It happened slowly, methodically, almost painlessly. The debilitating pain would come later, when I became aware of the successful severance of my vocal cords. The right to speak up for myself. It has left me with a diminished ability to defend myself against both the benign and the most pathological of predators. One day recently I opened my mouth, and nothing came out. Absolutely nothing. For that moment, I was horrified to see that I had lost both my spiritual and physical voice.
What would be a possible motive for my parents to commit such a horrible, premeditated mutilation on their oldest daughter? It’s simple really…a compliant, low self-estemed, blindly obedient child is easy to manipulate and control. I behaved. The overwhelming job of raising a child becomes less burdensome, less stressful. The possibility of defiance is eradicated. My dreams were effectively eliminated, and there’s no need for financial, emotional or spiritual support.
It made life easier. For them.
Lacking the proper tools of instinct and the ability to say no and mean it, the primary price for me has been total abandonment of and dissociation from myself. I have realized that I continue to choose people who will step up to the plate in my life to recreate this surgery, and worse, I shove the razor-sharp scalpel directly into their hands. My self-sacrifice, over and over again, has become sad and, well, boring. And believe me, I look horrible in martyr’s clothing!
I was once told that we do not risk that which we are not willing to lose. Terrified of the unknown, I have not been willing to risk, so I stayed silent. Voiceless.
And now, the price I pay to practice voicelessness, is my overall health. Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. I’m not sleeping enough, looking for false power in drinking too much, isolating-the sadness, fear, anger and resentment at myself have become overwhelming.
I want to risk it all…learn to tell my truth, even if it means I lose friendships, financial security and the love of those I hold most dear to my heart. I’m tired of this slow and self-disrespecting form of suicide.
I’m banking on the saying “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”. I’m ready. I have the gift of many women in my life who are courageous and self loving enough to proclaim their needs and desires in a clear and glorious voice. They risk it all. They are my examples of a life fully lived in self-respect and love. I want that so badly, that I’m willing to endure the inevitable steely taste of fear in my mouth.
I have renewed hope of my redemption.
Let the voice lessons begin.