I wrote this post on 21 January 2015, but have not made it public up till now. I am ready for it. So here it is:
Telling people what you want is good. It is not being needy, nor is it being pushy, it means you have self-respect. That you are committed to self-fulfillment.
In this world commitment to a relationship is getting scarier every day, because we live in a throw-away society. If it’s broken, just replace it. We don’t repair! Or we are always on the look out for an upgrade. But if we can’t even commit to respecting ourselves, how can we commit to someone else?
The feeling of truly being heard by the people we care about is important for our well-being. When standing up to someone is more painful than standing up for yourself, something has gone wrong.
When you have to shout in the hope of being heard, something breaks inside. You feel like your power is being taken away from you.
In the past few months, there have been a few reports in the news about couples fighting whilst driving, causing mortal accidents. It reminds me every time of an incident in July 1990. I had just moved back from Canada to Europe, with the intent of looking for work on the French Riviera. My parents decided they would join me with their camping trailer. The road to the South is hectic during summer. Driving with a large trailer behind your car demands attention. Over the years, I had seen a number of wrangled and turned upside down trailers + cars where the driver obviously overestimated his driving skills.
At one point, my parents started a serious argument. I don’t remember about what, but I am sure it was something trivial. My mother wanted to take over the driving, and my father did not want that. She ordered him to stop by the side of the road. He was not planning to. So she grabbed the steering wheel and tried to pull over the car – and trailer! In the mean time I was sitting in the back, telling them to stop. They were not listening. They did not hear me. My mother than started pulling the hand brake!!! I was so scared, I could see us having a serious accident. The trailer started swerving. I shouted, in my impotence, I shouted so hard: “I am your child, I am sitting here. Please stop this, we will have an accident! ” They never heard me… I can’t remember what happened after that, I think my father pulled over, but my mother certainly did not take the wheel. I drove some time too. What I mostly remember was that these two people were so self-involved in their anger towards each other, that they could not hear the cries of their own child.
This was my life: Not being heard. Not being validated. Not being valued.
I can give many more examples of being hurt by my mother, not being heard , but how many examples do I have to give before it is true? I just know that the day that she refused to hear me when I was the voice for my son, that is when I said this is the final stop, this is it.
The incidents went on over the years. Because I allowed them. I made the choice to allow them not to hear me. And then I made the choice that I cut off all contact with those who do not hear me.
We all want to have a voice. That is why we post on facebook, write blogs, write books, … to be acknowledged that we have spoken.
I believe that not being heard has made me a stronger person. Has made me a person that makes better choices, keeps better company, and has no problem cutting people out who are wrong, who have no place in my life.