By Henry Ominde.
Recently a dear friend of mine and a huge supporter of my work reached out to me to inquire why I liked sharing my life-stories and experiences. My reply to him was simple ” it’s therapeutic for me”. But ever since then I’ve been engaging in deep conversations with myself. I’ve opened up to a few people within my support system as well all in the name of trying to find out why I like sharing my personal experiences.
I have realised that it’s simply because my experiences have given me a voice.
Throught our lives we experience lots of things and sometimes we develop authenticity issues because we become bound. A friend opened up and shared that they were sexually assaulted by a relative, also as a child. She couldn’t talk about it to her friends. Her family followed it up and the relative was taken to court but still she had lost her voice. She was cautious about what others would say or think of her. It sometimes feels like you have a shame-stamp on your forehead. So what do you do? You put your head down and sit your ass in a corner. Atleast they can see you, right?
Imagine getting ready to head out for drinks with your friends and right before you head out you recieve a text from one of them telling you not to be too extra tonight.
Imagine going for a family gathering and being told by your parents not to show up in snickers and a polo shirt but instead come in a dress and don’t invite your boyish friends. And act like a girl.
Imagine a trans woman going into the ladies room to fix their make up and have all the girls in their look at her in disgust as they walk away and tell the management that there’s a man in a dress in the ladies room.
Life silences us in so many ways. Sometimes we get used to it and tell ourselves that at the end of the day I’m still alive. Bora uhai. We settle for less than what we truly deserve. We go with whatever comes our way. We are lied to and told that we get what we deserve. We begin to practice selective conflict avoidance just so we can fit in. Then ultimately we begin to hate those that love us and love those that hate us. We try to hard to please and keep up with the trends. Becoming fearful. Drowning in anticipation of the worst. But what is worse than not having a voice?
What is worse than being told that you are a woman and this is how you should look?What is worse than suppressing your feelings to seem strong to others or not to disgrace your loved ones?What is worse than not being able to stand up for who you are and what you believe in? What is worse than not being able to live in your truth? What is worse than putting up with abuse and torture just to feel loved?
I don’t believe that any of us gets what they deserve. I believe that we get what we tolerate. People will always go as far as we let them and being silenced gives them power.
It’s about time that we all made strides to get our voices back. As victims it’s time we claimed our healing and stopped taking sympathy. It’s time that we stopped letting our destinies be determined by other people’s dysfunctionalities.
I’m sorry that people have walked over you. I’m sorry that people have crushed your dreams. That you have become dependent on what someone else will say or do. I’m sorry that your life stopped being yours and that you became an antique ornament in the room. Just to be seen. I’m sorry that you settled for less and told yourself that that’s what you deserved. I’m sorry that you killed yourself to give life to a non-deserving jackass.
But it’s time. It’s time to claim your space. Shine in grace. It’s time that the world applauded you for who you really are.
Your experiences give you a unique voice. A voice that is authentic, rich in truth and impactful. So get your voice back and live again.
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