It was anonymous.
After trying a couple times to read it I saw why. It took a couple tries because I had to stop several times to go back. It was so direct, so hot it burned my fingers.
And my heart. Let me share it and it might touch yours, too.
“You said to write my heart to you so I am.
“I’m tired of trying. My soul is vexed. (I read that somewhere.) I’m tired of people who feel their time is so precious and SO important they don’t have the decency to respond to sincere attempts to reach out to them.
“Obviously, they’ve contracted severe cases of acute status. The most recognizable symptom is that they’re too classy to bother with the hoi polloi, us normal, regular people.
“I feel sorry for them. They’re totally surrounded by people like me who’ve had their physical, emotional and spiritual backs against the wall. Some have even faced death itself, and through grit, toughness and God’s grace have lived to tell it. We realize the value of those experiences to those around us and try to reach out.
“And reach out.
“And reach out.
“And again, again, again . . .
“The responses are just precious.
“Good story. Thanks for sharing.”
“Or crickets. Just nothing.
“Seriously? ‘Good story’? Like I made this up? Like this is a magazine article you can just fold back up and toss in the recycle bin with the rest of the discards? Like an online blurb you can just delete? What–do I have to be a CELEBRITY in your mind before anything I say even rates with you?
“Do you in your exalted classiness have a clue what it costs to swallow the nightmares, the memories as vivid as if they happened last night, the courage it takes to try to write or tell my story?
“Do you even care enough to read this? This is probably being wasted on you, too.
“You have no idea how humbling it is to be transparent enough to share things so incredibly close to my heart and be ignored for my trouble.
“Literally. You don’t.
“I don’t mean that nothing bad’s ever happened in your life. That happens to everybody. I’d bet if you sat down with me and got real enough to just listen to my experiences and opened up enough to share yours with me, we’d both see they’re not that different. In fact, laying yours down over mine might just look like we’d traced over the one under it. We all have trying times of testing when we really need others who’ve been there.
“The problem is you’ve forgotten that. You’ve let your status or money or position insulate and separate you from the rest of us. Like because we’re not beautiful or amazing enough our life experiences somehow just don’t matter and we can’t relate to you – or you with us.
“Well, guess what, Skippy? It’s a false thing. A fail. Like it or not, you’re one of us–human–and there’s more of us regular folks than you.
“Sooner or later you or somebody you love and care about is going to crash and burn, too. You’ll need somebody to understand, to love you–maybe even to sit with and comfort you. The false props and fake, glittery facades you used to shield you from the rest of us will be in a trashy heap. Way too late you’ll see them for what they always were and realize you were willing to be blind enough to not see their true colors.
“All of us will have gotten fed up with—
“You call me” times a bazillion. Ever notice this is never, ‘Give me your number and I’ll get back with you‘?
“Send it to my office” or ” Toss an email to my assistant.” LOVE this one. Like I’m not important enough to rate a personal call? I’m not interested in being one of your clients or a lackey. I’m trying to be a friend.”
“Hey, I just don’t have time right now, but I want to hear it.”
“Sure, you do. Nope. Doesn’t wash, bub. I’m fresh out of the ‘stupid’ you seem to think I’m made of. The only reason I bothered trying again was that I felt impressed my story would help somebody else. My problem is I was dumb enough to believe it might be you.
“We’re done here. Even Jesus said something about tossing a pearl necklace down in front of a pig.
“I’m not through telling my story. I’m just through laying myself open to being laughed and sneered at or ignored altogether by the beautiful people – even if in their own mind.
“All this in my own mind, or does any of this make sense to you?” — Sign me “DONE!”
I sat there totally disarmed.
My stomach was queasy, my coffee forgotten and tepid.
This person had opened my own hidden thoughts and exposed things within myself I’d not had the courage to face. I’ve been too nice, too longsuffering, too diplomatic to say what’s needed saying.
Yeah. As I write, listen, counsel and speak, I often take in far more than I ever give out.
I’ve reached out – often – when in my gut I knew there’d be a polite brush-off or no response. Again.
I’ve tried being a friend – often – only to have the attempt be rebuffed. Again.
I’ve asked God: “You keep saying to share my story. Who bothers to listen?”
I know better than to quit trying. I can’t. But I understand the hurt you feel and are expressing.
© July 2013