Silenced No More

By: Stephanie Salazar

I have thought about writing a blog for a while. Wanting to be asked, but not thinking I ever would be. Why would I be? I am filled with all the things I want to say, want to share, if only someone would ask. What if my thoughts and feelings had worth to someone other than myself? Hell, if I am being honest. I don’t value them much myself. Only in the silence am I able to feel the significance. Yet I have so much to say, if only someone would ask me to share. If only someone would be willing to listen, to believe me.

Then it happens. I am not only asked, I am informed the next blog will be written by none other than me. Yay! Now I am a complete blank. Everything that I wanted to say has been cut off at the throat and magically traveled down all the way to my hands so I can’t speak or type. Well shit…

I thought it was simply insecurities, doubts, fear, and an inability to make a damn decision. Then I understood. To speak means to pay, continually, over and over again. The price is too high. Remain silent. I am broke.

How does the silence start? How do we go from a world of exploring, learning, tasting, moving into careful, quiet beings? Is it as simple as being shushed as a child, taught to sit still, and not speak unless called upon. Does this program us for the damaging silence to come? In trauma it becomes natural to be silent. Not wanting to get in trouble, make anyone mad, do anything wrong, be wrong, get punished physically or emotionally. The silence begins to transform from forced, to resisted, to easy. Until, finally, it is the only way.

The chains are bound so tight the thought of unwinding all of them is excruciating. It is incredible how someone else's choices and actions done to you become your fault. How it becomes your shame to carry and your secret to keep. And how horribly wrong you are if you fail to uphold to this agreement chosen for you.

Now try and take what you have learned and what is acceptable and integrate yourself into the world. You must act a certain way. Keep your mouth shut, bear the weight, take on more, and be grateful you have it so easy. Unlike those with “real problems”. You don’t know what real problems are. You’re lucky you have it so good. If you think it’s too much then you’re weak. There’s no tolerance for the weak. If you’re weak, then you’re an easy target. Hell you’re the obvious target.

As you try to find your space out in the world, out in the great unknown, it’s critical you conform. Conform to what is desired by others so you fit in. So you’re accepted, and good enough to sit next to them for a moment and be in their space. No matter who it is.

Acceptance is the only thing that matters, from whomever, and at whatever the cost. Goodbye to whatever voice is your own. You now disappear and shove everything down deeper and deeper. You get creative on how to release the pressure.…maybe not so creative. The stereotypical outburst of anger. The rebellious behavior. The self-medicating, self-disrespecting, and self-mutilating. You begin to hurt yourself more than anyone else ever could. After all, it’s what you deserve. But shh, don’t play the role of a victim. Suck it up and push it down. Don’t forget to be grateful.

Fast forward through the years, through the experiences. The climbs and falls to the present moment. I have begun unwinding my chains and speaking my truth. Slowly. There are times it flows through me like a dam has broke and there is no shutting it off.

I often sit in awe at the boat rockers and fire starters. Those who stand in their truth and let whatever they feel and who they are flow freely from their lips and bodies. I stand in awe of myself when I am there. I have been there. It is only a place that I visit on occasion but what an occasion it is! One day, I shall live there. Breathe freely in absolute freedom and you’re damn right, I will be fucking grateful for that! Grateful for the strength earned from my life story. Grateful I will finally move beyond the lies and into my life, my choices, my truth.

Guess what world?  If you don’t like it, if it’s too much to deal with, look away. My story hurts. It burns, it’s full of shame and regret but it does not have to continue that way. It is a choice. Not the easy one and I only make it every so often but I am learning. I am practicing. I am releasing myself from blame. My actions were a result and I no longer have to be ashamed of myself for anything I did or anything I experienced. What I do now is a choice and I alone am solely responsible for all of my choices. Good or bad. Even the choices I still hesitate in making. No action is an action itself. It is a choice, my choice, and I own that shit!

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Stephanie is the co-host of the podcast. She’s also mother, a massage therapist, and a Goddess of infinite grace and power.