ok expressionist… this piece is a work in progress… SUFFER IN SILENCE. this topic my next writing challenge for the next few month as I piece together my memoir.. I ask that you overlook any grammar or spelling errors as I go through my first live draft along with releasing my somewhat lesser childhood trauma of being an A student all the time (not that I was but I certainly was an over achiever) and proving my intelligence through not making any mistakes. As writers in general our culture looks for ways to make one superior over the other in the world of smarts. I will also be playing around with sequencing under the inspiration of the book “Color of Water” and “The bonesetters daughter” MLK said it best that not every one can be great “smart” but all can serve. I use my life to serve others who are wiggling in the mud to carve out meaning. Join me if you want and write about how you or someone you know “suffers in silence”..TBC
I am standing in the dark of “Suffering in Silence” It came out of a very disturbing interaction that I had with my Aunt, who is in her 80’s. I have been in intensive recovery for anxiety and trauma the last year (and all my life) and I am surprised by how much comes up and out through the body as I release old behaviors and beliefs on the regular. My aunt; however is old school and did not grow up in the pressure cooker of new age brain re conditioning. She grew up in a world where it was not only preferable to suffer in silence but necessary. The thing that amazed me is that the trauma never goes away unless a person actively releases it. Now I knew this to be true for myself but I assumed I was a special case. I compared myself in a way that put me in more need of healing than the average other. I attributed this to not only the abuse I suffered from my childhood but also being open to people’s energy and problems in my fields of work which puts me in very intimate situations with the public.
This experience has opened a window into a, I will call it, philosophical perspective of denial and how suddenly and oppressively shocking events from the past can reap its ugly head at any time, even decade later. I have been facing it this last year in many different ways and none have to do with Covid, Trump or world collapse; though it presses upon me deeply. I have had many severe challenges in my life that I overcame superficially but not buried far within my unconscious memory system until now.
I respect children. Not many people do but I respect children. Hyper active. Hyper manic. Add. ADhbsD. All the labels put on biology and pure natural expression that stops grown ups in their tracks to cover it up and pack it in ice and some… more medication before writing them off as out of control and every man for themselves because, as the saying goes “my child doesn’t act that way”. I’ve also heard the age old “kids are not your friends” and the polar opposite of do not disturb the angry child and let us all put a bubble around them acting out and crying out “why you lookin at me”.
We live in a peculiar time. One where the system is failing and we all know it but have no energy, motivation and resources to change it. Every song on the radio and great poem wails and moans about the disconnect within the fabric of our sophisticated way of life but this does not translate into anything tangible. I first noticed in after college graduation during my first real internship in New York City. I did have a viable internship at a local radio station in the small Connecticut town where my school resided. It was a well known and reputable station but if it wasn’t in the city I wasn’t interested. The internship was at the Fox news station back when it was run by liberals’ and they were fighting with Ted Turner to get the next big 24 hour news station carried on the local cable station. Something that proved to be harder than it sounds since Ted Turner owned CNN, the other brand new 24 hour news station. It was the day of the Timothy McVey trial and all the young producers at the time where hyped up about getting the scoop; though with the new running all day I found it strange that it was thought to be a breaking story. I sat bored watching each assistant busy themselves with perceived anxiety as if they were about to great the president. It seemed odd to me that our show segment which aired at 7pm would be the shocking headliner when every episode before it said basically the same thing. Is this what I really went to school for? It was a foreshadowing of the chaos in which we have seen unfold through the dismantling of our televised stream of meaningful content. Luckily, after many days of crying in the bathroom, I left that job with a longing for more meaning and substance.
My parents are from the aptly named Silent Generation. They are on the cusp of the boomers carrying both the attributes of outspoken youth of the sixties with the remnants of second, maybe third generation immigrants. I say maybe because, as the generational name suggest, their linage is silent as if their life story was meant to be encapsulated like a James Bond movie. My mother is of German origin and my dad is of African descent. I like most mixed raced and brown paper bag ladies and gentlemen was sold the story of Cherokee grandparents and the idolized image of being one of the native free spirits that were guardians of this virgin land. Come to find out that our precious warrior, wigwam and papoos wearing ancestors had nothing to do with the black slaves and most of us cream and coffee colored people wear the mark of the slave master and not the chieftain. Growing up I could not get enough of this story and continuously pressed my dad for detail of the tails his supposed Indian grandmother survived; however, like all wide eyed off spring of slave blood, I was left with bread crumbs to fill in with my own image of how I got my high cheekbones and my sister got her “good hair”. It is, needless to say, a great disappointment to know that the only wars waged in my bloodline where the ones of rape and oppression. In fact the native people, especially the Cherokee, kept as far a distance as they could from the black slaves instead assimilating themselves amongst the white westerners.