What Makes You Hide?

What makes you turn and go the other way?

Covering your face so the world won’t recognize that it’s you.

Maybe if you close your eyes, they won’t see you.

That way you won’t owe anyone anything?

What makes you hide?

Is it your clumsy way of living?

Your lazy ways or sharp eyes?

Is it your fear or your anger?

Maybe it’s your uncertainty of yourself in the world?

Your incompatibility with shallow hearts and the guilt you feel because of it.

Your self-centeredness?

Or maybe your indifference.

Perhaps it’s the horrible way you reject your own heart and life and you don’t want anyone to find you out.

I remember the day I saw the movie “Sybil”. The 70’s shocker about the life of Sybil, a young woman who suffered multiple personality disorder because of a traumatic childhood. Although it had been discovered later that many of the details of the movie as being true were argued. However, for sake of this article, I will utilize the details of the story as I saw it to illustrate my point.

It was and still is one of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard. Sad because Sybil’s little heart longed and craved connection but she was utterly unable to allow it because every connection she had ever known in her family of origin was either passive to the point of non-existence or destructive and wounded her deeply. Her inability to trust was impregnable! Nothing could break thru it.

Then she met her psychiatrist, Dr. Wilbur. She had learned of Sybil’s case and committed to seeing her to recovery. The movie was filled with dealings with Sybil’s multiple personalities, which were over 10 different persons of her soul, so to speak. They all had names and very distinctive characteristics. All emerged to help her survive the horrific trauma inflicted upon her from her schizophrenic mother and they helped her hide away all her fears and pains without having to show her true self to anyone. A self who was severely damaged.

In the course of her therapy, she was invited by Dr. Wilbur to come and sit close to her. In the scene from the movie, Sybil is reluctant but hungry for human touch that was non- threatening and nurturing, something she had not experienced with her mother. Slowly she approached the doctor and she was welcomed, without abuse, manipulation or trickery into awaiting arms of kindness. Something else Sybil craved.

Sybil sobbed like a baby in the doctor’s arms. Almost uncontrollably. Because her craving and her fear collided into a sweetness that broke into her illness and her past and shattered the darkness of being unloved and unwanted.

As a young adult, years ago, I watched and wept at this part of the movie because I felt something familiar in my heart; a craving in me that had not yet met with kindness to that degree. And still, when I think of it, it moves me.

We all hide to the degree of our shame and it pains us to have it touched with kindness because when it is, the heartache of it comes rushing out and can be unbearable.

But if we allow it, oh the healing that can take place and the freedom! 


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