I used to find it excruciatingly hard to speak out about things or even voice a simple opinion on something trivial, I cringe at how hard I used to find it and it got me in many a sticky situation.
A few nights ago I was in bed finding it hard to sleep and my mind drifted back to my childhood and things so much became clearer as to why i used to be so scared to speak out, when I felt something was wrong or just a simple opinion on something.
I remember when I was about 9 or 10, after years of violence I was asked if there was violence going on at our home by the perpetrators father.
I was suspicious and scared right away, why were they asking me that?
I remember panicking at thought of the circumstances of telling the truth and was immediately scared that it would be result in another night of violence and being scared for our lives at the hands of him. So I replied; No.
It has been one of my biggest regrets in life.
I wish I had said yes, but I thought it was the best thing to do at the time, but it backfired, my mom had spoken out about the violence to a relative of his, that relative was then told what I said. They then thought my mom was lying, she WAS NOT. This relative then immediately stormed over to where we were living and started a physical fight against my mom in the street which I got involved in, they’re actions disgusted me and still do to this day. Noway was I about to let my mom be attacked by somebody else, especially a relative of his. I shouted and admitted that I said no because I was scared of him and didn’t want anymore trouble for my mom and me. I felt so guilty for that happening to her and angry at myself.
Bet you would’ve thought that experience would’ve pushed me to start speaking out more, but it didn’t, I turned even more inwards because I was so angry at myself, I just didn’t want anymore trouble for us.
I had no bad intentions, other than putting my own feelings below the opinions of others out of fear. Speaking out only got me in trouble. From that day I kept my opinions to myself, if you asked me your thoughts on something I’d tell you what i thought you wanted to hear. It was my safety mechanism.
When it came to having friendships and relationships, it got me in so much trouble, people used to look at me like a weak person and looking back I guess i can agree with that, because I wasn’t strong enough to speak out.I was a push over, i didn’t stand for anything so i fell for anything.
I was more interested in being liked and accepted and in turn I accepted SO much disrespect from friends and boyfriends when I should have walked away at the beginning.
I was trapped by a way of thinking and wasn’t strong enough to change . My priorities were all wrong, being liked over being real? I’ll take the real now any day!
There has been so many times when I should have spoken out against things that have happened throughout my life, but I just didn’t, I was afraid of losing people and being disliked. I remember telling someone that I’d be more prepared to take the blame and let someone think that they were right about something, than speak out and tell the truth and upset them, if it meant that things would just go away.
I hated confrontation and there should be no surprise as to where that comes from.
So because of this, I’d get myself into all sorts of mixes, being friends with enemies and people who didn’t like each other, humoring either when i was around them it was such a complicated life and I hated it but i prided myself on being this nice person that got along with everybody. Which got me the nickname of ‘The Pied Piper’ because I’d just pick up friends wherever I went.
Of course this made me look bad, it made me look disloyal and I get that, However, I know my heart, it was always in the right place and it had nothing to do with any of those things more to do with insecurity and a low sense of self. I guess you could say my insecurity and low self esteem made me disloyal if you want to. Over time I’ve been called all kinds of things because of this.
I would never do that now if you ask my opinion you will get it. I remember towards my breakdown I started to let toxic friendships and bad relationships slowly go. I went a step further than my burring my head in the sand and wrote letters to two people I used to be very close with whom were affecting me in a bad way, one of them was a friendship of 14 years that had run its course. We had just outgrown each other over the years and I had been told that she’d been speaking negatively about me behind my back.
These people had me believing I was the devil himself, they had me watching crime watch and programs about evil killers comparing myself to them. It took me along time to realise that I wasn’t this person and release myself from those thoughts. Deep deep down, I knew it wasn’t true and that’s why it hurt me so much, I always had good intentions, I had a good heart, maybe too good. Being a people pleaser and not speaking out was for the benefit so pleasing EVERYONE else but ME! The only benefit I had was being able to say I had these so called ‘friends’
I remember screaming out to my mom and saying ‘I don’t want any friends, its too complicated its too much hard work and they just hurt you in the end forget it!.’
In regards to the other friend, that was a friendship of about 10 years, too many things had happened and it had gone too far, they were meddling between myself and the previous friend mentioned above, even in front of other people, telling us both things and feeding it back to the other. Although I still loved them as a person, it meant the friendship would no longer be genuine if it was kept. I couldn’t trust them anymore so I let it go, that one broke my heart because I loved her dearly and couldn’t believe it had come to that, but things had just gone too far.
How do you trust a friend after that?!
I could have brought them both together and thrashed it out, but I didn’t have the energy too, I had to put my recovery first, the friendships ever over anyway. My counselor was also getting very concerned at how suicidal I was becoming and it was one of the reasons why we choose the method of writing a letter rather than a call or meeting up, because the decision was final, no discussion needed.
Funnily enough, those two people are now good friends, although I have no idea how they trust one another.
This brings me to the core of what I wanted to say and what I’ve learned.
NEVER be bullied into silence by anyone, speaking out is so much more important than anything else, when the truth is present it gives you freedom. Honestly and any friendship or relationship that is based on fear is one that you could do without. Respect yourself and love YOU MORE!
Let me know if any of you relate to this at all…x