Secret. Story. Truth. (I)

by Nate St. Pierre on September 3, 2012

Today in my newsletter I asked people to share a secret with me. A story. The truth. I said that I would anonymously publish some of them. Here is the first. (You can sign up if you’d like to contribute next time.)

There once was a little girl born into a family that was made up of a mother, a father and another girl, who was already six and a half years old and quite set on continuing to be the only child and center of the family’s attention. If the little girl showed emotion, then her sister would become upset because it meant the parents would have to pay attention to her. The parents frowned upon any emotion as well, except for the occasional happiness provided it was had at a reasonable volume. The little girl adapted to the life she grew up in and managed to come out of it rather well.

As she grew to adulthood, a strange thing happened. The same people that frowned upon emotion started to look to her to be the rock of the family. Perhaps it was because she had gotten so good at wearing her mask to get by that it was mistaken for strength.

Then college came and complete strangers would show up at her dorm room door saying they were friends of a friend and they heard she was really good with advice. She became a rock for many.

Now fully grown, raising two daughters of her own by herself, she continues to be the rock. If she falls apart, those that are around her don’t know how to handle it. They either flee out of not knowing what else to do, or they break down even worse and then there she is nursing them back instead of dealing with that which brought her to fall.

As much as she loves being there for everyone. As much as she has a silent mission to make sure that no one ever feels as alone as she did growing up.

It’s lonely. And it’s hard.

And for the last nearly three years she has been dealing with recurring cervical cancer. While raising her daughters alone.

She rarely talks about it because if she does, she’s afraid the mask will slip and she will fall apart. Some days are easier than others. When the really hard ones come, she holds it in (sometimes for weeks) until the girls have gone by their father, the door is closed and she can let the tears come out.

All the while hoping that one day there will be someone strong enough to just hold her when she breaks. Let her cry it all out, kiss her on the forehead and tell her that everything will be okay.

Like she has done a thousand times for others.


(Image source: wheat_in_your_hair)

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