Why I won’t shut the hell up anymore.

[People who have known me most of my life {and EVERY school teacher I had} would probably say that I never shut up anyway 😉 ]

It was well documented on my previous blog, as well as on many Facebook statuses, Tweets, and Instagram uploads, that I had a really shitty time with my parents and siblings a while back. Things were said and done and despite me feeling like it was MY decision to walk away, I also feel at the same time that I was kind of pushed away. I’m not interested in rehashing all the details, but what I discovered in the whole painful process was something surprising.

My voice.

The voice that signed up for something called a blog back in about 2007. The voice that had loved the expression of creative writing for many years until babies and childrearing shoved it all the way into the darkest corner of the cupboard, where it sat ignored for a long time. Blogging woke that voice up. The outlet that came with blogging made me sit up and take notice of the world in a different way. That voice was excited because even though not a lot of people were listening, it had a new and exciting way to share some of the {very occasional} gems that came from it.

Personally, however, in some of my real life interactions, I stayed silent. For years I faced the frustration of having to edit and censor my thoughts and opinions because with certain people, it just wasn’t worth the hassle of doing anything else. The good girl lodged deep in my marrow avoided saying anything that would ruffle feathers and create or feed tension.

I blogged for the whole world to read, but couldn’t speak freely to my own mum.

Until one day I blogged about my mum.

Faced with the end of the relationships that stifled me and ultimately rejected me, I told the key people involved what I was really thinking. I blogged about them a bit more, mentioned them all over social media some more. I think, looking back, I just needed to be heard. I needed to let the world know that I wasn’t some crazy bitch who couldn’t even get along with her own parents.

And what I found was that when I started talking I could no longer stop.

My voice had been reawakened and I didn’t want to be the quiet girl anymore, the one who shut her mouth to avoid conflict with the same people she didn’t want in her life anyway.

The last two years have been one hell of a journey. And it was only last week, when I spoke to someone for the first time in forever, that I was fully aware of the changes in me. I said things, blunt and honest, I never would have said before. I said things that, before, I would not have been able to force through my lips. Not mean things, just the truth. I wasn’t nasty but I was scathing. The title of the post that kicked off the whole shitstorm with my family was called Oh How The Truth Hurts, and never had I felt those words to be more true. In a conversation that was mostly very calm, the brutal truth of my words would have been hard for the other person to hear.

But they were my truth, and I was a little saddened but not surprised to find that almost two years apart had changed very little.

I don’t know what the future holds. I’ve come a long way and there’s nothing left to go back to even if I wanted to, and I don’t want to anyway. It’s really hard to face the fact that some people can have no place in your life despite the closest of blood ties. And it’s hard but also freeing to be able to tell them that.

I once knew someone who was in a bad marriage, and suffered abuse both emotional and physical. She stayed silent and played the happy and in love wife for a long time, but when the dam broke, boy, did it break. Once she started telling her story she couldn’t stop. It was like, after finding the courage to tell the truth, she now needed people to hear it and recognise it for what it was. And I can totally relate to that.

I used to marvel at my husband, who is one of those people that we might label as direct. He has never had a problem speaking up when it’s needed, and I was always jealous of that. I used to wish it would rub off on me, and enable me to cast off the paralysis that came whenever I was faced with anything even resembling a conflict. You used to have to shove me so hard and so far back against that fucking wall until I felt completely trapped in a corner before I would speak up. I could blog about almost anything, I could make polite conversation, listen to friends, be sociable and have a great time, but I could never tell certain people what I was really thinking.

So the gift of self expression that came to me many years ago with a very small blog that only two other people ever read {thanks Zara and Jac 😉 }, combined with the worst hurt I have ever experienced, has all led me to where I am today. Someone who can finally say what needs to be said. Because, and here’s something really important I learned, relationships are tricky when someone stays quiet and pretends everything is fine. And even though it mostly was fine for me, there were times I should have confronted someone and I didn’t. There were things I should have said, in no uncertain terms, that would have avoided the consequences I faced instead.

Someone said to me last week, “you guys sound like a musical family”. They said this because we were at a concert with our son the music journalist, discussing our other son who’s a musician and budding producer. But I think that what we’re really into is words. A lot of the time those words are being expressed through music, and a lot of times we read other people’s words in books, but we all love words. Words are powerful, magical, and so important.

And it’s really nice to finally have that invisible gag off my mouth.

A.

 

 

    1. Thanks for that Susan, it’s perfect. Add in an overbearing parent and it’s no surprise I guess.

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  1. AMEN! “Words are powerful, magical, and so important.” You said it! 🙂

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    1. Thanks babe. X.

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  2. This post could have been written by me. I don’t know all your circumstances, but I went through some awful times with my Dad and we no longer speak. I am finally ok with that. I feel very connected to you x

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    1. I thought the same when I read a post of yours a little while ago. It’s a strange mix of sadness and strength. But I would never go back, and I am ok saying they have no place in my life anymore. Xxx

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  3. […] Why I won’t shut up anymore life lessons this last year included this big one: sometimes you have to speak up. I may have learned it the hard way but I wouldn’t swap where I now for anything. […]

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