I’m taking a break from working on my submission for the Pretty Girls Sew date night sew-along to eat a bowl of cereal. I figured while I wait for my cereal to soak up the milk I could at least get started on this post that has been on my mind for a few days.
The other night, I had a dream in which I was being held against my will and attacked and trying to scream but could not get a sound out. I have had this recurring dream countless times since I was a young girl but never gave it much thought. However, this time my inaudible scream was audible in real life, which caused my husband to wake me up. He asked me if I was okay and told me I was whimpering in my sleep. I grumbled at him for waking me up, turned over, and went back to sleep. Before he left for work the next morning, he asked me if I remembered what had happened. I told him I did, and we had a good laugh because I am not one to make noise in my sleep. Usually it’s me waking him up over his snoring or sleep-talking.
The dream, and the fact that Curt heard me, stayed on my mind all day. Then something hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been having this dream because I have always felt that my voice is not being heard. In the literal sense, all my loved ones know I am usually the loudest voice and the loudest laugh in the room. However, when something is bothering me, I stay quiet for fear of offending or hurting someone. Even though I may be hurting on the inside, I do not make it known to the person who hurt me because I don’t want to transfer that hurt. Then I realized these dreams came about around the time that I began being sexually assaulted at 5 or 6 years old. I remember I never told a soul because I was so afraid of getting in trouble and disappointing my parents. As a parent and grown up, I realize that makes absolutely no sense. But as a child, all I knew was that I was always getting in trouble for things that other people did. So I lived with this pain for years. I didn’t share my experience with my parents until I was 18 and on my way to college. I was angry with myself for years for not speaking up and having this person prosecuted for what he did to me and what I think he probably did to my neighbor/friend as well.
Presently, I hold my tongue over less serious but still important things. From betrayal to rude behavior, I never speak up. I used to think I was doing the right thing by turning the other cheek. But I realize that it is not the right thing for me. My feelings and sanity are just as important as anyone else, and I need to care about myself as much as I do everyone else. Sometimes I wish I was the type of person who could cuss someone out on sight, but that could never be me. In the meantime, this blog has already served as a platform to speak my mind as I talk about things I am normally shy about sharing with others. And the things I create help me deal with my feelings and chill out. If you are like me, I want you to think about speaking up. Even if you don’t speak directly with your aggressor, talk to someone. And now that I have gotten this off my chest, I hope I can stop having that dream. Until next time….