What Is Your Voice Telling You?

Well, I must say, I didn’t expect to get the reaction I did from yesterday’s post. Not that all of you aren’t entitled to your opinion, because you are. And any and all opinions are welcome on my comment board (as long as you’re not using it to slam someone else). I consider constructive criticism to be a good thing, because personally I don’t want to live in a world where everyone always agrees with me, because I’m not always right. You don’t learn or take steps needed to grow when everyone is kissing your ass and telling you what you want to hear now, do ya? Just look at politicians. Ouch!! I wonder how they’re going to feel when they finally have to answer to someone more powerful than them. See ya…wouldn’t want ta be ya! And of course, if I didn’t want your honest opinion I wouldn’t have asked for it.

I have to admit though, something occurred to me after reading them that bothered me, and I thought I would bring that up today. The thought that many of us are still trapped in our old belief’s system, and I’m not the only one. The reason I say this is because the only answer I really should’ve received from anyone is that I should do whatever I need to in order to make myself well. And though I would never share anther’s secrets without damn good cause, these are mine and I should be entitled to do with them as I wish, and whatever I deem necessary for myself to get better. Now granted, this one is slight compared to some, but you have to start somewhere, and I have a long list of taboo secrets I keep inside. It’s called baby steps.

I am very sincere about honoring the memory of those I love that have passed, and do. I’ve lost both my parents, my brother, friends too numerous to mention, and of course my very best friend, Beth. I loved them all in life and love them still. I would never share their secrets, although some spill over into mine, and I’m forced to ride the rail on that. The question is: How long do you have to keep protecting another at the expense of your own well-being? While they’re alive to spare their feelings? After they’re gone to honor their memory? When is it okay to finally speak up, shed shame, anger, pain, and deal with the things that must be dealt with? If we continue to believe that we have to protect everyone else–including their memory–we never will. Just think about that.

I’m going to share with you a couple of secrets I was forced to carry. One was that I was messed with as a child by an older family member. I know it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been a forceful physical assault, there was no penetration involved, but it damaged me just the same. It made me question my sexuality, if there was something wrong with me in that I’d somehow asked for it, made me fearful of others intentions when they wanted to get close to me, and still occurs in my adulthood sometimes when I’m getting intimate with my husband in the way of nausea and  that somethings-not-right feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have taboo spots at certain times that can’t be touched. It damaged me emotionally. The thing is, I carried this dirty little secret all by myself for years. I didn’t want to cause problems in the family. I didn’t want to embarrass my parents or siblings. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, so I allowed myself to stay hurt. The first person I shared it with was my step-niece who was a couple of years younger than me that I was very close to. I believe I was in my early twenties by then. Both of my parents died never knowing this secret or having to deal with the shame. My father as recent as seven years ago. That’s a long fucking time to keep that kind of a secret, don’t you think?

Another was I was told at about 11 or 12 years old that I was a bastard child of an affair my mother had. That this was the reason I was so much younger and didn’t look like anyone in my family. At the time I was told this, I was also told that if I mentioned this to my father it would cause a divorce. Now before any of you think that this was someone’s idea of a sick joke and completely ridiculous, let me assure you that it wasn’t and isn’t. There was a point in our family when my father got hurt and the physical damage it caused affected his mind for a time. My mother had five children, a husband that she could not lean on emotionally, was strained, and there was a man in our families life that was close to my mother and there for her emotionally. He was my father’s best friend. He would die in an accident when I was ten years old, and journals found among his other belongings would state that I was his child. I questioned my mother, and the only answer she would give me time and time again was that the father I knew was my dad. I knew something wasn’t right though. A person faced with an accusal like that becomes angry. My mother didn’t look angry as much as she did scared when I would talk about it.

The thing is  I spent my entire childhood pretending I knew nothing and trying to keep it hush-hush because I was so fearful that my daddy would hear, it would hurt him, maybe he wouldn’t love me anymore, and it would break up our family. I still don’t know how he managed not to, the whispers were everywhere the entire time I was growing up. This single event I believe is the reason that I’ve never felt I fit in anywhere or belonged. I had a nervous breakdown that left me with a panic disorder approximately six years after my mother passed away. Not due to just this, but everything including a shitty marriage I was in. During therapy was when I was told I needed to talk to my father and finally did. He was remarried by that time, and I sat in the cramped kitchen of the home I grew up in, the very place I was forced to keep secrets, and I had to tell my father that I didn’t think I was his child through a wave of emotion and tears. Thinking about that moment I can’t control the ones sliding down my face even now. Bless his heart, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and told me it wouldn’t matter one way or the other, I was his daughter, I’d always been his daughter, and I would always be his daughter. He did say though, knowing this now explained a lot. Strangely, my relationship with my dad changed after that for the better. He’d always been very unemotional and distant while I was growing up and I’d never felt close to him. In fact, it was about as close as having a distant uncle. After that though he hugged me and would kiss me. He would tell me he loved me. Maybe not to the degree that some of us are affectionate, but enough that I felt loved and wanted for the first time in my whole damn life.

I think he knew how important it had become to me that I know the truth and finally be able to put it to rest, and even offered to take a DNA test with me. Honestly, I wanted to, but felt that I’d caused him enough pain and didn’t want to put him through more. My father died never knowing the truth, and to this day neither do I. Well, I guess that’s not completely true. This man had blue eyes, fair skin, fair hair, and certain features that distinguished him. To look at the picture on the laminated obituary card I now have it’s like looking in a mirror. Perhaps not when I was young, but now I am approximately the same age he was when he passed, and the resemblance is startling. He loved words, wrote faithfully in journals, indulged in poetry. To a degree that it was not something he toyed with, but rather was a need he had to write, something he had no control over, much like myself. No one else in my family shares this. I know the truth. A test will only validate what is already obvious.

Now ask yourselves, was it right that I carried those things to shield others from what I thought would be shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and pain? Was I really responsible for keeping those secrets that were not of my own doing, but rather forced upon me. And if the answer is no, then you have to look at the broader picture and recognize that secrets come in all shapes and sizes, they are slight and monstrous, but if any of them make you uncomfortable for keeping them, that means they’re not good for you, and you have a responsibility to yourself to let them go. We are all born with and carry that little voice inside that tells us what is good or bad, right or wrong. Some call it gut instinct. Some consider it a divine gift from God. I see it as both. If we listen to it, it will give us discretion when needed, help us judge others to keep ourselves from harm, show us what our life calling is, etc. This little voice is unique to each of us.

I’m starting to pay attention to mine. If it fails me, then at least I can say I only have myself to blame. I’ve proven that today, because these secrets I just shared with you are still not common knowledge to everyone. Well, I guess they are after today. I’m ready to start listening to my voice. Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what your voice is telling you.

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19 Comments on “What Is Your Voice Telling You?”

  1. We all fight our battles and have our secrets…I truly believe it is how we learn and grow from what we have been through. I have things that have happened to me that I have shared with very few or no one. I don’t know that I will ever tell anyone some of my secrets, but I am at peace with them in my heart and soul. I know that I have done the best I can do with what I have been dealt. I also know, that it wasn’t my fault, and I have the choice whether to let it devastate me or make me stronger. I choose stronger. Smarter. Happier.
    So are you…I am proud of you and honored to know you and call you a friend xoxoxoxo

    • Me too, Donna. If this sickness and pain I’ve had to deal with has done anything for me, it’s lead me to this forum and to all of you. In a perfect world we’d all be a stone’s throw away from each other. What a party that would be…”Bringing down da house!” I just feel blessed that I’ve got the chance to know any of you at all. I’m becoming a different person because of that.
      Baring it all isn’t for everyone. I don’t know if I could even bare it all. I’ve experienced a lot of stuff in my life, and the little I’ve shared is just the tip of the iceberg, albeit painful. The things I’m talking about just seem important to say right now. I thought I’d made my peace with a lot of stuff too, but I realize now what I saw as peace and contentment was nothing more than my working, drinking, and filling my life with people and activities so I wouldn’t have a moment to think about it. It worked well for a while, but then when I moved here and the party was gone it was just me alone with my thoughts, my negative opinions about myself, etc. I hate to say this, but if Beth hadn’t taken her own life when she did and woke me up to the damage that one’s suicide does to those they leave behind, I probably would’ve done it first. Even after I went through a really dark spell where I just wanted to be with her and didn’t feel I could face things on my own, and had to remind myself of how her death affected her kids and those that loved her. God, I wouldn’t wish any of that pain on my own children. In fact, I believe my death would kill my oldest son. I have no doubt about it.
      I’m glad I have all of you. You keep me strong. You emotionally slap me when I start telling myself those old lies again. And I have no doubt that my future is going to be the better for it. Thanks for being my buddy!

  2. No, I am in awe of you! Truly I am!!
    I tend to forget that though things have been tough I’ve been blessed with decent health. As difficult as things seem at times, just knowing you makes me aware that my struggles could be so much worse. You handle it with such grace, strength, and without complaint, that I sometimes am embarrassed that I feel sorry for myself at all. I feel truly blessed that you have become my blogger friend. I chuckle now that we had such a rocky start over something as trivial as Bin Laden. Oh well, perhaps our passionate opinions were one of the things that brought us together.
    Anyway, how’s the hubby doing? Better? I pray for both of you, although I know we differ on that too.

    • My motto is give us this day our daily whinge. And I do. And believe me if complaining would take it away you wouldn’t need the internet to hear me. It doesn’t work though, and it uses energy I don’t have. The smaller portion is doing OK thanks, though it will be a long hard road for him/us. With luck they will be able to reverse the colostomy in 3 to 6 months. Another hospital stay, but hopefully a whole lot less eventful.
      Blessed with decent health you say? What about depression? That one is a biggie. And people here tend to discount it. It can’t be seen it doesn’t exist. Which makes me want to spit. Mental health is at least as important as physical and emotional health.
      And yes, I think it was our strong opinions which brought us together and our ability to agree to disagree.

      • I’m glad the hubby is doing better. Sickness in the family spills over onto everyone. And truth be known, the smaller portion is probably a ‘huge’ portion of your life and you’d be lost without him (Sorry, I just have to chuckle every time I see you refer to him that way. I never asked why, but I suppose you have your reasons. I call the old man Mr. Fun-Hater, and well…’Asshole’ on more occasions than I care to admit, sooo…)
        Yeah, I know full well how depression can be debilitating, but at least you can stay mobile and free of most symptoms of physical pain while dealing with it. I know when I threw my back out and had a pinched Sciatica nerve and couldn’t get off the couch for months…and I’m not exaggerating it was several months…I nearly lost my mind. It just added to the depression that already existed. So pardon me for tooting your horn, but I think you’re a helluva lot stronger than I am. Cause I was a damn, bawl-baby.
        People there tend to discount depression? In your country, community, or both? I guess I’m glad I live in America then. We are more than aware here that this problem can be life-altering, and no one makes light of it. I just wish we had better therapists available. We have many, but out of the countless ones I’ve seen over the years only one ever actually began to help me. I’m not big on doctors though. I still believe you can see the same results if you surround yourself with people that have an understanding of what you’re going through, and can share their wisdom with you. As a writer I know that words are powerful and stories bring things to light. I must not be too far off in my thinking, because this forum has helped me tremendously.
        I hope you have a Super-licious day, Hon. Just keep telling yourself, “The future looks so bright I gotta wear shades!” Luv ya! 😉

  3. The more I learn of you, the more in awe of your bravery and strength I become. You rock.

  4. my0wneyes says:

    WOW…so sorry that you had to endure all of that. Glad that you overcame a lot and are letting it out now. I hope it helps.

    • So far so good. I actually am not cringing like I thought I would be after dropping all that info. In fact, I feel pretty damn great, like a huge weight was just lifted off of me. Amazing, huh? Just trying to lighten the load a little. Ha..ha.. I’m getting old, and it’s harder to carry then it used to be.

  5. mairedubhtx says:

    Like you, I have carried dark secrets that I have only really discussed with my therapist, one I didn’t even consciously remember until just a few years ago and it happened when I was 7 years old. Somehow I knew then not to tell though I tried to tell my mother in my 7 year old way but was ignored. If you need to talk to someone, perhaps it is best to do it if it will help you heal. Only your therapist could really guide you in this. But do what you need to do to heal and make yourself whole.

    • That’s what I’m doing right now, although all of you are my therapist’s. Ha..ha.. Sadly, I haven’t had much luck with the real ones. That, and I don’t have an arm and a leg to spend on them, and couldn’t get to my sessions if I did. WordPress is free therapy though!
      I don’t expect everyone to come clean in their blogs. I’m not even sure why I am. I started this thing under complete anonymity six months ago, then put a photograph on my About Page, then shared my name with everyone, and now, well…I guess you could say I’ve jumped out of the closet and went “Boo!” I really don’t care. I’m not afraid anymore. I guess I just figure if it helps even one person to want to find themselves, then it’s worth it. I’m just throwing caution to the wind. To hell with it, huh?

  6. jsh0608 says:

    I myself was molested as a child…and I kept it secret…but then one day one of my cousins came up to me and told me that she had been molested and of course when i heard who it was i was startled and i told her that he did the same to me…we didn’t want to say anything, but then our other younger cousin was also being molested by him…and at the time I was the oldest and I didn’t want to say something out of fear. Finally my cousin told her mom and then that guy got put away for a long time. I feel bad cause I, as the oldest cousin, didn’t have the courage to say something when I heard about this news. Sometimes I have to tell myself to let it go. It happened, it got dealt with, no matter who was the first to speak up. It comes up in my mind. It is a hard thing to process, but we just gotta move on with our lives and not let ‘it go’ per say. Remember things that we have been through…good and bad…make us who we are. :0)

    • Yes, you have to let it go. We are not responsible for the actions of another, or even how we chose to deal with it as children. We all take different survival steps necessary at self-preservation, and at the time these things occur we just want to handle it the best way necessary to get through it with as little pain as possible. Hell, you see the same thing in rape victims that occur when these women are much older and should be more capable of handling the situation. The fact is few can handle the pain from this kind of shit, shouldn’t be expected to, and shouldn’t expect themselves to be strong enough to have all the answers. I hope you’re not beating yourself up over this anymore and feeling responsible for what happened to your younger cousins. This is not your problem! This is the perpetrators responsibility and only he should be held accountable for any of it! God, I can’t stress that enough!!!
      I hope your life is absolutely wonderful now, Honey…and you’ve been able to have a full, satisfying life in spite of it. I’d say we’re all more than due for a little damn happiness and peace now.

      • jsh0608 says:

        No I no longer do feel it is my fault anymore. We are all adults…my two cousins have their kids now and are happy in their lives…as am I with my wonderful husband…with all that I have been through in my short 29 years, I think I have become a stronger person. I have my days where I just want to crawl in the corner and cry, but I just get up (with the help of my husband) and get stronger from it each day.

      • Good for you! See that’s what I like to hear is a success story. That gives me and everyone else a little hope that it’s possible. I’d say you’re very fortunate to have a great husband who loves you and helps you through it. We should all be that lucky. And I’m glad you’re still young enough to get a grip on it and enjoy your life. I’ve wasted 48 years wallowing in the bulk of it, and am only now trying to figure it all out. I guess I’ve spent a lot of those years in denial. Well, I guess better late than never.

  7. Oh, don’t worry, it’s all good. I’ve made peace with most of it a long time ago. There for a while though during my life it was touch and go, and really fucked me up. There are still many that don’t know, simply because it’s not something I bring up in casual conversation, really don’t like to talk about much, because of course it brings on dozens of questions…and who the hell wants to sit and answer all of them?
    I really don’t know what’s happening to me right now, Brenda. It feels like I’m coming into my own for the first time. I’m no longer as afraid of facing things as I once was. I no longer feel responsible for taking care of others at my own expense. I no longer feel as codependent as I once did, and honestly this is a good thing. Perhaps not for others. Ha..ha.. Yeah, well…sorry! I just personally know that a lot of us are still really sick from shit that we had no control over, and it’s time we let that go. There are so many great people I’ve met online and I think the majority of them, like me, are hanging onto old shit because they are afraid to admit it to themselves and those responsible. I guess it makes me mad, because why the hell should we be carrying this burden? These are the reasons we can’t have healthy relationships with other people, we can’t be better parents, we don’t love ourselves to believe we deserve the best life has to offer, and then demand we get it. These are the reasons some no longer want to live! It’s just all so unnecessary.

    • Brenda says:

      Understood. I’m glad that you are coming “into your own”. That sounds funny. 🙂 Sounds like you’re on the road to healing. A+++ in my book gf! ~hugs~ Keep up the good work!

  8. Brenda says:

    I so sorry for what you have been through as a child and the secrets you’ve kept over the years. I don’t know if its good to tell the secrets or keep them inside, however, going through some experiences of my own and therapy, I’m been told to “LET IT OUT” as that is the first step in the healing process. Remember, what we have been through in our life only makes us stronger as long as we have overcome the pain, hurt, mistrust, etc., that we experienced.

    Thank you for sharing with us! ~hugs~