In nursing school they emphasize the importance of silence. Sometimes nothing needs to be said. It's something I found easy to do with my patients. I observe people a lot, the ones who don't like it say I "psychoanalyze" them. I'm not trained to psychoanalyze people, I'm simply observant. I come from an emotionally abusive household where I was to be seen and not heard. My days depended on my parents' mood; if my dad was happy it was a good day, if my dad was upset the day would be spent arguing and yelling. When I would misbehave when I was little my parents would get me to behave by telling me if I didn't they would abandon me. Haha, I wish I was joking. It created in me a chasm filled to the brim with abandonment issues it's taken me until now to get through.
The silence nursing school described was healthy silence. The silence I experienced within my personal life was manipulative and angry. When I was younger silence was everywhere; at the dinner table, in the car, while playing… My parents are good people… now. I forgive them for who they were then because they didn't know any better. I know that for a fact because I had/have the privilege of knowing my grandparents. The older I get the more family secrets are uncovered and the more I understand why the people around me are the way they are. It's so easy to be judgmental and criticize but if I'm honest with myself I dunno what I'm doing half the time! Life is about trial and error. The people around me don't listen to what I have to say because all they see are the mistakes I've made in the past. Oh, and that I'm a woman; all crazy and unstable.
I was always a daddy's girl. My dad always showered me with love and affection, he protected me and loved me. He was also really scary. I remember hiding in the closet crying when I was 3 or 4 because he was fighting with my brothers. Their teenage years were scary… It was like he saved all his love for me and then spent the rest of the day taking out his anger on everyone else around him. Growing up loving a "monster" has probably been the most beneficial and detrimental things to happen to me as a kid. I knew there was kindness inside of him, I had seen it. I knew he possessed love; I felt it. My dad has been my biggest teacher in compassion, not because he shows it to others but because I had to have it to love him. I had to come to terms with the fact that my dad was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My father spends his time in silence and I love my father so I would spend my time in silence with him. I hated his silence.
This resentment of silence built up within me during my teenage years. Until finally I couldn't be silent anymore. My mom had a lot to do with it. She wanted me to be stronger than her. Don't worry my mom messed me up plenty too :) but she taught me not to be afraid of my dad because she would always have my back. She would tell me to speak up for myself. Unfortunately my father was a tyrant who's first response was always "no." What it created was an incredible negotiator but also someone who has to stand up and yell every time an injustice is felt. I've decided to take this drive my parents collectively created within me and use it for good such as activism.
I can't keep my mouth shut when I see or feel an injustice. I have to relearn silence within my personal life. I almost got arrested because I couldn't keep my mouth shut when an officer towed my car for no reason (seriously no reason, I got cleared of everything minus the towing costs). When I feel an injustice it doesn't matter who you are, you're going to hear how I feel about it. Because I react this way often the people closest to me have learned to tune me out. So the last 4 months or so I've remained silent because if you can't respect me I don't have to talk to you. There was no debating, no yelling or name calling I just withdrew and said, "Okay, I'll give you your space." In silence people have time to reflect, time to recognize their feelings and see how they could have handled things differently.
In 2013 I learned who I was and what I wanted out of life. I also healed from so much pain from the past. People close to me tell me I still have to change, this annoys me because 1. let's first acknowledge all the positive change I have undergone and 2. I never said I was done changing and growing. I debate their need to point out the changes I need to make because it feels unfair that they can't acknowledge all the good I do and am and that they would think I was so dumb. My debating usually leads to them giving me a superior, "See what I mean" look. So this next year I will relearn silence and let my actions speak for themselves. When people want to hear what I have to say they'll come to me. Until then I focus on myself.
2014 will be another year of progression. A year of not taking shit personal. A year of being fearless because fear only leads to suffering. I've suffered enough for 10 lifetimes, I'm ready to soar through the rest of my life smiling, loving, caring and sharing my good with everyone I meet. I'm ready to let go of the past. I'm smiling as I'm writing this because it's happening right this second. When I learn lessons I learn them well. I'm tired of feeling angry. If I want to change the world with love and compassion I have to let go of my defensiveness and instead try to understand others so that they can understand me. 2013 was about healing my soul, this next year will be about healing my body and exemplifying my values and beliefs. People don't believe what I tell them because it doesn't look like I follow my own advice so instead of arguing with them on how I live honestly I will instead remain silent and allow my actions to be my voice. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I know who I am and I know I've handled every obstacle that has come my way. I'm proud of myself. That's really all that matters.
"Happiness is the result of love coming out of you. No one else can make you happy." Don Miguel Ruiz