Speaking out

Growing up a girl, I learned to still my voice.  To be a good girl, swallow my loud laugh, and odd behavior.  Hide out behind veils of pretense.  I got into the habit of swallowing and stifling.  Living a lie.  I thought life and all my good intentioned loved ones, were telling me that my obedience would be rewarded.

Roll forward fifty years, and life unravels before my eyes.  I do get time for good behavior, just not exactly the kind I was dreaming of.

While I sat still, and smothered anger, and impolite retorts, a bramble grew up around me.   Woven tight around my throat, it was  painful to speak my truth.  A rough unpracticed sound.  The need to be perfect, polished and practiced pulled my jaw shut. The Polite Woman,  bound in fear. Needing a safe space to cry in, perhaps to die in.  Who could bear the pain of being a silent woman. Invisible and forgotten.  Dusty, and stiff.   Learning to dance with a rose in my teeth has been a challenge that made me weep.   As I dropped the veils and entered the hall of naked.  Exposed. Vulnerable.  Ashamed.

A funny thing happened when I shed my cloak of polite indifference.   My laughter changed.  The barbed wire cutting into my heart melted.  I felt powerful.  I found me. Feeling my feet touch the ground, the earth in my toes.  That freedom to run wild, has opened me up to a joy I had forgotten.   I can laugh from the belly.  Life is not perfect and neither am I.  But I no longer need a keeper at the gate.    Lifting my voice has opened up the view from my throat tower.  My voice box has a melody..  The other day I saw the golden nightingale fly free.   I can laugh without waiting for permission.  I feel safe.  I dont have the urge to fix anyone nor pout about my put upon life.

Speaking out, with my truth.  Letting go of the millstone of being a victim.  Of blaming others for a life less lived.   My stories, like your stories are part of our makeup.  They make me who I am.  Your stories mark you, and strengthen you.

Are you ready to let go of holding on for the neigbor’s sake?   When you surrender to your truth, miracles happen which feels so right and so good.

No more waiting to fill your dance card.  You will go to the ball.


Jen Duchene.

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Speaking out — 10 Comments

  1. Dear Jen. It is a delight to see & hear your voice! I am so happy to have you in my virtual world, and hopefully more in my personal world as time marches on! Thanks for sharing your experiences

    • Dear Irene, thank you. I am thrilled to have you in my virtual world too and yes – I would be delighted to spend more time with you. Thank you for taking the time to express yourself & to read my post.


  2. I appreciate your openness about something very personal to you. Your story mirrors my childhood experience somewhat…always being told to be quiet & that no one wanted or liked hearing my voice. This has had very damaging repercussions for me as my life has unfolded. Now as I begin to see it & to find my voice there is much conflict as others feel they have lost their ability to manipulate & control me. I have disrupted their plans & expectations for me as I have begin to find my own voice & letting it be heard.

    • Dear April, I applaud you for finding your voice and being brave enough to speak out. Wonderful I am very open to sharing if it helps others. Thank you for sharing your story. It is not always easy.

  3. Great post! So relatable. The trick is to simply not care I think.. if others are uncomfortable around your comfortable-ness. Thanks Jen for your honesty!

  4. Wow Jennifer, what a great post. As you speak about your laughter, it reminded me of when I was told that my laughter was too LOUD. Back then I didn’t realize how unhappy and insecure the person was that told me that. Why would you even want to quiet someone’s laugh. Thanks for your story 😀

    • Dear Marilyn, thank you. You bring up an excellent point. People point out things that relate to their own hot buttons . Precisely! why would anyone ever want to quiet the sound of joyful laughter? Thank you for sharing and commenting. So appreciated.

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