bone. This is a "friend on a short list". A list of people who know a decent "chunk" of my story. I shared... well, I tried to anyway. I tried to put into words what it was like from my end. How hard it was to share it with him. As I think of it, it doesn't really matter what you've been through. What your "headline" is. Abuse, neglect, mental illness, something you did on purpose, something someone did to you... sharing the deepest wounds of our life is a tough decision to make. You can't really know how it will be received. You assume the worst. You assume that once you get done telling them, if they even wait for you to finish, that they will be leaving. Never to return, or be seen by you again. You imagine them going home to take a long shower to wash off what you've said. To scrub it out of their brain. That your relationship with them is now over.
So, if you figure this is how it will go... what possesses you to tell them anyway? ...dumb luck? ...haven't done anything stupid in a few days? Nope. Something in you [some one?] starts this gnawing, this inescapable thought that [lets see if I can say this right]. I think I'll just copy & paste it. I just don't know if I can say it better than I did here:[from email]
"...You have to work up the nerve. You come to this
strange, hard to describe, place. Something in you tells you that
...they are valuable enough to take the risk. They just might be strong
enough to survive being told. and maybe, just maybe, they will still be
in the relationship they have with you. So you tell them... & you
pray a lot first! Sadly, you never get around to telling them what it
meant to be able to tell them about you. Not to mention the
indescribable relief if they actually still stay your friend.[in the relationship they have with you]
And those of us who do this, don't often realize that those
friends... have always loved us that much. We couldn't feel it because
as long as the secret lay between us, we could always excuse the love we
got. The inner critic in us just says: "Of course they love you. They don't really know you, but if they knew the real you they would drop you like a bad habit."
Once they know, we can tell this voice that it's a liar.
Yet we never tell our friends this.
So I'm telling you. Thanks..."
I guess if you're one of those who know at least some of my story, this post is for you. I think, in all honesty, I told Mick much of this post. Yet I never considered, it never occurred to me, to say it to others.
So, perhaps you have some really dark parts of your own story. Maybe you've never told anyone. Hopefully this will give you hope to share it with someone who you experience life with on a daily basis. Someone you get that gnawing inside to tell.
Maybe you've told someone, & you had a similar experience as me. Meaning the person didn't leave. Maybe it's time to tell them what it meant. [you can borrow this if it helps]
Perhaps you were the friend. The someone who got to sit there, & listen as a friend tells you the anguish of their soul. As your friend told you of the broken places in them. Letting you see the shame they feel covered with. You have no idea how liberating it was for your friend. What you probably mean to them now. One of my friends left me a voice mail of encouragement after I told him. He didn't think he could say anything that would really help me or touch me. As I type this I still hear his voice, he ended his message with: "I'm just a guitar player. So maybe I don't know what I'm talking about." It's still in my phone, time stamped something like 2007. So much for not knowing what to say...
Anyway, thanks for listening. Hope this is hopeful, & not draining of hope.
May His grace drip from your fingers,