Not Speaking Up – Silence: Is That a Form of Self-Abuse?

by Anonymous

Sometimes we speak but we are not heard.

Sometimes we are made to feel like what we are expressing is not of importance.

When this occurs it leaves us feeling like we should have not said anything at all and should have remained in silence.  I feel that as women we have all done this to some level and it is the silence of not speaking our truth that really hurts us deep inside.

This silencing of ourselves is a form of abuse.  It hurts us and it also hurts those around us.

The fact that we are choosing to not say anything even though deep inside we are screaming, or even feeling completely lost and cannot begin to find the words to express what we are feeling, is so painful. I have often observed my daughter and how she can get all worked up and have a tantrum, but when I allow her the time and space and I am completely present with her, as in I sit down and give her my full attention and listen, she feels heard; she is given the chance to tell me about what is troubling her and a sense of calmness comes over her.

Recently at school she was playing Truth or Dare, even though it is banned at school, and she came home with a letter from her principal.  She was devastated as she had never been in trouble at school before.  After we spoke about it, and she cried, I suggested that she write a letter to her principal and express how she was feeling.

It was beautiful to watch my nine year old sit and write for about an hour – she took responsibility, expressed how she had followed others even though it didn’t feel right, that she didn’t want to be a ‘tell taler’, and how she was sorry.  After writing, I asked her how she felt and her response was: “I feel so much lighter and I am not angry or sad anymore”.

Wouldn’t it be great if we as women treated ourselves like a 9 year old and gave ourselves the space to either write, or express in conversations, some of those old feelings that we are holding deep down inside; the ones that have been there for way too long, eating away at our insides, or are just an extra weight that we no longer need to carry with us.

Inspired by Serge Benhayon and one of his many quotes:  “Expression is Everything”

 

308 thoughts on “Not Speaking Up – Silence: Is That a Form of Self-Abuse?

  1. Many times I have been shot down for expressing how I feel for what feels like lifetimes. But it’s only really recently that I have started to back myself and say “What I am feeling is worth expressing” that in this I called out bad practice at work and it’s been appreciated. I was in tears of relief as I could 1. feel listened to and 2. claimed that what I feel needs to be expressed regardless of what may happen or not.

  2. A great lesson in parenting and a lesson we all would benefit from learning, to share openly what we feel.

  3. “I feel that as women we have all done this to some level and it is the silence of not speaking our truth that really hurts us deep inside.” This is our greatest hurt not expressing truth, it is our deepest and oldest hurt and affects us far more that any abuse inflicted onto us by others.

  4. This is such a valuable lesson shared here. Silencing ourselves in anyway is a form of self-abuse. Any action or movement that opposes or reduces our natural expression of love, of who we are in essence, dishonours the truth and our innate way of being. The more we connect to and honor the truth we feel within and in our bodies, the more uncomfortable and obvious feels when we do hold back our expression.

  5. It’s common for some to give themselves a hard time for not speaking up when needed – so not only do we hold back our expression but we then bludgeon ourselves afterwards for getting it wrong or not speaking up. I’d say that is self-abuse.

  6. I understand how hurtful it is to not speak one’s truth, when it is felt and known. But I also understand how utterly debilitating it is to dwell on the past – on the ‘what should have been said’. And so, perhaps this, this relationship with one’s expression as a woman and a person, is a relationship based on immediacy, where you learn how to speak when the occasion occurs and to continue to love and cherish yourself even when that occasion has passed without anything being said at all.

  7. I agree that staying silent when we feel there is something that needs to be said is abusive to our bodies if left unexpressed. We may not be right, be able to articulate clearly or it may stir things up in a relationship but the feeling of not expressing is a heavy weight inside me. I keep finding when I express, even if it was difficult, that my body feels lighter and more at ease.

  8. It is inspiring to feel how you empowered your daughter to express and take responsibility for her actions and how she will then take this into the rest of her life and inspire others.

  9. A beautiful example of how important it is to connect with another and allow them space to express, ‘when I allow her the time and space and I am completely present with her, as in I sit down and give her my full attention and listen, she feels heard; she is given the chance to tell me about what is troubling her and a sense of calmness comes over her.’

  10. A beautiful example of the power of expression. How supportive you were of your daughter’s distressing situation, as by suggesting she write the letter she was able to express what was being held inside. So many children are not offered this healing space and therefore continue to carry around into adulthood all those hurts and painful situations which occur in their young and sensitive lives.

  11. Thank you anonymous for bringing to my awareness the truth that when I withhold my expression that I am in fact abusing myself, which could also potentially be harming of others, for what I am choosing to withhold may be of support for them. This is something I will remember the next time I notice that I am shying away from expressing my truth.

  12. There is no doubt about it if something needs to be expressed we do need to allow ourself the space to express what we are truly feeling without needing any outcome. In the understanding of this we can then allow others the space to express what they are feeling also. This makes for more intimacy in our relationships.

  13. It would be great if we all gave ourselves permission to express with love, in full all the time, much as we see young children do.

    1. Yes it would and the more we put this into practise moment by moment the more natural it will become.

  14. It is always important for us to express in full, and not hold back, ‘This silencing of ourselves is a form of abuse. It hurts us and it also hurts those around us.’ Very true.

  15. Such a beautiful example of the innate wisdom of a child. Just imagine how confirming it would be for our young ones if we got ourselves out of the way and allowed them the space to express how they are feeling. Our honouring of their inherent wisdom will be the support they need to naturally retain this wisdom as they grow into the wonderful adults they were born to be.

  16. What a gorgeous life-long blessing for your young daughter – being given permission to express exactly what she was really feeling and then to put pen to paper and send it.

  17. There is an important line in this article about being honest when we can feel something but do not know how to express it. I feel that this is a huge step towards open communication.

  18. ‘Sometimes we speak but we are not heard.’ I can relate to this as so often in the past I have spoken up in a group, not been heard, and someone else has expressed the self-same point. Recently I came to the realization that I wasn’t claiming my authority when speaking. When I speak with this authority my voice now tends to be heard.

  19. Anonymous, your blogs are always so honest and inspiring to read. I am experiencing the same with my mother, now well in her 90’s, that if distressed about something, it is a marker for me to be aware of simply being still and sit with her and she soon settles again.
    “I have often observed my daughter and how she can get all worked up and have a tantrum, but when I allow her the time and space and I am completely present with her, as in I sit down and give her my full attention and listen, she feels heard; she is given the chance to tell me about what is troubling her and a sense of calmness comes over her”.

  20. Great to come back to this blog today as that sit down and express my feelings on a part of life has been long overdue. It’s taken a knock in my car to shake me out of holding it all in using fear as an excuse. Because when I do express it can inspire others to express their feelings too.

  21. Feeling what needs to be said but withholding it, causes a tsunami of tension to build within us and allows a great poison to flood in. Expressing what we feel, no matter how wobbly it may come out is essential if we are to avoid such disaster. Holding a space for each other to express, with no condemnation or judgement but with compassion and understanding is the key here. This is a beautiful example of this.

  22. I love that you encouraged your child to express herself and empowered her to seek her own way of dealing with a situation- great skills for life.

  23. This is a beautiful example of how we can support our children to not hold back their expression, when we express our true feelings we get to feel much lighter and more expansive in our bodies.

  24. Great example of how freeing it is when we express how we are feeling, with no expectation of a particular outcome but for the love and honouring of self.

  25. Perhaps we hold on to things and do not express them in full so that we can create the emotional dilemma and turmoil within. Wow this means if we all expressed our truth we would not have nearly a smidgen of the dramas, tensions and conflicts we have in the world today.

  26. Timely read .. I had lunch with some old school friends today that I went to school with 25 years ago. I have not seen much of them of late so it was really good to see them. One of my mates had baby twins that he was solely taking care of .. his partner was ill and not at home. It was a short visit with them both and not really enough time. I realised just how precious it is to live in the moment and not hold back anything. I wanted to tell them how much I loved them in a group SMS later but felt it would be not ‘right’ to do that. After reading this blog I am inspired to not hold back any of the love I feel deeply inside.

  27. ‘This silencing of ourselves is a form of abuse. It hurts us and it also hurts those around us.” . . . . it is true that expression is everything but I feel it is important that we are aware of the energy we are expressing in. I find it is more loving for me and for others to express after I have given myself the space to process or get over my initial reaction if there is a reaction in me, as then I can look through fresh eyes and express with a far greater understanding of myself and others.

  28. One of the most damaging silences that I have experienced is in not expressing my appreciation for all that is grand glorious around me.

  29. I definitely have learned that not speaking up is a form of self abuse, but not only for you, but not allowing the grace of what needs to be said for the healing of others. I know many many times when I have held back, I have walked away knowing that I needed to have spoken up, but learning to discern more and more when I do need to, then equally when it is not needed.

  30. I actually experienced this earlier in the week. I wrote down everything I was feeling about a situation that I had previously exploded in due to so much reaction and tension. At the end of the writing I came to my part played in all of this. Taking the paper to an Esoteric practitioner I felt that I didn’t need help pulling me out of the mud, the writing did that. It felt beautiful having this confirmed and I put the papers in the shredder. My whole body and being felt lighter! The space that communicating our feelings bring is amazing!

  31. I used to say very little about how I truly felt, I would go along with what others said or thought and would be anxious and tense most of the time. I was bursting to just be real and express. I now share how I feel and in the last few years have expressed openly to women like I never have before. My body feels lighter and clear when I do, compared to the stomach twisting feeling I used to have.

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