“Now they’re some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown when there’s no one around”
Lyrics from Tears of a Clown by the Miracles
To those who know the surface me, I have two modes of operation – vex and jovial. I do an excellent angry! It was a defence mechanism I developed early in my life to hide my vulnerabilities after years of relentless teasing. It’s easier to be angry than happy, grateful, disappointed, sad. When I reached my late teens I uncovered a hidden family trait, humour. (My family are infamous for one liners. Aunty Gretel in a berating of her husband told him, in front of family, he lied more than a rug 🙈). Humour enabled me to both feign anger and endear myself to people. I could wear a mask that didn’t alienate people from me.
The problem was/is this Joker persona I developed – very mean but hilariously funny – was not me. I was shy, cautious, wanting to do favours for everyone, wanting to be liked. However, the more I played The Joker, the more he became a part of me. To the extent, that depending on who was describing me you’d think two or three different people were being discussed.
I managed like this for a long time but cracks started to show. My internal pain became deeper. Outwardly, I was more cross and funnier but those who truly knew me saw the anguish I felt.
Below is an excerpt from my diary….
“My truth may startle you. It may make you uncomfortable. It comes from a place of darkness wrapped in feigned anger… no it’s not real but it’s better than being sad. It’s better than being a broken, vulnerable woman. It’s better than being a suicidal person who just wants to be loved. It’s scary to show softness. I was born soft. I was soft in Liverpool. I was soft in the Bayland. I was soft when my toes touched the snow of Boston. Things changed. This world doesn’t always embrace the soft girls. They beat you up. Tease you. Laugh at you. Attac…”
I stopped on this particular day because I was being too vulnerable even for myself.
Whenever I thought of Tears of a Clown images of Richard Pryor, John Belushi, and Chris Farley (🎼fat guy in little coat) automatically sprung to mind. Tortured souls fuelling their comedy with past pains. Pain often times births immeasurable creative genius.
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Thanks for sharing. As an observer, I already knew this about you. That is why I’ve been so intrigued. That’s why I wanted to be your friend. I could feel your hurt and I hoped one day you’d let me in. Your blogs are great and I will continue to read them (because I love reading) and because this is you letting me “us” in. Keep your head up my friend the sky is not your limit…go further.
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Thank you! That really touched me.
Maybe I will continue to write.
You may be surprised that those you didn’t think paid attention did so more than you can imagine and knew this side of you.
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Moving and insightful. They’re aren’t many people that know the dark places one can get too. There are degrees of darkness. My darkest places shall remain hidden. There are so many people who suffer in silence. Your blogs are enabling people to have an outlet and realise they’re not alone. Keep up the good work!