Women are often told their perceptions, reactions, and beliefs are irrational. “You’re over reacting, you’re crazy, you read too much into things”. The article “A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not “Crazy” by Yashar Ali describes this experience pretty well.
I had this experience today, and when it happened, I thought of my mom. I remembered how silent she was whenever she was sad, hurt, or angry. She swallowed herself and her voice. I wonder how long it took for her to learn how to do that. I wondered how many times she was told that what she thought, believed, and perceived was irrational, stupid, or crazy. She died in 1997 and today, in that moment that I felt silenced, I wanted to talk with her so bad. I wanted her to hold me and tell me to do different than she did. Truth is, even if she were alive, she couldn’t. She would get angry at me for not speaking up. This is how twisted her own silence became.
Living that way is what I fear every time I hold back from saying something because I’m afraid of the other persons reaction. Everytime I hold back what I want to say out of fear, I want to cry. I see my mom in myself in those moments and want to run out screaming. I feel generations of oppression in my body and want to crumble on the floor.
I want to be able to say what I need to say without fear. I want my sensitivity to be appreciated and not punished. I have only recently come to accept and understand my sensitivity, and I thrive when I’m around others who understand and appreciate this part of me because they are sensitive themselves, or simply appreciate the honesty.
My opinion is that most people are naturally sensitive, but a lot of people have shut that part of themselves down. I know, I tried, and I’m thankful it didn’t work.