“Hey girl, how you doing” I yelled to her as I saw her coming down the street.
She lowered her head as she approached and replied, “I’m fine.”
“Talk to me, what’s going on?” I knew something wasn’t right.
She looked around nervously and asked for me to come with her to a more private spot, so I followed her. She just stood and stared at me and after a few moments I once again asked, “What’s going on?”
She looked around one more time and then began to pull the sleeves of her shirt up. My heart sank and was filled with overwhelming sadness. There beneath the sleeves and the blood stained bandages was her pain. There was the fresh cuts of the torment she was going thru. Even beyond the fresh cuts lay months, maybe years of old scars. Pain that she had been caring around for who knows how long.
She goes on to tell me how the pain inside is too much to handle. That it just consumes her and the only way she can get rid of it is to cut. That there is a release, a easing of the pain when she cuts, but also explains that each time the pain gets worse, also comes the need to cut deeper.
The young lady mentioned above is doing fine now, but I think of her often and the hidden pain she concealed from the world. I think about the others in the park and even others beyond them. This is not something unique to the homeless; it is in ever aspect of our society. Hurting people, who mask the pain, conceal it and hide it from the world in one form or another. You pass them everyday in the store, at work, on the street, at the park anywhere you go. I pray that we hear their screams for help before it is too late. I ask that my eyes be opened even more to the needs of others around me.