Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Losing my voice

My sister, Lis, is now carpooling to work daily with Gluten-free E and my SIL April.  Are you following?  There's a lot of sisterage around here and I'm not even talking about the generation before.  This carpool extravaganza means all kinds of people in my life are all getting together all the time and talking, and I'm not there.   Boo.

I kid, I kid.

It's fine.  I'm glad they all get along and it's funny that E is now spending so much time with both of our sisters all of the sudden.  It's nothing new--various family members on both sides of our family have carpooled in the ten years we've been married.  That's what happens when exactly most of your family works for the state, and works downtown(ish).

The other day E came home with a story from Lis about how when we were kids, I would argue a point even after it behooved me to do so anymore.  Scenario:  I do something my parents don't like.  They tell me to go to my room.  I don't go.  I need to tell them why I did it, or why I should not really be in trouble.  They don't want to hear it.  I keep talking.  I get grounded.  Dad says something like "keep talking, and it will be another week."

It was always another week.

Most of my memories are centered around this idea that I've been so scared of everything for my whole damn life.  I forget that once upon a time (and before I got shut down, hard by a teacher in junior high) I was a bratty creative and verbal child who fought hard to make her point when she felt she'd been subject to a certain injustice.  Indignant was a word I knew well, only kids aren't allowed to be indignant.  It didn't matter if I really did whatever it was I was being punished for.  I was gonna get punished, end of story.

There are lots of reasons to miss childhood.  NOT BEING LISTENED TO or taken seriously?  Those are not two things I miss.  Being a grownup rocks.  Bonus points for being over 30. *high fives self*

It made me laugh to hear Lis' words (through E) because I had forgotten about that.  I know I carry that same sentiment in my heart today.  If something is not right, boy am I going to tell you about it.  I think I've gotten a little (I said a little) better at reading people and rating the plausible success of the scenario before I dive in headfirst as in my insolent youth, but that same fire is in me.

I feel myself chomping at the bit when I don't have a say in things.  I miss having a leadership position at work.  It hurts when (in large family decision-making) I'm told I don't get a vote.  I don't like it when I don't have control over things that happen in my marriage.  We had just one of those kind of situations yesterday (which was, truthfully, an extension of a long-running pattern around here) and it drove me nuts.  I had to sit on my hands and let control go and it made me a teensy bit batsh*t crazy.  Like, 40% batsh*t.

Today my voice is gone, literally.  Laryngitis.  Yesterday's powerlessness over life left my body weak enough for a cold to sneak in.  Illness is a terrible squatter who waits until the front door of your heart is unguarded to sneak inside.  I'm having to choose my words sparingly today so I don't do a week's worth of damage to my glorious vocal cords, and I'm being forced to consider what silence means.

Silence is peaceful only when you want silence.  Forced silence is crazy-making.

But it is a pretty good exercise, right?  Not speaking.  Letting others step forward.  L-I-S-T-E-N-I-N-G.  Letting things play out without trying to alter their course to suit your own needs.  Losing your voice means you have to let go.

This is me letting go.


Um, not really!  That's from last week when I was waiting to go somewhere and I was all eyelinered-up and was still trying to figure out Photo Booth.  I'm not putting up any post-work pics of myself with no makeup on because I might scare the bejeebies out of you.  The emotion is the same.

You get it.

Okay I'll be quiet now.



1 comment:

  1. I related so well to this post. In being a newlywed I'm still learning to find my voice after years of being told I was too loud. Oh to find a happy medium! I'm learning that sometimes sitting quietly and biting my tongue is the best way to find my voice again because I'm giving others the opportunity to share theirs. Anyway, I really appreciated this post. It was the perfect timing for me.

    ReplyDelete