Things Left Unspoken
by Lana Kirkland
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
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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