Silence is golden?

7 Sep 2018

So it is said. There are many examples of silence being healing and restorative; retreats, meditation, solitary walks, etc. Noise rattles me, particularly others peoples over which I have no control, no choice. Loud music blaring from cars or from the neighbours' garden, and don't get me started on leaf blowers - and yes vacuum cleaners too, although unlike leaf blowers, they are actually useful! The list of irritating noises goes on, but this is a blog about silence and give me silence any day.

I seem to have made a good case for silence – right?


Silence isn't always welcome, especially not when one is silenced. I clearly remember getting my mouth washed out with salt age around 5/6years old for telling my sister I hated her. At that moment I did. She stole my doll and pulled her hair out. My mum didn't see this as she was in another room, but she did hear the words erupt from my mouth and so the result was to "clean" my mouth out.

But in doing so, she silenced me - for the next 45 years. I can still feel the rage now as I write this, the blood boiling in my veins as I was dragged to the cloakroom where my mouth was washed out. The injustice, how dare she, she didn't see what really happened. Of course I couldn't say anything, I had just learnt that the punishment for saying how you feel is violence. My innocent, momentary rage now fuelled by my mother's rage.

This was possibly the first time I was silenced, but it wasn't the last. I was silenced again 5 years later by my dad over an incident that I was "never to talk of again" and so I did not - until 40 years later when it erupted out of me! Inappropriately I might add, but I guess when an emotion - rage again - has been ignored for so long, it is going to take it's chance to escape when it can. One way or another, it's not going to be ignored any longer and it is coming out, it was past caring who saw it. It was not waiting for the right moment, there was to be no finesse, no politeness, no planning about the where and when – it was coming out NOW and nothing was going to stop it. And so it did. There was a bit of a mess to say the least.

It's hardly surprising then that I'm struggling to find my voice. But I am finding it. Slowly. And today, I understood for the first time, why this teasing out has to be done gently, with patience, respect and kindness.

Were the rage to flood out of me in an uncontrollable manner, it would leave an almighty trail of destruction in it's wake, not that it hasn't done so already. I've paid the price - enough. Finally, I'm recognising my rage, acknowledging it and making peace with it and now I have plans for it. I'm not looking for it to go away, but I am working on how it might serve me better rather than hinder and destruct.

I have a good feeling that it will be my rage that will help me find my voice.


A Moodscope member.

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