Saturday, March 13, 2010

Do They Have To Scream?

"Does anybody know how I feel?

Sometimes I'm numb, sometimes I'm overcome
Does anybody care what's going on?
Do I have to wear my scars like a badge on my arm
For you to see me, I need release

Do I have to scream for you to hear me?
Do I have to bleed for you to see me?
'Cause I grieve, you're not listening to me
Do I need to scream?"

The opening to "Scream" by ZOEgirl. To the right of my posts, you'll see a music player. Listen to it. Listen good.

I know the end holds more hope than this beginning.

But how many people actually know there's hope out there? And how many of us KNOW someone's hurting, by instinct or by admittance, and still fail to offer hope or even a hug?

I have a friend I've recently been comfortable enough around to realize how hard they force themselves to remain invisible and keep the 'I don't think I'm good enough' barrier up when all they need is care. I've known their mask. I've used it. Even today, I used it.

But what breaks my heart the most is when I DO see and I do something about it... and I'm told that no one else has for months. For SEVEN MONTHS, no one has hugged this person. The same month I left Colorado was the the same month this person received their last hug. I'm asking around how long it's been since my friends have had an in-person hug. So far the replies are ranging from two days to a week. My mother can remember going five years without a hug, obviously before any of us were born. I personally can remember going three months without a hug, family included. That was four years ago now. But seven months? A DANCER going seven months without a hug? Is that even possible?


The fact that my friend can REMEMBER that it's been seven months and that much time has passed? That was just so completely heartbreaking... I know they think the world wouldn't miss them if they disappeared.

To know that I can hug people and be hugged in return, to know the world has some sort of touch? That's great and all, but there have to be hundreds out of the six billion who don't have that. I know I used to be like them, that I went long periods of time without a hug... But to know someone who needs it and who has no hope of getting one? I remember what it's like to wonder if everyone is just an empty shell and even the shell is just air. Sometimes I still wonder, though not for lack of love, but just lack of touch. To live like that is more painful than I care to recall... And to know that I KNOW someone who hasn't been hugged for that long and that I could've changed that? How could I have been so blind? How could I have walked by them as often as I have since I've been home? What was I waiting for? A scream?

Do they have to scream?

I spent much of last night crying, again most of this morning and much of this afternoon, and once more tonight as I write this...

Do they need to scream? If one of us fails, can't another pick up the slack? Do people HAVE to go seven months without a hug because one of us is too blind to see what's going on?



  1. Lisse...this...hit me. Hard. In the gut.

    How many times have I shrank away from touching someone because I've been afraid...and they needed it? Afraid of doing the wrong thing. Afraid of offending. Afraid of....afraid of reaching across the walls I've thrown up and letting someone inside to see a little bit of my own heart as I reach out to them.

    And I didn't even realize...

    They don't have to scream. Because never again am I going to avert my eyes when I see someone's pain....I'm going to hug them. Hold them. Let them know that I care, and I pray, and that I'll be there.

    And in my life, at least, it WILL end.

    ~ Gwendolyn

  2. I'm bad at judging when people need hugs too...which is weird because "hugs" are part of my love language. I need to pray for boldness...