A Reminder That Silence Is A Choice, And You Should Choose To Speak

woman under white cloth
Yoann Boyer / Unsplash

It will never hurt as much as it does right now. You just have to say the words. Let them roll off your tongue. Be respectful. Say it honestly. Just make sure that you say it, because, if you don’t, regret will follow. Our brains are not wired to deny truth. Yes, there’s that fight-or-flight response mechanism that triggers the lack of honesty in tough situations, but truth is in your nature. You have to say it in order to heal. Revealing your truth is your path to healing. You will stumble along the way, but you will walk upright after you say it. Then, move forward.

You knew that something was wrong within weeks of meeting your ex, but you were too polite to say it. You were always taught not to judge, but, in your private thoughts, you would inspect and heavily judge those around you. You were taught that God didn’t make junk. Whenever you were handed junk in your relationships, you turned a blind eye to it. Whenever you were slapped, you turned the other cheek. Whenever you were cursed, you closed your ears. Whenever you were spit on, you let it dry. You never believed that the person he showed you was who he really was. A part of you wanted to believe everything that he said, to hang onto every word contrary to his actions. You wanted to hang on for dear life… until the stress started to kill you, until you gained 40 pounds, until you blacked out during one of his abusive spells, until the paramedics had to be called, until he pushed you to the point of no return.

Another part of you never wanted to see what you didn’t believe was there. You only wanted to see the good in him, the potential. You wanted to believe that he would change, but, when he didn’t, the first thing that you had to do was voice your discontent and your desire to leave. You had to find the words to break off your engagement. You had to search for your voice. You had to just say it.

The spirits of good Southern Baptist women of your childhood would echo in your head to remind you that “ladies should be seen and not heard”. As an introverted child, you took this expression to heart. After all, silence and solitude was a lot more comfortable than the chaotic buzz of the projects. You would listen to everyone around you, but do your best to not be heard. You struggled to find quiet time and your voice. You would sit in your bedroom, in your grandmother’s tiny cluttered apartment, reading and wondering when your turn to speak would be. When you were angry or sad, you would try not to be seen. If you cried, you would do your best not to ever be heard.

You were not forced into silence. Silence was your choice. Silence was your escape. At times, your silence caused your pain.

Whatever you are experiencing must be verbalized. It is not optional. You must say it. And you must say it now.

Right now, there’s a businessman who needs to call off a big deal. Right now, there’s a man who needs to reveal that he’s homosexual. Right now, there’s a woman who needs to discuss an unwanted pregnancy. Right now, there’s a cancer patient who needs to explain his diagnosis before it’s too late. Right now, there’s a successful employee who needs to inform his employer that he’s breaking his employment contract. Right now, there’s a stay-at-home mother who needs to express her desire to re-enter the workforce.

Speaking about this is necessary. You don’t just want to heal. You need to heal. No time is better than now. You must set yourself free and say these things now. You have held these feelings inside long enough. You should not be a slave to your thoughts. Break the chains. Sing like a free bird. Say it now.

You want more time to rehearse your lines. You are concerned that when you open your mouth to speak, no words will flow. Or, even worse, no one will hear you. Knots form in your stomach at the thought of admitting that what you said you wanted in the past is not what you want right now. You are so worried about how others will react to what you have to say.

This is your life. God gave you a voice that everyone around you should be able to hear. Your release begins as soon as the words begin to flow. You should not worry. What you are experiencing is a part of the human condition. No person is exempt from this.

You will overcome.

When you speak, be firm and honest about how you feel. Directly discuss the events that led to your feelings. Be truthful in admitting your role in the situation. Do not add any color or commentary to the truth. Lies live a million mini lives before losing their light. Truth lasts forever. Stand in truth. Then, walk in truth until you fly.

This is the time to lay everything on the line. Do not become distracted from your aim by placing blame, even if it is obvious that the other person is at fault. Your listener will reach the right conclusion in their own time. In this moment, your duty is to provide your listener with all of the facts. Hopefully, your speaking provokes your listener to respond and react in a positive manner. Even, if it doesn’t, you are on your way to healing.

The following example may help:

Yaris, a troubled teenager, approaches her mother, Lola. Yaris explains to Lola that she was sexually abused by her father, Matthew. Lola immediately accuses Yaris of lying and demands that Yaris leave their home and never return.

Can Yaris begin her journey to healing? Yes. She can start the process before she receives her mother’s reaction. Will Yaris begin her journey to healing? That depends on how she perceives her mother’s reaction. If Yaris recognizes that the truth stands without regard to the reaction of others, she can take the next step to healing. However, if Yaris begins to attempt to stifle the truth, or back-track, in efforts to appease her mother, the healing process will not begin promptly.

Do not subdue the truth. By doing so, you are speaking words that you will never be able to reconcile with your heart and mind. Whatever it is, it happened. You were raped. You were bruised. You were cheated on. You were addicted. You were diagnosed. You were prosecuted. You were hurt. You were terminated. It happened. Your storm happened.

It is behind you now. In order for you to continue on your journey to greatness, you must first acknowledge the past. Once you acknowledge the past, you can take steps to prevent your past from taking up valuable space in your future.

Yaris knows that the sexual abuse occurred. That cannot be erased. To begin to assess the damage and minimize the future impact of the damage, she must stand in this truth wholeheartedly. She may stand alone, in this case, without her mother, but she can still stand.

With courage, Yaris can survive this storm.

Your truth is not contingent on the acceptance or rejection of others. Your truth is not for others to deny or approve. The acceptance of your truth by others is not required. However, it is required that you accept your truth for yourself. Once you accept it, you will find it easier to say it.

Each rejection of your truth by others will mold your understanding of the brevity of human life. Life is too short to sweep your truth under a rug or hide your truth behind make-up and excuses. A fulfilled life is not stained by half-truths and cover-ups. There were many times that you tried to cover the tracks of your abuser. You would not reveal his criminal history or his unemployed status. When asked about cuts and bruises on your hands and arms, you would shrug and stare blankly. When the cuts and bruises covered your eyes and face, you would avoid contact with the outside world. When the police arrived to your home due to a neighbor’s call, you did not answer. You would reschedule work meetings and family time to avoid the questions and stares.

The failure of many to say what they feel is rooted in fear that support will not be provided in lieu of their admission. Provision only happens for people who believe in such provision. The moment that you accepted the truth of being a battered woman, you cleared space in your life for provision. At that moment, you did not know who to trust or what steps to take, but you let go of your fear to accept the facts of your current situation. Once you accepted your truth, you were able to say it boldly to authorities and close friends. From there, you were able to gather the strength to leave. You accepted that you made the mistake of loving a person that felt that physical and mental abuse was okay. By accepting this, you were forced to evaluate how much you actually loved yourself. Did you love yourself enough to fess up to your mistake and correct the issues in your life? These thoughts led to the end of your engagement. Afterward, you were able to fearlessly move forward.

If your thoughts focus on your demise instead of your destiny, you can bet your bottom dollar that destruction is near. Your thoughts guide your actions. Your actions are the mechanisms utilized to propel you into a more solid future. If you want a change, you must acknowledge the situation by speaking about it in the most direct manner possible. You must let the words flow from your mouth and feel your body as it reverberates the sound of your truth. TC mark

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