How creative are you?

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How creative are you?  No…I’m not talking about arts and crafts.  How creative are you when it comes to hiding the truth? I had a friend…let’s just call her Alice for now.  Alice always smiled and greeted people kindly.  On the outside she appeared to be the happiest person I had ever known.  However, Alice was gifted at covering her pain and scars.  Her home life was horrendous.  Her parents fought all the time and she had been molested by a close family friend.  Alice was creative.  She pretended that her life was awesome…at school, around teachers, even with me.  I never knew her truth until one day I visited her unexpectedly and found her sitting on the stoop in front of her house.  Her clothes were torn and she had tears rolling down her face.  When I asked what happened….she looked at me with a smile and replied nothing.

I knew it wasn’t true and I also knew whatever it was my friend couldn’t speak of it.  I was 12 years old and I sat with her, holding her hand in silence.  I remember wishing before this day that I could be like Alice.  She seemed so happy and perfect.  Funny, now as I look back on it I guess I knew that no one is really perfect.  Right then, I felt no envy just sadness for my friend.

She never told me what happened to her that day.  We never spoke of it.  I wish I were creative enough to make her smile and forget about her sadness..but I wasn’t.  Later that month, when Alice did not return to school, we were told her family moved away.  I never saw Alice again.

We may know an Alice today…but because people like Alice feel shame and hide their pain…they create a make believe life so that no one knows their shame or the darkness in which they live.

I want to live my life in a way that encourages the Alice’s of the world to share their stories with me. I wanted to be a real friend to Alice it I didn’t know how.  I’m an adult woman with some difficult times under my belt.  If you are like my friend Alice…please know that I am here. I am better equipped.  You are not alone.  Sistahs,please be an example of love, courage and support so that when Alice reaches out to you….you will be there to help her find her voice and tell her story.  She is important.  She matters and she needs to know her Sistahs are here for her.

Beverly Jones-Durr