My Voice Is Valid, Damnit.

I have always considered myself a girl with a loud and strong voice. Growing up I had an opinion about everything. Everything from what we were eating for dinner to not understanding why I wasn’t allowed to play tackle sports, like the boys were; I voiced what I thought no matter what. As I grew up my voice about women’s issues, politics, gay rights, environmentalism all got stronger. The voice about what I want for dinner and which movie to watch began to get smaller. That was okay–I typically felt and feel indifferent about those things. Or if not indifferent I felt that I could deal with whatever choice was made because I didn’t and don’t want to make the wrong choice and upset someone else.

Recently I’ve been put in the position where I have to ask for what I need. It seems like it should be easy. You have a need from a source that is supposed to be giving you that need and you ask for it. You ask for what you need. Simple. Period. Simple. So why am I struggling with this?

My friend Nikki Nigl is a huge proponent of the term “My voice is valid”. She makes a living by reminding women this fact. So why do so many of us battle with this? Why am I sitting at a coffee shop binge drinking my favorite dark roast anxiously awaiting a response to an email I just wrote. An email where I stated facts that I believed to be true about what I was told I was to receive and what I actually need?

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Where did my self supporting voice go? Where did that little 9 year old girl with red cheeks, tears spilling over and a voice so sure of herself end up? Memories of tears, and plea’s, and absolute absolutes that I needed to have this or that toy or adventure, where did that go? Did I use all of it up? Is there a finite amount of confidence we’re allotted and I just used mine up before I became a teenager?

I still have a voice. I know that this voice can be loud and proud and angry. I get tears of frustration and anger that well up in my eyes when I hear on the news that my lesbian or gay friends could be fired for being who they are, I give a small amount of money to the Human Rights Campaign monthly to have a voice and support it. I call bullshit when Planned Parenthood’s funds are threatened and will fight tooth and bone with anyone for women’s right to chose. I also find myself defending co-workers and friends to people starting rumors and talking crap.

But ask me to stand up for what I need and I crumble. I sit in therapy for an hour and half and talk about how XXX isn’t working for me. I’m not getting what I was told I would get and I cower, hide and cry. I cry because I’m scared to say what I need. I cry because I’m afraid of how I’ll make the other person feel. I cry because I don’t want to be attacked and made to feel wrong. I don’t cry out of passion and stand up and shout what I need. I cry and curl up and whisper I don’t want to rock the boat and cause issues. 

Nine year old me is unimpressed. 29 year old me is frustrated and working on it.

 

 

 

 

 

A Small Part of a Huge Journey

Apparently when asked to write for SOMEONE ELSE’S site I’m fulling capable of whipping up a piece that I’m proud of. Please take a moment to read my blog post on amazing woman’s site, Nikki Nigl, and then take another few minutes to check out what she’s doing for the women in the community. She’s pretty amazing and I’m so happy to be a part of this journey.