I kept quiet for longer than I should have, long after I left my parent’s home.
I encourage all people, especially women, to find your voices and let yourselves be heard.
The mistake I made was that for too many years I blamed my father for silencing me. And as a child he did, but once I became an adult, it wasn’t my father who silenced me, it was me.
I had created a story about why I was the way I was. (To read the longer article click here.) I used that story about my father to justify not speaking up. The actual details of the story were true, but I wasn’t recognizing that I—the adult who was telling herself that story—was no longer a child.
At some point I asked myself, “Do I want my past to predetermine how I live my life today?” At first, I could barely hear my own response because my voice was too small. But, I asked again and again until I heard myself loudly declaring, “No!”
The key for me to change this was to realize that I had made up this story, not the details, but the meaning of the story. I was still using the story to diminish myself. My father wasn’t here doing this to me now. And the story only had the power that I gave it.
So, I took my power back. I acknowledge this was an old story. I wondered who I might be without this story. I couldn’t change my past but I could change the way I made meaning of my past.
The very act of changing the meaning of our stories—stories that were handed to us, that once defined us—is extremely empowering. It is an act of self-creation. It is an act of speaking out and I strongly encourage you to do so.