When Your Voice is Broken

I have a fear of being inadequate. Of never being enough. Of constantly falling short. I doubt myself constantly and I am always getting in my own way. I find it hard to believe in myself at times, because how could I make a difference? It would be easier to live a quiet normal life, working a 9-5 job, never making waves, avoiding confrontation, keeping out of everyone’s way, and being content with all of that as my reality.

But I don’t want to.

I’ve taken such a passive stance over the past few years, just merely existing, not truly living. And it doesn’t feel right. This isn’t me; this slump isn’t me and I refuse to let it become my new norm.

A few months ago, I took a big leap of faith and got my own place. It’s mine and I adore living here. This was a big step for me personally and emotionally. And one I did not take lightly.

The first time I moved out of my parents’ house, it was to move in with my ex-boyfriend. There was something not right at the beginning, I could feel it. But I wanted so desperately for it to work out. I saw the good in him, despite the many words of caution from my family and friends. I was determined to make it work. Moving in together seemed like a logical next step.

The day I moved in, I had a full blown panic attack in the car. I was stressed and I tried to hide the gnawing feeling in my gut. My brother even pulled me aside while we were unpacking the car and asked if I was OK, pointed out that I didn’t seem happy, and told me he didn’t want to leave me there. My manly, burly brother was worried and that scared me even more than the pit in the bottom of my stomach. But I had committed to this and I weakly brushed off my brother’s concern with a simple, “I’m fine”.

The truth is I wasn’t fine. And for weeks I cried myself to sleep in a home I had chosen to move into, with a man I had chosen to be with. Something was wrong. Something was missing. But at the time I wanted a quiet little life without making waves. As the months passed on, it became harder to ignore the issues in our relationship and the inevitable became unavoidable. Tension grew. Love faded. And bitterness, anger, and resentment began to take root. And 10 months later, I packed my things and I moved home in tears.

In those 10 months, it was hard for me to write. Nothing during those months were my own. I couldn’t stand to share the words I so desperately needed to write. I felt small, inadequate, and unheard. I began to doubt myself as a writer and as a person. I felt like I could never make it – that my words would never matter.

After I moved back into my childhood bedroom, I slowly began to heal. I started blogging more, reading constantly, and my confidence started to grow. In December of 2015, one year after moving home, I signed the lease to my very first home. It was a scary but exciting moment. I was on my own. And my little condo has become my happy place. It’s all mine and I realized I can depend on myself. I have the power to be anything I want.

So why did I feel compelled to post this for all to see? For the longest time I felt silenced, like whatever I wrote or said didn’t matter. Those self-doubts came crawling back. I am determined to defeat the voices that constantly tell me that I’m not good enough.

Writing to me is like breathing. I can’t not write. It’s a spiritual experience for me. It’s something I love beyond measure. All I’ve ever wanted was to write and be a writer. But what I’ve come to realize is that I’m not writing for anyone other than myself. There is a little piece of me in every word I write and I want to share that with the world.

I am a writer. I will succeed and I will never let myself be silenced again.

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