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  • Writer's pictureLorrie L. Richins

Just Let Me Cry

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

The body will eventually reveal its secrets. It must. Pain must eventually be processed in order for a person to be truly free. Fear must be faced in order for peace to prevail.

“Just let me cry,” I said anxiously as my husband tried helplessly to offer solace. Tears poured from my eyes, and I gasped for each breath as grief gripped both my heart and mind.

Just moments before I had been lying beside Brian in our bed in a fitfull state of sleep. I could hear myself groaning as I struggled to surface from the sleep that kept my nightmare alive. I finally pushed back the covers and abruptly left the room trying to escape the terror which had consumed my body.

Brian was all too familiar with my cries in the night. Shortly after we were married, the nightmares began. I couldn’t sleep with my back to our bedroom door. I would go to bed only after I was absolutely exhausted so I could fall quickly to sleep and always with my face towards the handle of the door. If I needed to turn over in the night, I would often get up and go to the other side of the bed so Brian could protect my back. In his slumber, he would kindly move just enough to give me room to slip in front of him. He knew I needed to feel safe.

On this particular night, the terror was especially intense. Brian had followed me from our bedroom and wasn’t sure if I was even completely awake. As I sat on the couch in our living room sobbing from the emotional pain I was experiencing, Brian’s efforts to console me were in vain. I needed to cry. I needed to cry hard. I needed to cry for a long time without restraint. It wasn’t me crying. It was the little girl inside of me shedding the tears. It was HER pain I was feeling.

This was the first time I experienced a vivid flashback. As I sat sobbing on the couch with Brian’s arms and voice trying to comfort me, I said in anguish and desperation, “Just let me cry. I feel like Elizabeth. I feel like Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth was our youngest daughter when this experience occurred. She was a petite little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old, and I literally felt like I was seeing through her eyes. My body felt very small and one part of my mind was processing as a little girl from long ago while the adult side of me was assessing what was taking place in the present. The child part of me wanted to escape the suffering and to feel safe, but the adult side of me was searching for answers trying to problem solve and gain information which could explain what had happened to cause me such pain. Brian wanted to ‘pull me back’ to the present while I wanted to keep peering into the past. I needed to know what had been haunting me in my dreams.

Not only did it physically feel as if I had transformed into a little girl, but my forearms felt raw and sore like I had been tightly held down by someone else’s grip. My body held the memories of all that had taken place, but my mind could only process a portion of what had occurred. This I finally understood and knew. That little girl from long ago had been violated. Elizabeth in her innocence had awakened within me what it had been like for me to be her size and stature. It was too painful for me to see through my own eyes, so the Lord allowed me to metaphorically see through hers.

In the years that have passed since that first flashback, I have repeatedly relived being violated as if it were happening in the moment all over again. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to keep breathing through that kind of trauma, but each time has allowed me to receive more insight as to what took place. Ultimately, the truth has transformed me. My faith is deeper. My strength is stronger. I appreciate peace because I’ve passed through pain. I’ve become a warrior for other wounded women, children, and men. Troubled waters has taught me how to navigate safely to shore, and now I help others learn to navigate through their own storms of life.

This I know to be true - The body will eventually reveal its secrets. It must. Pain must eventually be processed in order for a person to be truly free.

Fear must be faced in order for peace to prevail.

If you need support on your path to finding peace, I’m here. There is hope. As a professional mentor…as a survivor… I can help.

***This post is a tribute to the kind, patient, faithful husbands who have wiped the tears of the women they love due to damage done by other men.

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