Let’s look beyond the grammatical errors of the title to expose a sickening truth, at least about myself and those who relate. At the peak of 29, slowly climbing the hill to 30, I’ve come to realize that throughout my life, I’ve lived most of it in survival mode. Silence was my tactic and while it came in handy at times when stealth was necessary, it was and is crippling. Learning to love and admire my own voice became a process that I felt was a sad but necessary one. I hate the thought of being damaged, becoming used to it and recycling the cycle based on the familiarity of the ritual.
If you’re unaware of my story, I’m a sexual abuse survivor and It all started around the age of 6, by an older cousin. When I’ve talked about this to friends and family, the one question I continuously get is, “Why didn’t you say anything?” In the beginning, this question used to send me flaming! I felt this was placing the responsibility of my own safety on my 6 yr old. Self, which is too much to expect of child. But, after seeing the genuine confusion in their faces, I’d began to take it seriously. I even asked myself, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
Believing the manipulation of my attacker was a choice, an uninfromed one. I reasoned to the best of my ability, that silence was the way to go. I moved the focus of using my mouth to my hands. I did however, try to fight his 10 yr. old, chunky physique, but I became tired. He was older, heavier and stronger. No matter how hard I tried to fight, he always held me down with such ease. My limbs would stop swinging in hopes of regaining energy to fight even harder after catching my breath. The sad thing is, it only made it even easier for him to subdue me. So, I learned in those moments and others to come, that my voice couldn’t stop anything form happening and my fight doesn’t work at all.
Now, as I reflect on that horrific time and the result of taking that strategy throughout my life, I realized just how much power my voice actually has; which is why the enemy wanted me to learn to neglect it early on. The amount of strength that your voice has, is enough to change not only the world at large, which is the bigger picture, but the most intimate aspects of life. Apart of learning to value my own voice and thoughts, (I’m still learning!) is taking the time to define what my “fight” actually looks like. Your fight is your defense, and for me my fight looks like being proactive and being submit to my prayer and study life. Not in my excellence to cuss someone out or how quickly I can cut someone with a box cutter. (I know, it got real, very quick!)
Remember, your fight isn’t always rooted in physical defense (if you must go there, only you can judge that, do what you feel is necessary) but for the intangible things of life, your fight is in your perception of what you’re fighting and the best way to defeat it. Even knowing which battle to fight is essential in learning to fight well. Never underestimate what is God-given and keep fighting. Usually, whatever is attacked is not what an enemy truly wants, it’s the value of the person who has it, that they’re after. If someone can convince you to kill your defense, you’ve already died. Keep fighting.