On a Particular Superpower

Published on 12 January 2023 at 10:16

I was thinking about what I wrote yesterday and how many times I referenced crying. I don’t always cry that much. I wondered if I was unknowingly announcing to the world wide web that I’m just PMSing hard. Am I? I wondered and checked my calendar. (Definitely maybe).


But that was too simple and dismissive. I’m not blind to the fact that, as a woman, I live in a constant biological adventure. But that wasn’t the only reason why my heart leaked out my face on and off all day yesterday.


Here's where the deep emotions come from: the different years and situations where I had to confront an uncomfortable (or worse) truth, when no one else involved wanted to.


I know what it's like to wrestle between a desire to belong and a desire for truth.
A desire for peace and a desperate need to eviscerate cancerous masses in my soul.


It was never people I was against, always dark dynamics I wanted freedom from. It feels impossible to explain when someone else's comfortable existence is threatened by your own need for truth. It is devastating when your path out of darkness seems to throw shade on others.

I know what it's like to be wildly misunderstood. Accused of


causing trouble,
creating drama,
being selfish,
be a narcissist,
lying,
being a terrible parent,
being a terrible human.


The list goes on and on. Each item is crushing.


I know what it's like to face my accusers with a sometimes broken, sometimes raging heart. Always a desperate desire to be understood.


There were valleys so deep and dark that I can’t say for sure where the line of sanity/insanity lay, but I’m sure I crisscrossed it as I groped along blindly.


I remember laying in my bed with the door locked and my roommate knocking persistently, pleading for me to come out. Maybe she was worried about what I was thinking of doing to myself. The truth was, I felt trapped alive. I was desperate to end my life, but if I did, I’d be choosing the one thing that was creating all my torment: losing my children.


The likelihood of losing my right to raise them was torturing me, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to relieve the pain and horror. Except wait. And keep living. And try to look healthy and normal and like the loving mother I already was.
While a scary, scowling judge tried to convince me I had no chance of obtaining my mothering rights. While an ex promised he would utterly destroy me. While people I looked to, looked away in embarrassment.

There have been chapters where I had no words to describe the fear or help I needed. Sometimes my only strategy was to sleep on the floor, imagining myself sprawled before Heaven's throne, silently begging for mercy.

It’s so interesting what comes out when you put your fingers to a keyboard. I didn’t sit down to write through that chapter again. But it is probably the most explicit, the most universally understood (a mother losing her children) way I can describe my travels through despair. It’s also one of many valleys.


These days I live up in the mountains. Literally and figuratively. I have storms come through, but weather fronts are different than plunging landscape. I cannot control the weather, but I can control where I make my home.
When I speak about my tears for Harry and Meghan, they are real.


I know the terrible choices life sometimes presents. I know when both forks in the road look scary, but one leads to nowhere new, just the same suffering. And the other leads into the lonely unknown.


I know what it’s like to lose loved ones because they can’t understand.
I know what it’s like to have strangers wield actual power of my life, threaten to take away my basic human rights.
I know what it’s like to muster all my strength to tell a complicated truth, and be scorned for it.

What I don’t know is what it’s like when the whole damn world can watch your tormented journey.


That’s what takes my breath away and opens the reservoirs.


My tears are a superpower. They are a way I know I am still alive and feeling and connected to the reality of the world around me. That I haven’t gone numb or calloused when that would be a reasonable survival choice.


I don’t rage afresh when a violent injustice occurs. I grieve them everyday. I’m awake and aware of suffering all the time. I ache to participate in the healing. And I make choices everyday that put me on that path. I’m doing what I can to heal the parts of the world I touch by letting it touch me where I am most tender.


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