Speaking out

SPEAK OUT… I’ve been reading other’s stories and my fingers have been itching to share. And even as I finally stop “just check my email, just check what the kids are doing” procrastinating, I’m still not sure what it is I want to say.

There was violence in my family. Angry, stubborn, aggression that spilled from one to another to another until it became some sort of intimidating parody of itself.

But the problem I have with sharing it is that it’s not mine to share. It’s my mother’s. And my brothers’. And my sisters’. Everyone else’s but mine.

It was before my time. Most of it. But the bits that weren’t, the bits that pale in comparison to other bits – the bits that I’ve been told I bore witness to – I don’t remember.

I exist in this half-blind romantic glow of my childhood. Bitter sweet. Sad but supported. A whirlwind of domestic pain swirling around me while I stare doggedly at my feet.

So … speaking out? I think I’ve built a life of not speaking up, not speaking out and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Not in the space of this blog in any case. The good news is, I’ve no violence in this life to speak against.

And so for the most part I play oblivious to the background noise that is my family’s past.

Perhaps that is to my mother’s credit… that she walked away and now the violence that could have ruptured us entirely is now just background noise.

I know it’s not like that for everyone. Not even for everyone in my family. We are each wending our way back to an acceptable peace.

Undoubtedly words are important. Anyone putting up with abuse – emotional, financial, physical – needs to know it’s not their fault and they have worth and they deserve better. Words will help them learn that.

But steps, actual steps, one foot in front of the other… that’s the only way to leave domestic violence behind.

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