I’m ready to be a voice (I think)

I’m ready to be a voice (I think) July 6, 2011

I don’t always finish what I start. About two weeks ago, I promised a series on the good and bad of Disney Princess movies.  But I never  finished writing even one post besides the introduction.

Perhaps someday I’ll pick the series up again, but at this point I have lost interest. I quit because I got stuck. I had ideas. I even made an outline (and I never do that). But the first movie that I planned on analyzing, Beauty and the Beast, hit much too close to home.

The “bad” that I was going to write about in my analysis of Beauty and the Beast was that it gives girls an incentive to stay in abusive relationships. It promotes the “I can change him!” ideology.

And though I’ve mentioned before that I was once in an abusive relationship, I’d never  written  much about it. I thought I was prepared to explain my failures to “change” the boy that I was with.

But when I sat down to write, I found that I wasn’t as prepared as I’d thought.

I realized that it takes ovaries (which is a feminist’s version of saying “it takes balls”) to talk about abusive relationships. And I wasn’t quite ready to send thosenaked thoughts out into the world quite yet.

What if that ex-boyfriend finds this and reads it?

What if telling my story makes people think that I was weak and stupid?

What if people don’t believe me?

And then I realize that these are the thoughts going through the heads of so many women in the world right now. And abusers want these thoughts running through the heads of women so that the cycle can continue. So, perhaps it’s time for me to start talking.

I won’t promise another series, since I’m not sure how much talking I’m actually ready to do. But I hope that I can start being a voice on this issue. Because women who have been/are being abused need a voice. Women who have not been abused need to hear those voices as warnings. And the men of the world that respect women may need help understanding this issue.

So, I’m going to be a voice. I may start out as a quiet one at first and my voice may crack a little (like I said, I couldn’t even bring myself to write about Disney princesses because of this, so it’s difficult). But I’m going to be a voice.

So, what about you? Do you have something to say for those who feel stuck in silence? Maybe we can speak together.

When we have a voice, we empower others to speak. And maybe one voice can’t drown out the lies, but a chorus sure can. So, if you’re ready, join in. If you’re not, don’t worry. Send me an email (moonsn11@gmail.com)- I’ll do my best to be one for you.

But no more silence.

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  • Thank you Sarah. You are right this is a subject that needs much light shined on it. Victims of abusive relationships need to speak out and get out. I know that this will not be easy for you and will probably take time to get it all into this public forum and want to thank you in advance for your courage and efforts.

    It isn’t just women that suffer in abusive relationships, men do too. We just don’t talk about it because admitting it makes us feel less masculine. But as I find more and more men who have suffered abuse, I know that there are more women and girls in worse situations.

    • Thank you! Yes, I have gotten another email about men who have suffered from abusive relationships. I’ve seen men in mentally and verbally abusive relationships, and those can be just as bad. I’m sure that there are men being physically abused too. I hope that I can gain some more understanding on that issue as well.

  • TJ

    It IS hard to speak up, Sarah.

    My mother was/is emotional abusive. Her abuse has affected me, my siblings, and is reaching down to the next generation. When I started to write about the abuse in a blog, some of my family found it. One of my nieces read my Life Story said told her mother, it was absolutely sickening. Two of my six siblings–sisters who had, like me, been rejected–pressured me to shut up because, after all, it is my mother and our family that I was writing about. I, by the way, didn’t write hate-filled posts. I simply told my story and wrote about the damage. I wrote for those who might be experiencing similar abuse. My sisters told me not to write about them, not to share the blog with my FB page, not to reveal how I found out that family was reading the blog (they told me). I promised, for their sake, that I wouldn’t. For a while, I wrote everything that I wanted to say to my abusive family without letting them know that I knew they were reading. Eventually, though, I felt so unsafe and inhibited by their “presence” that I shut down the blog. But after a few months, I started a NEW one, because I love to write and I cannot be silent. I don’t plan to focus entirely on abuse (I get tired of abuse taking center stage in my life), but I won’t avoid the subject either. Abuse victims need to know they are not alone.

    So keep writing, Sarah

  • Thank you. This is where I was when I started my blog. And I’m getting to that point again in telling my story.

    I keep holding to the fact that “the truth will set you free.” I’m holding onto that for all I’m worth. I’m tired of living in fear that people will find out I was assaulted. I’m tired of living in fear that people will find out I had sex with my boyfriend after knowing him for five months and dating him for three months. Even now, I want to jump in and justify myself a little bit by saying “at least I married him!” as if that makes it any less shameful in my circle of acquaintances.

    But…the truth WILL set me free. The truth will set you free. No matter what it looks like, no matter how we feel about it…it’s freeing.

    Hugs to you.

    • It’s hard not to sleep with someone you love. Me and my current boyfriend are struggling with that now. I can point to circumstances as an excuse for the other times- I was naive and my ex was manipulative, the relationship was failing and I was desperate to save it, etc. But in this relationship, I just love the guy and want to marry him and am constantly tempted to get ahead of myself. I suppose I need more patience.

  • It’s so wonderful that I ran into this post. After I wrote a post about my past assault experience, I began to panic a little and searched online, and found this.

    It’s a very hard to speak up and sometimes risky thing to do, but like you said you’re not alone! Keeping it a secret has a way of manipulating your mind into thinking that you are alone, and the shame just builds up.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Sarah Ann

    Oh God, I’m about to expose the evil abuse my so-called mother has insisted on torturing me with from infancy til today, I’m a pretty intense writer anyway, and my tales of tragedy regarding her make “Mommy Dearest” look like an angelic parent. I didn’t know where to start, so I searched the question asking where to write it online -your post looked me right in the eye so familiar, Sarah over the moon… I’m intellectually gifted and often feel like I’m on the wrong planet, I’m truly determined to take the space shuttle to the moon, and my name just happens to be Sarah as well? When it comes to abusive parenting I know I’m not the only victim by far -but I’m grown and still stuck with her torture, and the cognitive awareness included within giftedness makes me blatantly aware of what she’s done and it’s time for me to drain my infection that is her out of myself and pour it out over pages so I can tell the public what I’ve wanted to say for too long. I keep in mind that I have to use my words carefully and cautiously, for my own protection. I’ve written things in the past that got awarded and condemned depending on the reader, that will happen regardless -no two people agree on what’s right, wrong or appropriate. I’m hesitant to ask your opinion, I’m about to go through some emotions I can barely cope with but need to release, so I’m sensitive to any commentary even if encouraging. I’m wondering if any of this sounds familiar to you as well, though, and maybe if we were able to give each other support and strength over mutual understanding? I’m much more fulfilled when I can give someone the same comfort and compassion they give me.