I suppose that says it all. Especially for me, there are many times in my life where a held tongue makes all the difference. Wither the holding of the tongue improved or worsened the situation is up for debate.
My mother taught me when I was very small that keeping my mouth shut about certain things could save hurting someone’s feelings. Such as telling someone their hair looked ugly or telling your relatives, “You look fat!” These lessons escalated to knowledge of knowing when it was the wrong time to say something, knowing when to shut up before you hurt someone’s feelings, or when to speak up when I should in order to save someone else from pains and troubles.
However, there is a debate in which I have with myself. Should I have spoken up like I did or should I have just stayed in my room? Was it I that brought the many years of screaming and yelling upon myself? Laying awake in the morning and realizing it wasn’t a door slam or TV that woke me; it was anger. As I lay there looking at the ceiling, I always asked myself, “Stay here and ignore it or get up and protect the ones I love?” I got up every time.
I defended my mother. I defended my brother. I defended myself.
I sacrificed my youth and innocence at about the age of two.
My brother was born. He cried solid for the first two years of his life.
My mother wasn’t strong enough to take on everything at once.
My father continued to ignore it all. I would always feed him and take care of him, my baby brother.
I did what I did out of love. I always came over to mommy when she was silent because I knew I’d find silent tears there upon her cheeks.
I’ve been in public places so many times and wished that I could just disappear when arguments arose over the most stupid of topics. When he would yell in my face and I’d ask myself that question, do I speak? Do I yell back? Do I keep it going? Do I walk away? What will happen if I do? Who will be the next target? Who will get blamed for my disrespect? Who will start staring when I yell back? Who will see the scene midway through and just see a bratty teen arguing about not getting what she wants, not actually the true story? How many times will this happen? Is this my fault? What did we do to deserve this? Am I supposed to do something different to make it stop? Will someone teach me the magic works to make it all go away, please?
I COULD not say how I felt then. Now I can. I’m not afraid of what happens next. I can live my day and almost forget it never happened. Make it a memory forgotten like a movie watched a long, long time ago. Just think of hearing it as a story told by an old friend who you don’t talk to anymore. Make it an old novel with dusty pages in the back of an old library. The farther away you put it, the faster it all comes falling back on you when you least expect it to.
When faced with another situation when you can’t really say how you feel. All over again. I remember. It was my movie, my story, my novel. It was all part of me.