Things Left Unspoken
by Lana Kirkland
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Things Left Unspoken
Inventions. When you see or hear that word you always think of things like the telephone, automobiles, or computers. Itís usually connected with technology of some sort. I am going to look and use the word invention from a different angle. I am going to look at it on a more personal level. I believe life, people you meet, people you love, and good and bad situations invent you, mold you like clay. In my last essay I wrote about three major events that changed my life. Two of those events, my parentís divorce and me graduating early, I think I wrote about because I was too afraid to allow myself to write about two other situations that had a greater impact on me. The last event I wrote about, my motherís illness was honest but I left so much unsaid. My life is full of things left unspoken. That is why I am writing this, not for pity or because I want to play the ďpoor meĒ role, but because I want to heal, really heal. I want to set myself free, un-chain myself, and stop being hypocritical as a writer.
Before I really begin I feel I should expand a little on why I have this need to write this. Recently, in this class I have wrote about how people shouldnít let fear paralyze them and how they should use their experiences to help others. How can I be accomplished as a writer or person if I donít follow what I write? I will never be healed unless I am honest with myself. During this semester, many students have shared personal and devastating stories. I wondered why I could share all my thoughts and opinions on their stories, but not on all of mine. I could share a few of my stories and experiences, but I still caught myself holding back and I just donít understand why. So I started asking myself questions on what was holding me back. Why am I afraid? What is keeping my voice silent? Why am I full of advice for others and can write until I am blue in the face about goals and helping others, but when it comes to the really deep stuff I freeze up. Why am I so good at pretending like things never happened? Why do I hold things in? Why do I only cry in the shower? Is it because I donít want people to know I am not perfect or that I feel things too or am I afraid to admit it to myself? I know that one essay wonít help me find the answers to all the questions, but itís a start. You always have to start somewhere.
Maybe my problem goes back to what I was saying in the opening paragraph, that events in your life invent you. They donít just invent you they can also become you if you let them. I think a part of me has let me become them. I wonít go into great detail, but last week I shared with you about the sexual abuse that I went through from my biological father. I think I am, in part, that same small scared little girl, that all she knew how to do was stay quiet and pretend like nothing was wrong. I do that to this day. I still go and see my ďfatherĒ and we have never talked about it. Actually, no, I take that back. We did talk about it, but not honestly. I let my need of wanting him to be a ďnormalĒ dad take over me and I went along with him. I went along with his story. I would bring it up and defend him. For years I wasnít allowed to be around him without supervision, usually my grandparents. When I was 14, I think, I was finally able to be around him alone and even at that age I went along with everything. I told him how glad I was we were finally able to have time alone as father and daughter and that I thought it was stupid that we had to be supervised before. The truth is to this day I fear him. I know he could never do anything to me again, but I fear him. I get nauseous and sick around him. I feel like a little girl again. Being around him is a constant reminder of what he did to me. There is never a time that I am around him that I donít think about what he did to me at least once. I just donít understand why I canít just cut strings from him. I donít need him. I have a father, my step dad, but there is just something in me that wonít allow me to let him go. Maybe itís because I am a better person than him, more of an adult than he will ever be. I believe in forgiveness and I know that as a Christian I have to be able to forgive him, but I struggle with that. How could a father do that to his little girl? I wish I could ask him that, but I know him so well to know that I would never get him to answer that or own up to his actions. I want to let go. The funny thing is as I am writing this I feel a little better. I hope that by sharing this with you, one day I will be able to share it with others. I hope that one day I will be able to share this with someone and maybe touch their life, or change it. I hope that by sharing this, taking this small step I can honestly say that I am able to take my experience and share it with others for their own good, like I have been writing about this whole semester.
I think I was afraid to let people know about my abuse because I didnít want to be pitied and if I didnít let anyone know then I could go on pretending like it never happened. I will be honest with you; I put off doing this paper. I dreaded sitting down to write this. I didnít know where this essay would take me or how it would end up. I was also afraid of letting myself go. I didnít know what feelings would come out. I was always afraid of writing about my abuse and other situations that I might touch on in another essay because I didnít want to come across as a weak person or someone who wanted attention or pity. I didnít want to look like I was playing the victim role. I never wanted to be the victim. So as I sit down to write this I tried to look at it as I was doing this for myself. This essay is for me and I want to get to the point were I can share my story with ease and be able to help others. I love to write and I want to write. To me being a writer is someone who is free from fear and worries of what others will think. I want to be a real writer that can give advice from a heart that is not hypocritical. I want to follow what I write about. I want to be able to look at my past and not be horrified, but be ok with it. I want to be proud of myself and of whom I have become. I donít want to feel like I have to stay quiet, but have a voice.
In conclusion, I feel that life isnít perfect. We have heard that all our life, but I think what life is about is finding all the good things in it and quilting them together to make a big beautiful and colorful quilt. All the small things add up to out weigh the bad things. I know I said it in my last essay, we need to learn from our experiences, not be defined by them, but this time it is a different meaning for me. I am not just saying it because itís good advice, but I am actually trying to follow it myself. One more thing, take it from me and donít leave too many things unspoken.
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Oh Lana - Your piece touched me so deeply - and I don't feel sorry for you or think you are playing the victim role! I am very proud of you for letting it out. And I know your heavenly Father is very proud of you too! We all struggle in being totally honest with ourselves and our writing. Keep writing. You have great potential. Forgiveness is a difficult thing to practice. Once you do, you will be healed......
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