You’ll have to try this at home, folks
Those who are silenced scream inside. Their screams freeze and they cannot live fully in the world. But as I wander around Family Ground Zero, I notice that I feel unburdened, elated, and free. I am no longer silencing myself. Not that I wouldn’t welcome the cooperation of relatives, but it’s the insidious self-silencing that has gagged my life force all these years. I was watering my own grave.
I cannot recall all the people who have found ingenious ways to slap a clumsy fist over my mouth when I raise the issue of my past. But what I do know is that each and every time I give myself permission to ask questions, the web of confusion untangles. Every time someone does answer a question, with openness and courage, or extends empathy and kindness even if they don’t have any answers, the web of deceit uncoils, sometimes by a millimetre, sometimes by a mile.
I never know in advance who will offer a stretcher and who will try and clamp stubby fingers over my halting words. But by now it matters less who listens and who silences because as long as I hear my story, the way opens. The river flows. How I wish I could bottle the exhilaration I feel as I hone my right to ask questions, because nothing comes close to the high of uncorking the silence. I have no words for this, people. You’ll have to try this at home.