Dear Speak Your Silence Reader,
This adventure called life, has the uncanny ability to assist one in experiencing a myriad of emotions. Every thing from joy, awe, gratitude; to anger, depression, or even frustration.
We are all on this journey, and unfortunately sometimes we walk away from experiences that leave us changed or altered. We’re affected by these encounters in which abuse may have occurred, death, neglect, or some type of trauma and we walk away owning or re- writing our identity around the experience. This can then cause behaviors that are detrimental, mindsets that are intrusive and patterns that tend to scream out the hurts that are too painful to say out loud. Sometimes during this process you may have lost your voice and became quiet. You may have disguised your voice and really became louder so that no one can tell that you are really hurting. Despite the learned behavior or way of coping, what you are really looking for is healing, for reason, for purpose behind your pain.
But what does healing look like, and how can you attain it? It looks and sounds a lot like freedom. And what does freedom mean? It means, the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. Or here’s another definition; personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery. Everyone has their own process of healing, everyone has their own journey of what it looks like to be free or aware of old behaviors, mindsets, and patterns that may have enslaved you for a period of time. According to Bessel Van Der Kolk in the Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma,
“Most human suffering is related to love and loss and that the job of therapists is to help people “acknowledge, experience, and bear” the reality of life–with all its pleasures and heartbreak. “The greatest sources of our suffering are the lies we tell ourselves,” he’d say, urging us to be honest with ourselves about every facet of our experience. He often said that people can never get better without knowing what they know and feeling what they feel.”
You can only continue to tell yourself for so long that the hurt that was experienced will eventually go away and honestly it is a common starting point. A lot of the time it begins by being honest with yourself. Being honest with yourself by acknowledging the pain; acknowledging the sufferings that were experienced and realizing you can’t do it on our own. You can’t heal on your own and you may need an outside perspective on your situation or your current circumstance. Inviting people into your story and hoping they can aid in the recovery process, hoping you may not feel alone, and sometimes this may require counsel or therapy.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN GOING TO A COUNSELOR. YOU ARE NOT WEAK, YOU ARE NOT INADEQUATE, If anything you are strong and you are braver than most. Being honest with yourself, coming to terms with the hurt, pain, and sufferings that were experienced gives you the ability to find your voice again. Letting yourself heal emotionally and physically is something that can tell the story of survival. Going through the healing process tells the story of resilience, it tells the story of hope. That despite your experience, despite the trauma that was lived, you will no longer be a victim, but you are a survivor and your story is not over, in fact it is continuing.
So honestly this is a post of what life might look like before you set up that appointment. This is for you, who is hurting but doesn’t know who to talk to or who they can trust. This is for the person or you knows someone who is tired of the cycle of anxiety, depression, or unhealthy relationships. This is for you, if you feel like you lost your voice or you who may be disguising your voice with volume because speaking about your experience really hurts. This blog is an affirmation for you whoever is reading this. That life has its ups and downs, its highs and its lows. The hurt you’ve experienced does not have to be something you carry along on your journey. It’s something that can be walked through, it’s something that you can learn from, and it’s something that you can say I’ve been through hell and back, but I’m still here, I’m still moving, and I have a story to tell. Jaeda DeWalt said “When we learn how to become resilient, we learn how to embrace the beautifully broad spectrum of the human experience.”
If freedom is something you are looking for friend, can I tell you that it’s out there. Freedom from the emotional and physical chains that have almost become a comfort. Freedom to know that your life is something that can tell a story and even help free the chains of others. So reader, if you are thinking about counseling, if you know somebody who needs to find their voice or someone who wants to re-write their narrative, remind them and yourself that their story, your story, HAS THE POWER TO CREATE FREEDOM. Your story does not have to end here. Your feelings do not have the final say. I hope you decide to BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS and continue to live the life that you are capable of living.
Jaycynth Romeo Fernandez