You know what really, really, REALLY pisses me off…?
No, of course you don’t. But by now you know that I’m gonna tell you.
Stigma. Stigma pisses me off.
1. a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.
“the stigma of having gone to prison will always be with me”
And HOW the hell did STIGMA come to SILENCE us??
I’m speaking as a woman and so from a woman’s perspective though I imagine it to be the same for men.
1. complete absence of sound.
“sirens pierce the silence of the night”
You see the link…? disgrace (shame) —-> silence.
So what happens when after expressing yourself you’re told:
– you’re too sensitive. you’re so dumb.
– don’t be such a baby/bitch.
– it’s not like that. it’s fine.
– he/she/they’re just like that.
– you’ll get over it.
– it’s just because you’re young/old.
– you never/you always.
– that’s nothing.. what I went through was SO much worse.
Or you’re questioned:
– what’s wrong with you?
– are you getting your period?
– how come you can’t just….. ??
– why do we have to keep coming back to this??
I’ll tell you what happens. You stop. You learn that when you speak, you aren’t heard. You learn to find your voice in other ways. Not all of them constructive to life.
So as the years go by you’ve learned that your voice has no relevance. That silence is the only thing people want to hear and that to remain silent saves you the battle of having to defend your thoughts or your feelings and ultimately ‘you’.
What happens then when you remain silent and:
– you’re 6 and your parents are fighting and you’re scared.
– you’re 11 and your friends have decided not to include you anymore.
– you’re in physical pain and have been for months. Years.
– he yells at you.
– he’s laying on top of you and it is NOT what you want.
I’ll tell you what happens. You remain SILENT and you dismiss it. All of it. Because the stigma of speaking up and portraying some role of shame (bitchy, moody, scared, lonely, unsure, needing help or EVEN BEING STRONG) is LOUDER than your voice will ever be.
You have learned you will not be heard and so you take a new direction. A direction of ‘it’s fine’.
Your whole life then becomes ‘fine’. Everything is tolerable. No need to speak up because this whole time you’ve managed on your own. Plus, you don’t want to come across as a bitch, a baby, too strong, too sensitive, needing help, confused, lonely or dark.
You learn to soothe your voice by telling your voice ‘it’s fine. it’s no big deal.’
People. It’s a Big Fucking Deal.
We ALL deserve to be heard. I’m not suggesting what to do after you’ve heard that person but when someone speaks – ANYONE – please, PLEASE hear them. And not through your own fucked up filters – don’t worry, I have them too – but meet them in the middle where it’s neutral. Just hear them without figuring out how you’re going to offer them advice/solutions, without judging them, armed to give them shit. HEAR them. And when they don’t want to speak just be there with them.
I can’t help but wonder about the healing that could happen if we were all given the chance to find our voices again, share our incredible stories, speak our TRUTHS and have someone in our lives withhold judgement and agenda and
simply hear us.
Do you think you could hear ONE person today?
Further to that, do you think you can practice giving your truth some sound?