The Silver Lining: We See What’s on Paper, but We Don’t See Anybody’s Pain.
For years, I’ve faced pain time after time. Every day, for what seemed like half my life, it would eat away at me, and then one day it was gone, or so I thought.
But these past couple weeks, with everything that’s happened, all this has shown me is that it’s always been here, deep in that dark place that no one likes to talk about. But this time, after everything I realized that pain is not just this all-consuming ache in your bones that eats you alive, it can’t be. This time I realized, pain’s not just pain, it’s important.
The week the news broke, I had a lot of reporters reaching out to me for a statement. Why? I don’t know. So I could bare parts of my soul, my deepest thoughts for the world to see?
I didn’t think it would really matter if I told them my dad used to sit me on his lap in the mornings so I could pick the marshmallows out of his Lucky Charms. Was that going to make the world see him any differently? Probably not, but I always will, I’ll always see him differently.
Many people will call me delusional, see me as naive, maybe even stupid, but I’m so happy my dad’s my dad. Because of him I can really see the rest of the world, I see it differently from everyone. I can see people for who they are, past their bad decisions and horrible mistakes. And even after all this pain, I don’t want it any other way.
More than anything, all I’ve ever really wanted was to be a writer. But, my dad had always said, “Kid, you ever hear of the starving artist? Yea, the same thing goes for the starving writer.” And so we’d laugh, he’d tell me to get into sales, and I’d say, “Dad, I have to be a writer.” And I hate to say it, because the last thing I’d ever want to write about would be this.
But for some weird reason, I think this is why I had to be one — because I have to say the things that no one’s ever going to say, and not only say them, I have to write them down.
What’s funny is I live in a place where people will tell you about their greatest achievements before they give you their first name. And after two months of meeting more actors, published authors and world-record-breakers than I have in my entire life, after everything I’ve come to one conclusion: we all sound much worse on paper.
Because on paper, I’m the daughter of a convicted murderer, that’s what most of the country will gather of me, but none of those people know me and none of them know my dad, they know Freddy Geas, and they’re two different people.
So when did it stop being enough to just be human, to be able to make mistakes, sometimes ruin everything, but then move on and be better? When did it become okay to classify people, to just put them in a box and leave them there to die? This year alone, there’s been countless mass shootings, race riots, political turmoil, and all we hear is, black vs. white, mentally unstable and bad for business.
All we get to see is what’s on paper, but we don’t ever see anybody’s pain. And so we look past the tragedy and carry on with our lives, trying to be so impressive, coming up with these terms and titles in an effort to make us sound better on paper, but all we’re really doing is strengthening the divide.
I was raised to always look for the silver lining in a situation. This time around it’s been pretty hard, until I realized that every time I told someone what was going on, and why I’ve been so sad, their guard would come down, they’d tell me their secret, they’d show me their pain.
One of the last things my dad said to me was, “You are a funny, always honest, good-hearted kid, don’t let the world or circumstances change you.” And I won’t, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far from all of this, it’s that the world and circumstances need to change.