Silence is Not Golden
He never wanted me to talk, unless I was agreeing with him.
My voice was not appreciated. If I ever talked and participated in a conversation in a group, he would silently shake his head at me. He showed me and those around me that he did not approve of my words. He did not want me to speak. Ever.
Many times I would say something that he had told me privately. But when I repeated his words to someone else, he would state, “No, that’s not true at all. It’s this way…” and he would proceed to say the opposite. I felt betrayed and belittled.He achieved his goal: he made me look incompetent and foolish. He succeeded in making people doubt what I said, because he used false words and a contradiction-trap to prove me wrong in public.
He demolished my confidence.. I believed that anything I said would be regarded as foolish.
Countless times he told our children, in my presence, “Don’t listen to Mommy. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” Shot to the heart.
He stifled my voice. He demanded silence from me. When I dared to speak, he used my voice to make me look stupid. He used my own words against me, to beat me down and take away any sense of self that I had.
In no time I felt I had nothing. I felt worthless. I felt used. I felt like the world would be a better place without me. (Except for my kids. They saved my life by being here.)
As much as he stealthily and nonverbally put me down and made me doubt myself in public, he tipped the scales when we were alone. Berating me and cutting me with words, he strangled my voice and killed my will to speak, as he verbally and wickedly berate me, cut me down, and disembodied my vocal ability.
I now have social anxiety. I’m afraid to talk to people. I struggle to speak up, even when it is vitally necessary for me to stand up for truth. I struggle to believe that my opinion, my ideas, or my dreams matter.
It is easy to stay in that hole of hopeless desperation. It is easy to give up and give in and decide that my ideas ARE stupid and pointless. It’s an easy, cheap lie I bought with my silence and hold onto.
But I don’t want easy. I want to fight.
I have decided to stand up, even after the countless times I was shoved backward, shoved verbally to the ground. I have dusted myself off. I have war-wounds — plenty of them. I have bandages on every corner of my heart. My soul is wrapped in gauze, as it aches and heals. But, heal I will.
Healing is not easy. Choosing to be strong is the harder choice. Being strong is a choice, as I have been learning. Being positive in your thoughts and reminding yourself of who you are is important.
I encourage you to stand as well. Don’t let a single human put you down. You are important. You are needed. You are necessary. Your voice matters. You matter. Stand tall, dear soul. Lift your beautiful chin, set your strong jaw, square your lovely shoulders, and brace yourself for battle. Don’t believe the lie that your thoughts and opinions are worthless. . Be bold. Be strong. Be a warrior.