Before we dive into today’s story, #BeneathTheSmile is back and would run in its category, every Friday.
You can view past stories, here. (Yes, just click ‘here’.)
The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
Today’s story was sent in by an Anonymous reader.
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
As I walked through the pathway that leads to the library, I began to engage in a one-way communication with myself. Oh how people seem to see an independent, intelligent, flawless girl. I smile, I raise my head high, I answer questions in class, people bring their assignments to me, people seek my opinion, and people call on me to intercede on their behalf.
They all seem to see a girl who posses so much strength and vigor, a girl who has little or no problem, a girl who has had it good. I smiled and said out loud unconsciously; engrossed in my thoughts “little do they know that it is all a façade of strength”. I let them see what they want to see. The real truth is, beneath that smile, is a tear. A tear? No! TEARS! I carry so much hurt and pain in me; I was abused by my most trusted uncle. Till date, no one knows this, except of course till now that I’m writing about it.
How can I tell people, that my psyche has been tampered with? How can I bring myself to tell my parents that the person they have put so much trust in has lured me to his bedroom, had his way with me and took my innocence away from me. No! I cannot tell, I will not tell! I have bottled this up for a long time; I have learnt to smile through it.
I live in fear, fear of the unknown, fear of letting those who have put so much in me down, fear of living outside of me. At home, they see a perfect daughter and sister, one whose intellectual ability is highly commendable. Oh yes! I’m smart, I’m intelligent, I’m clever I’m… yes, I’m all of it.
But beneath that intelligent girl is a girl who struggles. Beneath that smart girl is a girl who feels dumb. Oh, beneath that girl that is full of life is a girl that is “dead”. Indeed I have succeeded in putting up this façade.
I have created a room within me, a cocoon that envelops me. I’m locked in. I have a built a wall, one that shields me, one that keeps the pain and hurt concealed. I sighed, raised my head high, put a smile on my face while ascending the steps that leads to the entrance of the library, there! I saw a friend, Jessica descending from the stairs and Jessica remarks calling my name
“Hello the ever smiling Betty, how are you doing?” … “I’m very well thank you”
I said showing my “32” sets of teeth Jessica remarked “of course you are, as ever” and she walked past. I shook my head and between breaths I muttered as I walked into the library “if only she knew that I’m not well, that I’m fighting a constant battle with me”.
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A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with next Friday’s story.
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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