Hey, ya'll! Guess what? I found it!!! I found my voice and I simply couldn't be more excited about it!! Sexual assault has the ability to cause a survivor to lose their voice. I first became aware of this after hearing Mya Angelu's story as she talked about being mute for six years after feeling that she was the cause of the man that sexually violated her being killed. I would not say that I was mute, but I did, however, lose my voice.
The second person to sexually violate me was my godfather. A very powerful title and position especially in the African American family. That title and position are meant to be one of authority, love, and guidance. After all, "father" is in the title. Therefore, I held mine in high esteem and saw him as an authority figure in my life. So when he told me that if I told anyone about, "our special time", he would then do something to hurt my little sister, I believed him. I didn't realize it then but at that moment, my voice was taken. He took away my ability to speak up when I was hurt. He caused me to believe that in speaking up for myself, I could cause pain for someone else. Therefore solidifying my silence for many years. For years I would just sit in pain so as to not cause discomfort to others while teaching myself that it was okay to not honor myself. Him saying these words to me made me think I needed to be responsible for someone else's pain. Boy did that take a long time to unlearn. This is why I am not at all surprised that I would enter the field I did. But I'll get into that in another blog.
Something that I always thought to be an oxymoron was that while my voice had been taken, and yet the divine had blessed me with a beautiful singing voice. Yes, that's me in the picture with my old band Glacier Blue (2015). I actually come from a long line of vocalists. In fact, my mother would often speak pridefully about being the only African American child in an all-white music school in her hometown back in the 60s. A gift she no doubt passed on to my siblings and I.
I often found it strange that for many, music is an outlet, however, I had great difficulty using the god-given gift to be used for the creative expression it is known for. I would get on stage and literally lose my voice. This would often manifest by me forgetting the words to a song or only being able to sing the song but failing miserably in delivering a good performance. Performers know this difference.
I wish I could tell you that finding my voice happened during a single incident or revelation. The truth is, I have regained it over time. In fact, even the purpose behind my starting this blog was to exercise my self-expression muscle. The funny thing is, when we ask the universe for something, it is a universal law for it to respond by giving us what will serve the highest good of the collective. This law also requires that what we are requesting be given in divine timing. This timing is predicated on what we are able to manage at that time. This means that sometimes what we are requesting may not be given all at once yet in small divine increments. Well, I asked to recapture my voice. The universe hearing this request began to provide me with scenarios for me to first see where losing it had shown up in my life, and then how to appropriately use it.
Initially, I was overzealous about speaking up for myself and I became harsh and opinionated. I had to learn how to balance this newfound skill so I didn't ruin relationships. This meant finding the middle between passivity and at times, being curt. I find that with each passing day, I become more aligned with who I was supposed to be in this area prior to the assaults. I am beginning to really like this sassy, confident version of myself. I am saying, "Ouch!!" when it hurts and not feeling guilty about it. Moreover, I am learning how to hold space for others that say, "it hurts" without feeling that their pain is my fault or that I need to be responsible to help them heal. I now have all the evidence I need to trust that others have the same ability I do to do their own work. I've found it yall. I found my voice and this shit feels reeeeaaaaaalllllll good.