Saturday, September 4, 2010

Musings on being A Sister Among You

A Sister Among You
Recently, I have started writing at times using a pseudonym. It is not really because I want to be an invisible writer but that I want to spare my very private family more pain. Because of family traumas, it seems they feel shame if there is any mention that we might be a somewhat dysfunctional, real family like many others on this planet. Although my husband and I grew up watching the Cleavers, Father Knows Best, and Happy Days we aren’t those kind of families. We might be more like someone on a Law and Order segment. So I will either have to resort to fiction or maybe I will just use the pseudonym of a Sister Among You. I would truly be invisible then, because we are a sisterhood of women.

You don’t know my name, you don’t have to; I am a sister among you. Sometimes I’m quiet and you may think I’m aloof, but you are wrong. I carry pain, for myself and for others; I am a sister among you. I was sexually abused as a child and went on at age 15 to marry a pedophile. He turned our daughter onto drugs and started the life-long battle she is just now overcoming at age 43.

I have been abused, used and tormented. I love, I hurt, and I dream dreams that turn into nightmares. I am a sister among you. Maybe I think if I open up to you and tell you about my life you will turn away.

Yes, my life would make you cringe; it would not fit into your tidy world. Once after I spoke at a retreat about “Making Peace with Your Past,” a woman came up to me later and apologized for walking out during the talk; she had to go throw up. My mama always said, “You have to laugh to keep from crying.” And I do, especially at times like that.

There are many among you, though, sisters, such as I. You may recognize yourself in some of these descriptions.

I may be your friend but you don’t really know me. How can you if you don’t share my pain, don’t drink from my cup? My cup is too horrible to taste and it would cause you to hurt also, which I would never want. Because I have seen and lived through perverseness in the eyes of men, and the hearts of women.

I am just a sister among you, I smile at you, but it only masks the pain. Daily I give myself and control of my life over to God who alone can heal the hurt. But sometimes He leaves the pain and the memories. Maybe so I won’t pass you by, another sister, lost in pain, needing a Savior, needing a friend; another sister among us.
In The Good Book it is said that what you have done for the least of these, you have done for Me. This sister may be dying emotionally, feeling hopeless as a wife, mother or woman in this world. She may be masking the pain with drugs, alcohol or even the goodness of church or volunteer work. She is trying to fill a void only God Himself can fill.

She may use men or women to fill this insatiable need to feel loved and whole. She may have endured losses such as the death of a family member, maybe even her own child: the grief seems unbearable and she wonders if she can live with this void in her life. She may be a prostitute, in danger each time she goes out. She may be trying to cover the pain of losing her children through the system.

She is somebody’s daughter.

She is a sister among you. Is she invisible to you? Will she stay that way?

Donna Collins Tinsley

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