It took me a long time to break my silence. A full decade in fact. A decade of nurturing myself from a scared and angry child, into a weathered woman. A self taught, self sufficient, mature woman who grew a spine, and learned how to break the silence and secrets I kept for so many years.
I endured so much damage from being abandoned that down to my very core that for years I questioned my worth, my very existence. The bond between a mother and child is meant to be eternal by human nature, and when that tie was severed I made the decision that I wouldn’t go quietly. I was done with the negative voices in my head telling me that I would never be good enough for even my own mother to love. After 10 years of feeling guilty for breathing the wrong way, it was time to be unapologetically me.
There are so many women in the world who walk through their lives ashamed, absolutely traumatized that they don’t have a relationship with their parents. Afraid of the prying questions, afraid of the awkward conversation when you run into an old family friend at the grocery store or church and the get the dreaded, “How’s your mom and them?”. Afraid of facing holidays and the tension that comes with each and every one. Afraid of seeing all of the happy mother/daughter duo posts on Facebook. Afraid of looking in the mirror and not seeing their own worth. Afraid of birthing children alone. Afraid of how to answer the questions those children will be asking 10 years into the future. Afraid of the affect it will have on them long term. Afraid of having genuine relationships, of letting people get too close, because even the one relationship that should have never failed them, did.
Perhaps the thing they fear the most is mustering up the bravery to speak out about their abuse and neglect, just to find that their friends and family would rather silence or shun them than comfort them, or in the very least stand in silence, or solidarity- even just enough respect that they were a victim to great enough pain that they had to end the relationship with the very woman who brought them into the world. A peer who is compliant with the abuse and attempts to silence you does just as much damage to the healing process as the toxic person in your life, little known but proven fact. This is a prime example of why so many women with toxic mother’s carry their pain to the grave.
A common misunderstanding is that when a victim speaks out it stems from anger or a need for revenge. What the peers don’t seem to realize is that by the time a victim speaks up they have already been through all of the phases of grief. We aren’t angry anymore. We aren’t in agony anymore. Most importantly, we aren’t scared anymore. So when you see someone talk freely about toxic relationships, know that the person speaking out doesn’t need to move on. They already did.
I won’t be one of those women. I hate rollercoasters, but I clung onto that one for dear life until my knuckles were white and my mind turned to mush. I’m happy to say that I’m done with that part of my life and now advocating for other women like myself. I will not go quietly.
I will not go quietly anymore.
Survivors, your healing process and how you choose to go about it does not require a stamp of approval from anyone other than yourself. So carry on doing whatever you need to do to heal yourself and know that for each of those in your immediate circle attempting to silence you, there are a hundred soul sisters standing in your corner, rooting you on without fail. I know I am.
The silence of the lambs is over, and all of the black sheep have escaped the slaughter.