How many years did I bow to the loudest voice in the room? How many times did I fail to stand up for what I believe? How many times did I sit at the dinner table with a narcissist and, finding myself speechless, let my children hear disturbed messages?
There is a time and place for everything, but the time for debate and alternate views is now, and the place is social media, rallies & and letters and phone calls to our government.
A year ago I would have quietly voiced my opinion, tried to back it up with facts, then shut my mouth when I was told how wrong I was. This is a tried and true technique used by narcissists. Be the loudest in the room and, if you hear dissent, if someone dares question what they believe to be fact, go in for the kill.
- “You think women should have equal pay? You’ve been sitting at home for 10 years; what do you know?”
- “You don’t understand the issue”.
- “Shut up and listen to me, I know better than you.”
- “You are too young to see things clearly” (btw, I’m 56 so….)
Previously when faced with these attacks I backed down. More importantly, I felt shame. Clearly the accusation must be true, right? After all, I was a stay-at-home mom, I don’t always have a full grasp on the complexity of various issues, and how much do I actually know?
I will work my ass off to not be pursued that I am less worthy of a differing opinion by an asshole who’s only intent is to maintain the status quo. I will speak out, even to those I love, about how offensive it is to assume that the financially insecure are “lazy” or “didn’t work hard enough”. No longer will I accept, or even listen to, those that say “I am older than you and I know what I’m talking about”.
I am a smart, thoughtful, insightful person and I won’t hide that anymore.
Will I piss people off? Yup. Will it bother me? Perhaps. Will I allow others to pontificate, especially those of white privelage? NO.
People create opinions based on fear. There are times I still feel fear, but most of the time I feel safe and secure. It is not lost on me that this is a luxury many don’t feel, which is one of the many reasons I feel compelled to speak up.
So, I’m here, I’m clear, I’m safe, and I won’t shut up.