I am old now. I have been screaming for a very long time. Silently screaming. Can you hear me? When I was a child, my father drove a dagger deep into my heart. He shattered my soul. There was massive damage. That is when I started screaming. Both of my parents abused me; neglected me. They said they wanted me, but that is not the way I was treated. When words and actions conflict, actions speak louder than words. I have learned this the hard way. For a long time, I was confused when their actions and words didn’t speak the same language. I believed they loved me because they said those words…but I thought love must be a horrible thing because it was so painful and destructive. Now, now that I am old, I can finally see the truth. Love doesn’t slap and call slapping love. Love doesn’t abuse and say it is actually being loving. Love doesn’t hit and reject and wound and say it’s only for your own good. Love doesn’t berate you while pretending it is building you up. Love acts and speaks consistently. Only hate and selfishness and rejection and anger speak from both sides of the mouth because they do not want to be seen for what they are. Love doesn’t lie. Love has nothing to camouflage. It is only ugliness that has to hide. What happened to me is disturbing to others. Repugnant. For this reason, I am supposed to be quiet. Keep my hideousness to myself so as to not disrupt the pleasant state in which most others live. So I scream silently. Silent screams are the loudest screams of all…though most people can’t hear them. They do not disrupt the quietness of the air. They erupt from a shattered soul into the universe without causing an audible ripple. But there is a massive percussion burst that is emitted with each noiseless cry that can be heard by the heart if one is attuned to the sound of silence. A silent scream is powerful because it is fueled by the energy of raw pain. But it will not so much as ruffle a hair on your head. It will not wake a sleeping baby. It will not cause you to whip your head toward the sound…because there is no sound. The world continues, unaware. Unbothered. Only those who look upon you with the eyes of love can hear, should they care to listen. I am supposed to be over it by now. Over the damage wrought by the hands of abuse in my childhood. I am supposed to have overcome. Now that I’m old. Since it was a long time ago. But I haven’t recovered and I don’t know if I ever will. I didn’t get the help I needed when I was younger…when it all would have been easier to sort out and push through. By the time I started to seek someone to help pull out the dagger, it was deeply embedded and the scar tissue held it firmly in place. Walls and barriers had been created. Massive walls. Endless barriers. It would have never been easy to recover. But now, I fear it is too late. Now, the task is daunting. Now, the assistance required to recover is extensive and intense. Who has the patience or time to give to help an old woman find life before she dies…this close to the end? Even paying someone money for years and years doesn’t guarantee success. Some damage is too extensive to be healed. Sometimes the Phoenix doesn’t rise from the ashes.
Why does this old woman scream? Pain. Agony. A tsunami of torment, anguish and distress. It floods my being day after day after day. I am battered and weary. I struggle to keep my head above the churning waters that sweep me into the night. It has all been locked away inside of me since I was a child, confused by professed love that hit and abused. Somehow, if I am to survive, I must swim this treacherous ocean of sorrow and deep grief. It is the only way to get to the other shore. The shore where the “normal” people live. The shore where there is joy mixed in with the pain and laughter mixed with the tears. Where there is some light in the darkness.
Perhaps I ask too much…that someone might hear the silent scream that is torn from my broken soul. Perhaps it is far too much to expect that someone could ever look on such a horrid mess with eyes of love and compassion and caring. I am not young and desirable. I am not lovely, nor easy to care for. My baggage batters me in the churning waters. It isn’t easy to see me as I bob, nearly drowning, in this ocean of pain. Especially if someone isn’t actively looking for me. And no one is. Why should they?
I used to think I had something to offer. Something of worth at the core of my being, if nowhere else. But as the years have passed, I have found less worth in my soul and more reasons that I am unlovable. I still long for love. I long for someone to hear my silent scream and to reach out through the darkness to pull me from these cold, endless, dark waters in which I swim. I know now that this is a near impossible dream. The spark of hope within me is nearly quenched. I fear I will drown in my pain and die soundlessly screaming and alone. Alone, as I have lived, if one can call this living.
Can you hear me? Is there anyone there? A single touch would mean so much. A listening ear. A few moments of time. A hug. A prayer. Yes, I need lots and lots of prayer.
I’ve been praying for years for a miracle…a rescue. But still I swim in this bleak, massive ocean of pain. No one seems to hear my cries. No one seems to understand how deeply in trouble I am. How close I am to going under. It seems that not even God hears my desperate cry. And He is the one I need the most. I call out to Him, pleading and begging for a miracle. The fact that He appears not to hear or care adds to the depth of the ocean of pain in which I struggle for breath and life. It adds to my agony. For if God cannot hear me and if He doesn’t care, then I am, most certainly, doomed. My silent scream will never be heard. And I will never be held in loving arms. I’ll never find a place where I can rest. Where I can stop screaming.