I feel more vulnerable as an adult speaking, than I did as a molested child who never spoke.
I had a shitty epiphany tonight when I realized the above.
Tonight I had an hour long drive. In the dark. No moon light. No road lights. A straight shot between there and here. I didn’t turn on the radio. I didn’t sing. I thought. And this is what I thought.
Over the years I have been empowering myself to speak-and I do. It’s as if the gates that I had kept firmly locked as a child have been creaking open and doing so at a steady pace. The gates were pretty massive so they have had a long way to creak open. But with each passing year they are the gates that are opening wider to let the flood loose.
I have given myself permission to speak. I must speak, because I can. I am not that child trying to protect myself and I am not that child thinking others need protected from what my words would tell them.
So this speak, that I give myself permission to do, still feels odd. It feels unnatural. But I do it. Thinking, again, that I must. Because I have that right. Yet this pervasive feeling of discomfort persists. I speak and the end result is worry, concern, fear. Who does it impact? How does it impact? Why did I say anything?
When I didn’t speak out loud my thoughts and fears, my worries and joys, my curiosities and mundane, I felt safe. But I wrote them. I wrote them in a manner that even now, as an adult, I can read them and know what I was talking about even when it is not obvious to the casual reader. Not that I shared those written words with others back then. Because, that would have been similar to speaking now wouldn’t it? And I was not going to make myself any more vulnerable as a child. I knew not to.
As a child I didn’t speak my truths because I didn’t trust. As an adult I speak my words because I don’t know to not trust. It shouldn’t matter should it? I’m an adult. I have the right to speak. I should be able to speak as an adult and to deal with the consequences as an adult.
Yet, it doesn’t seem to be so. It is not the way of adulthood. Though by standards set forth for adulthood we must all equally understand the rules of adulthood. As an aside to that, I don’t know how fair or reasonable that is, when I didn’t get the memo on understanding and existing as a child. For that matter, apparently the world didn’t either. Only God Himself knows and understands that as a child, no matter what was happening to me then, I knew no one could doubt my value if I didn’t speak my thoughts, my fears and my embarrassment. I refused to expose myself and take that risk. And knowing many cannot understand that, again, I felt safe in my silence.
How do I get this world to understand?
Even when I know I am right, know that I speak the truth, I do not believe in my value to be truthful or to be right.
Though I have spent many years working hard to empower me. That very same me creates conflicts in understanding that very empowerment.
When I speak strongly or of strength, I am at my most vulnerable. And likely, trying to convince myself of that strength.
When I speak up, I am searching for confirmation, even when I know the truth.
When I speak loudly, I am telling myself to be quiet.
When I speak confidently, it’s a ruse, not to fool you. But to fool myself.
Now, I am exposed.
I am vulnerable with the writing of this and yet I am again telling myself I must speak this. I must write this. I must share this.
I wage this war within me. Speak! Shut up!
Speak and expose my vulnerabilities!
Remain silent and feel safe with my thoughts, my beliefs, my truths!
I fight this battle because I believe the fight is worth it. For me. And for anyone else who may have this battle waging in them and not even understand it.
So I speak this truth.
I know it’s the truth.
And wish I would shut up.