Behind the Eyeballs
I have a few simple thoughts to share, and simple recommendations reflecting on the sad news.
First, let me share a quick story…
As I strolled from under the hot Florida sun and into the low-key hair salon, the normally happy, Devil-may-care woman with bright red hair walked up to me.
She hugged me.
I thought that was kinda cool, as she was quite attractive.
“I can’t read your first novel,” she said. She started to cry. “I have an 8 year old son, I couldn’t read past the first chapter without thinking about him. It made me angry.”
“No worries,” I said. I grinned as I hugged her back. “Perhaps read the epilogue first, so you know the story ends on a hopeful note.”
Of course, my first novel was titled, Bobby’s Socks.
It was about child sex abuse and the epi genetic link to suicide. (I know…)
It was not a pleasant story to write, I cried much of the time as I wrote it.
And it was not, to use a fancy word, cathartic for me.
Actually, it hurt me, both physically and emotionally.
But, what I got back from the publishing experience was human expressions of love from my friends, and people who had read the story.
In truth, my only hope from publishing the story was to help someone deal with their life, to help someone I’ll never meet in person – realize they are not alone…
And then a funny thing happened, after the publishing experience, I felt the freedom to allow my artistic nature to bloom.
Now, I talk all of the time.
I know from personal experience what it takes to internally remind yourself, every day, to just keep breathing, because – you never know?
I think that simple question, kept me alive.
When I was in my youth, I never told anyone what I was thinking – ever.
I know now, by keeping quiet, I had put my life in jeopardy.
Silence does not equate to internal strength.
It takes courage to show the world your scars.
I suspect many reading this would have had the same struggles, the same self-harm thoughts.
I think it’s all part of being human, experiencing trauma, and wondering what’s the point.
You never know what’s going on behind someone’s eyeballs, they be famous, or not, they be a teenager, or a middle-aged person.
A few lessons I learned after Bobby’s Socks was published.
People from all walks of life feel empowered to tell me their story.
When someone tells me their story, I remain quiet, and I keep eye contact with them – to encourage them to talk.
I am humbled – each and every time.
I know I cannot fix them, they have to fix themselves.
I encourage them to consider seeking professional help.
I have a simple recommendation:
If someone invites you past their emotional front guard gate, take off your shoes, and respect where they live.
It might surprise you, who that person is – because it might be your husband, or wife, or a child, or your closest friend.
A few quiet moments listening – might save a life.
And, if you’re feeling down, make yourself smile, even a fake smile works – and for me, I wear colorful socks with happy heart symbols on them.