Skip to main content

Don't wait until a bunch of people die to finally express yourself

I have a friend who was repeatedly molested by her grandfather as a child. She now gives her testimony about healing from her abuse, speaks on a national level, and has written a book. However, all of this has to be kept quiet whenever her mother or other members of the family are around. It's not that they don't believe her about the abuse. They know it's true, however, they believe that her testimony isn't appropriate to share. She hears things like:

"What would your grandmother think if she heard you say that?"

"You are causing more pain in the family by sharing your testimony."

"You just need to move on and stop talking about it."

"You've got to think of someone besides yourself..."

Some things are better left unsaid..."

"Some things are meant to be kept within the family..."

"Cant you just tell people God healed you without sharing any details of what happened to you? Why are the details so important? Do people have to know it was your grandfather for your testimony to be effective?"

My question: Does hearing any of these questions nauseate you like it does me? Why do we so often hear of people watching out for the perpetrator than caring about the victim's feelings?

Another friend of mine is experiencing new found freedom now that their parents have died. In contrast to my other friend, they have never been abused. However, they were raised in an extremely conservative family who would not approve of the transparent way they now express themself in their writing and speaking. They were raised by a parents in a generation that simply kept feelings more to themselves and didn't share on such "personal matters" openly. People in the old days didn't write open blogs about things that hurt, scared, or puzzled them. Blog posts like this, or this, or this, wouldn't have existed in our parents generation. They just kept their feelings inside or maybe discussed them with a close friend but a lifestyle of openness wasn't exactly in vogue. Please don't misunderstand that my friend is glad their parents are dead. They miss their parents very much. But they have remarked to me that with their parents death a part of them has come alive. The beautifully transparent part of themself could never emerge publicly before because every time they tried a little bit their parents expressed such disappointment, they retreated back into their shell.

It's a pity that living an honest life disappoints some people. Blogging your true life experiences or feelings is offensive to some. In fact, I've gotten a fair amount of mail about this myself, from people who know me and people who don't. And if it's negative, I choose to disregard it. Because I'm not going to wait until everybody else in the generation before me dies, or gets quiet, before I'm my authentic self.

Suppressing someone else's honest expression, in my opinion, is one of the worst things anyone could ever do. The more my abused friend shares, the more I think she's a hero. The more my other friend speaks out and charts new territory the more I admire them. More and more I like who I see them becoming. They are finally set free to be what they were always created to be now that they don't have a bunch of people they are trying not to disappoint by sharing their feelings or life experiences.

Our truth is our truth...why shouldn't we share it? Why should someone else's fear of our living an honest life become our problem? Iff they have no respect for our freedom to share our personal truth, do they really love or value us anyway? Are they even worth of our relationship? And why, why, why do we feel ANY responsibility to protect abusers??!!! Let's stop this insanity already.

Shakespeare once said, "To thine own self be true." I have utmost respect for people in previous generations however, trasparency wasn't their strong suit. Hopefully our generation has learned the importance of doing better when it comes to this.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What To Do First to Make a Profit

Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said:

It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way.
Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory!

I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started investing and training and all of that, seeking God for his blessing and…

I'm Just Being Transparent...

This year at the Stronger Conference, a young minister stopped me as I was walking out of the room at the conclusion of a workshop and she said, "I want to tell you something..." (I was all ears.) She said, "Do you notice how many of the speakers this weekend are saying, "Now, I'm just being transparent when I tell you..." or "I'm just keepin' it real..." I nodded yes. In fact, I mentioned that I was one of those speakers. I think I probably said a few times in both my keynote message and my workshop that I was just "keepin' it real."

After I affirmed that yes, I had noticed that -- she said, "Do you know why they have to do that? They do it...and you do it, because so many people don't keep it real. So many in leadership aren't transparent, Deanna. That's why all these people speaking here feel an urge to declare their transparency.." I let her know that usually when I say, "I'm just keeping …

Why You Should Never Hijack a Comment Thread
Social media etiquette 101

One surefire way to kill your influence in social media and wear out your welcome fast is to become involved in derailing somebody’s comment thread with your own agenda. Networking and hijacking aren’t the same thing. It’s surprising how many people don’t understand that this is a guarantee for tearing down a platform as quickly as you build it.


Passion is good, even necessary. I appreciate people's zeal for their personal core values. What is not appreciated is the attempt at a redirection of a comment thread when the comment has little or nothing to do with an original post or is twisted at best.

Social media provides ample opportunity for all of us to share what’s important to us on our own platform. Eliciting others’ responses and developing connections largely depends on our ability to communicate and compel. Some people are open to receiving private communication from others although they aren’t always able to answer personally or at length. But hijacking a comment thread no…