Lately I have learned a lot of things about myself. In fact somethings have pretty much slapped me in the face. I feel like I have been walking around in a fog, and then I walked face first into a glass window smashing the glass along with my reality, well what I thought was my reality. Has anyone ever been living a certain way, thinking you know yourself fairly well, and then just had the biggest (Oprah) AHA MOMENT!? Suddenly all you thought you knew is pulled away and you’re left standing amongst the shattered glass wondering how you didn’t see it there all along?
Well that’s me right now. Stunned and also suddenly wide eyed! I had a moment where I was confronted by a situation that left me feeling completely shut down, silenced and vulnerable. This feeling was nothing new, sadly it was a familiar pattern. I’m just a girl after all, who was I kidding thinking I could use my voice. I need to sit and look pretty and be polite. Don’t fight the system, just dab those tears away and shut your pretty mouth.
After the incident I had a shower and I just cried, the kind of cry where you feel it in your chest, where it actually feels like physical pain. I felt robbed, I felt silenced, and I felt helpless.
As part of my anxiety therapy I have been attending the most fabulous mindfulness class. During the class we were asked to speak of an incident that upset, or caused us to be hurt during the past week. Everyone went quite deep, so I decided to open up to the group, needless to say the group where appalled by what had happened and immediately went into chants of how unjust this treatment was. The group facilitator who is a very talented psychologist pulled the group back in and started digging deeper, asking me to describe how I felt in my body when this occurred and what my thoughts and feelings were. It was hard to go there, but as I described to her my sensations she asked if I was Angry? No I said, I don’t get angry. She pushed harder asking why wasn’t I allowed to get angry and why do I struggle to identify anger?
I realised she was right I was angry, and finally seeing that I felt empowered. She made me see anger as not just something that in particular as women are discouraged to feel, or acknowledge, but that it is not always the bad emotion it is thought to be. Used in the right way, anger can lead to positive change, to fighting for our rights, and allows us to channel that emotion into a better life.
She then questioned me as to why I was not fighting for my rights? The answer was simple to me, “because it won’t change anything‘. What she said next shocked me, she said she would guess that somewhere in my past I got angry, I tried to fight, I tried to be heard and yet I came out of that situation more hurt because I fought.’
That was my AHA light bulb moment. Instantly I knew she was right, I flashed back to the exact moment and the glass smashed around me. How had I not seen this. How have I allowed myself to be silenced for so long! I have lost my voice, on the surface I agree and smile, I am polite and sweet, and yet inside I am craving desperately to be heard.
It is strange how we can live with things that are causing us pain, and yet we choose to play pretend. All I want is to have a voice. Yet I am so afraid to fight for me.
We all deserve a voice, we shouldn’t be silenced, shut down, or made to feel like we don’t matter.
I see it now, the fog has lifted, I’ve broken down the first barrier, but now comes the even harder part, figuring how to break down the steel box that still encases me. Wish me luck.
Has anyone had a similar experience? Does anyone else feel silenced? Any advice?
Thanks for reading, love Mackenzie