Tag Archives: speak up

Be seen and heard

Shh.

Be quiet.

Don’t speak.

Be seen and not heard.

Make yourself small.

Cower in the corner.

Become invisible.

Keep the little girl inside you little.

This is my beloved Son; listen to him, God said of Jesus.

Did God say of me, This is my beloved daughter; listen to her?

But who can hear me when I am being quiet?

How can you listen to me when I am not speaking?

If I remain tucked in the corner, trying to be invisible,

how can I spread God’s message of love and forgiveness?

God whispers to me.

Think big thoughts.

Speak up.

Make yourself seen and heard.

My mother’s secret revealed

I got married when I was eighteen and moved to Virginia because my husband had two years left in the Navy. He was at sea more than he was home, so it was a mystery why I could not live with my family. But he wanted me in Virginia, so I obeyed.

Another Navy wife befriended me and helped me acclimate. I joined a church and got a job.

My father had been against my getting married and had predicted troubles; his predictions came true.

After two years, I saw clearly what my life would be if I stayed married, and I told my husband I wanted a divorce.

Secret-vulnerable-family

He was shocked because I never stood up for myself. I had been timid, fearful and compliant.

After he left, I started thinking about moving home.

Then my father called and told me I was not welcome at home. He was angry with me.

Now it was my turn to be shocked because I did not understand his anger. I could not argue with him, though, because what he said was true—I had only been married two years, and I was the one who asked for the divorce.

My dad, with his dry sense of humor, claimed he had bought a billboard on I-94 that said, “I am still paying for the god damn wedding, and she is already divorced.” He told me I had made my bed, so….

There I was, stuck in Virginia with no family support. I felt I was being punished for breaking the rules.

I didn’t go home that Thanksgiving or Christmas, and by the new year, I was in a deep depression.

In February, my older brother cleared the way for me to come home for a weekend, and I jumped at the chance.

Frosty is how I described my dad toward me. He allowed me to enter his house, but he was unhappy about it. I was mystified by his anger. I knew he was disappointed about my not staying married, but this seemed so extreme.

When I got on the plane to fly back to Virginia, I was even deeper in despair. I remember thinking, “I hope my seatmate does not ask me who I am because I don’t even know my name anymore.” Then I started to cry.

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Fifty years later and just days before my mother died, she told me that after he left Virginia, my ex-husband had come to talk to my dad. She did not know what was said, but I could imagine because I knew that my ex-husband had dished dirt about me to our friends.

Suddenly, my dad’s anger from fifty years ago made sense. He had believed whatever lies my ex had told him; he had thought the worst about me.

I was furious because I knew that my ex had not told him the whole story, he had blamed me and not admitted his part in the breakdown of our marriage.

I realized I had been keeping a secret, too—the secret of what my husband had done to me.

Secret-vulnerable-family