I felt like writing today. It’s been a long…overemphasis on LONG…time since I’ve felt the urge to write. I’ve been too consumed with reading. Or perhaps I just haven’t been sure what to say. I’ve had many thoughts that I’ve been processing; new ideas, old ideas, deconstructing, reconstructing… but none of these thoughts have been pressing on me to be written. It’s been a lonely, hard season for so many people. I hesitate to even write that because I know it touches on raw nerves for a vast majority of folk amidst this unprecedented time.
I’ve had a phrase sitting cold on the back burner for a while…unsure how to go about writing about it, I’ve just left it there marinating. The phrase is…you’ve guessed it…the blog title “When Silence is the Loudest Scream”. To be honest, when I check in with my body, I am battling anxiety at the thought of writing about this. I feel like I have so many related thoughts going around my head, each one saying “pick me, pick me”.
Over the last few years I’ve often reflected on how I was perceived by people during the 15 year span in an abusive marriage. Did people see me as withdrawn, cocky, unsure, unstable, on edge, needy…and the list goes on. To be honest, I was probably all of those and more. And silent. My silence was in my compliance. I started off worshiping my abuser. I had him on the highest pedestal…hence my cockiness. I needed someone I thought was way better than myself to give myself the value I didn’t think I had on my own. Pure co-dependency. I began to adopt opinions and belief systems that weren’t my own, weren’t of my nature, because I didn’t know that who I was/am in my truest form is actually beautiful without having to attach to anyone or thing. Over the span of years in abuse eventually my abuser came off his pedestal, but I was stuck. I didn’t believe in divorce, even amidst the overt abuse, so I just wished I would die, that seemed like the only option. In the meantime, I had to find a way of making the abuse okay, so I made excuses. I felt like I could see people withdrawing from us…I wanted to say “help, this isn’t a reflection of who I am”, but I didn’t feel like I could because I felt apart of my abuser, we were one, I represented him…or so he told me. Silently screaming. Alone. Not allowed to foster friendships, they were all sabotaged by my abuser…subtly of course; he’d criticize everyone behind their backs (no one was exempt…not always initially, but eventually he’d find faults to pick at). I later found out this is a common tactic abusers use; it kept me from building friendship, keeping me isolated, keeping me from becoming aware that how I was being treated wasn’t okay. And it worked. For many years…15 to be exact. I drank the Kool-aid. Finally, in a safe and loving community, my silent scream was heard. To those that heard it, I am eternally grateful. For those who found me awkward, withdrawn, cocky, edgy, unstable, needy etc..I don't blame you, I just hope this sheds some light. Abuse can be very hard to spot from the outside. I share this to hopefully bring some awareness. I am not a victim, I am a survivor. I merely mean to say, you never know who around you might be screaming in their silence.