Twice in my life I have heard this happen: once with one of my daughters and now with a dear friend who herself is like a daughter. Both these women were abused by their first husbands, told over and over how useless and worthless they were that they believed it, and finally in the case of our friend, sent to the hospital with physical injuries.
At some point both these wonderful, amazing women “got it”, realized they were living a lie created by someone else to keep them in place, and walked away. And with those steps forward, came the return of their voice. I remember when my daughter called to ask if she could come home for a while, I turned to her father and said, “She has her voice back. I haven’t heard that voice for years.” I spoke with our friend yesterday and would hardly have recognized it was her on the phone because there was no more “little girl” voice. The voice over the phone was powerful, deep, strong and sure, the voice of a woman.
Both women had the voice of another woman in common, my other daughter. Constantly, consistently, usually quietly, being that Voice of Women who said, You are more than this, You are worthy, You can say no to him, You can say yes to your real life. That constant, quiet voice took the place of the self-esteem that wasn’t functioning correctly and just kept insinuating that whisper into their subconscious awareness. And it never stopped. She never threw up her hands and walked away, she never pushed harder than they could take, and she never swept anything under the rug. She was a constant Voice. Because none of us do it by ourselves.
The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a Lie! Words do hurt and they can take away power, usefulness, creativity and clarity. I have heard the change twice in my life. All over this country there are women who have lost their voices to abuse. It is time for it to stop, for us to stop protecting and denying, and for the true voice to be free, the voice of a woman.