Growing up, I was always told that silence is golden. In truth, I really didn’t know what it meant, but I never challenged the authority that dispensed it and agreed by default with the saying. Being the quiet and solitary person that I am, it was very easy for me to remain quiet and be left to my own devices. I never created a fuss and erred on the side of saying nothing even on occasions where I might have wanted not to. I internalized a lot and swallowed my voice as I recalled the many times I heard “silence is golden”.
As I grew and matured, I found myself often avoiding confrontation, arguments, and for the most part; many reasons to simply say nothing. I figured by saying nothing, I could be accused of nothing and that was fine by me. Well, that was until I realized by silence was often mistaken for passivity or complacency and it allowed people to take advantage of me because I rarely fought back verbally. As the years passed, I started to realize that I couldn’t hold others continually at fault for their treatment of me because by remaining quiet, I’d given them license to misinterpret my silence. Family members receive my silence as me either siding with them or their being able to get over as I sat back and allowed them to do their thing. That practice led into me tolerating a lot of unnecessary bullshit from boyfriends because I would more often that not either walk away or not call them out for their shit.
More time and years went by and someone finally asked why I acted the way I did as I sat crying one day completely exhausted from anger and crying over the situation I found myself in. Their question stung like a hot poker on a cows arse and I sat their numb and unable to answer question. Feeling like a complete fool, I sat there and began pondering. After some time of reflection, it occurred to me that I had no right to be upset; though I was because I’ d never told the offending party what they’d been doing was annoying and hurting me. And like the proverbial shit hitting the fan, I then found myself completed cover in the stink of years of teaching people how to negatively treat me. My silence taught them they could use, manipulate, and/or control me with their actions because I said nothing to defend myself or prove them otherwise. I finally realized that silence is not always golden; that instead it’s quite tarnished and likened to a lie. Why? Because as I just said, how can someone know what you’re thinking or feeling if you don’t tell them? As much as some may profess, they are not mind readers and are clueless unless something is explained.
Silence is a lie and both are killers! They kill happiness, they kill results, and they can kill self-esteem, trust, and lawd knows; a plethora of other thing. Silence kept is a situation or a problem exacerbated. My silence allowed someone who inflicted great harm on me to walk. My silence allowed years of torment and pain. My silence taught others bad habits. My silence caused me to harm myself for more than 3 decades. I could go on and on, but my point has been punctuated. Contrary to popular belief, silence can cause as much; if not more harm than it can good. Think of the many times you, yourself remained quiet; especially on times you didn’t want to and who go hurt the most? Be honest! Give yourself a moment of quiet introspection and the results will most likely startle you.
We’re in a new year and it’s time to get your life right. It’s time to call a spade a spade. Let’s not continue to celebrate silence as golden because when it’s causing harm, it’s sure as heck isn’t shiny and pretty. It’s time to make some noise; time to step up instead of continuing to shut up. You can do it; I have faith in you. The song, “Let Me Clear My Throat”, is playing loud as hell in head. Let it play in yours!
That is all!