“Why can’t you Suffer In Silence?”

It was a valid question – “why can’t you Suffer in Silence until we talk to — (our therapist.)” I immediately understood why they would ask the question. We were different that way. They didn’t open up easily to people. They had suffered greatly in silence throughout life. It saddened me to know of their suffering, isolation, the depth of disconnect from the people around them and the world at large. They had suffered greatly, and it mattered to me, deeply.

I had suffered in silence, mostly as a child, sometimes as an adult, and learned through lots of therapy that sharing hardships, problems, challenges, joys and life’s happenings, with trusted friends, family members and therapists, was healthy, was good for me. It allowed my suffering to be heard and not shut down in a place in me that still exists, but that chooses to connect and be seen. It isn’t easy. It’s a choice. It’s what I choose.

We were different that way; neither of us wrong or right, just different.

Suffering in silence – it’s what so many people do. Some of it forced, some by choice. . .

A mother nursing a sick child, a sick child unable to understand its illness, a husband nursing a dying wife, a dying wife worrying about her nurturing husband, a child being sexually molested by a parent, a parent molesting his/her child, a child being bullied at school, a bully isolated and hurting at home, a loved one living with an addict, helpless to make a difference, an addict living with an addiction, helpless to make a difference, a woman beaten by her mate, a mate who beats his partner. The silence louder than any audible sound.

At times Silence is Golden. I get that. I yearn for silence, I treasure silence, I need silence. I do though, choose not to be silent when doing so causes me emotional and mental suffering. I lived in that cage many times as a child with no voice. Isolated by so many things I was afraid, sometimes terrified to say. Living within a mental wall forced on me by my environment. A father raping me every day with the threat of, “if you tell anyone I will kill you.”

Learning to speak was a long, hard and eventually rewarding road. Risky, isolating, depressing, suicidal, healing, bonding, beautiful and life-sustaining.

I want to talk – to talk about things that aren’t said, the silence that lingers in the space that holds so much healing if only the words could flow, could find a platform, and prayerfully bridge the great divide.

What do you not say . . .


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