You Wanted Me To Be Silent

The Fruit Company

A Message To ‘So-Called Support Systems' for the  abused.

You tell victims to speak up, but the truth is you want them to be silent. 

You want victims to speak up ONLY when it doesn’t affect you or your ideals.

You want victims to speak up ONLY when you don’t have to get involved.

Allow me to explain:

♦You told me to speak up when I was harassed at home, church, or school, but when I did you told me that I must have done something to bring it on myself.

♦You told me to speak up if I was dealing with hardship at home with my husband; but when I did you assumed that I was ‘just complaining’ about something that I didn’t like.  You assumed that I was just trying to bring a good man down.

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You told me to speak up because you were my mentor and tell you how I was really feeling regarding my issues, offensives, and what I was going through; but when I did you called me weak, sensitive, emotional, and disrespectful.

♦You encouraged me to come to you regarding any issue – and I did; but when I told you that I wanted to be validated because of the bad behavior that had experienced at home and elsewhere, you said, ‘And then what . . . ?”  As if it was childish and petty to want to be defended.

♦You told me to speak up regarding any abuse or bad behavior that I had experienced; but when I did you belittled me for being hurt by downplaying what the abuser/wrongdoer had done.  You made excuses for them.  You gave me reasons why ‘they’ did what they did.  You told me to work with it. 

♦You told me to come to you when I was hurting; but when I did you over-talked me when I tried to explain my story.  However, the reason that you over-talked me was because you was busy defending them; the person who actually hurt me.  You took away my right to speak because you felt that ‘I should listen’ to you cause you knew so much.  However, when I asked you if I could finally talk, you literally got firm with me and said in a condescending manner, “No! When I finish!”  The funny thing is, I had to respect your ability to speak while you talked all over me – while defending the wrong-doer and condemning me for being hurt. Save 20% on Orders of $75 from Ethel M Chocolates Traditional Premium Chocolate Collections

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♦You told me to come to you, but you had no problem making excuses for the abuser/wrong-doer.  You often said that you didn’t want to believe that this person would do whatever they were accused of – even though the evidence was staring you in the face.  However, you had no problem believing that I was the wrong-doer – even though there was no evidence that I had done anything wrong.    Do you know why you assumed I was wrong?  Because I vented out my frustration to you.  You see, I was practically pulling my hair out regarding ‘behind closed door issues’.  Issues that you didn’t take seriously.  Nonetheless, when I sent you an emotional message regarding how I was feeling, hurting and how frustrated I was, you assumed that I was so wrong and disrespectful.  That was all the proof you needed against me. 

♦You told me to come to you because the office had an open door policy; but when I did come to you regarding the bad behavior management had done against the employees, you decided to stick up for the person who had the highest position – the managers.   You know, when they saw that you took my voice, they became harassers even more; because they knew that you wouldn’t touch them. 

♦You said to come to you when I was bullied, but when you found out that I was bullied by your favorite person, you laughed at me for being weak. 

♦You said to come to you at church if I was suffering hardship in the home; but when I and other women did, you accused us of ‘just losing the joy of being married’.  When we did speak up, you blamed us for it. 

♦You said constantly for women to fix themselves up for their husbands; however, when you began to hear that depression and unhappiness behind closed doors affected how we looked on the outside, you came up with another excuse.  Instead, you accused women of dressing down because they were just happy that they had husbands.  Hence, because women have husbands, we don’t have to look nice anymore.  Again, you did want to hear the real reason why our appearance was affected.

You wanted to defend the reputation of the abuser; which is why it didn’t matter to you how I suffered in silence..  

♦Now, you ask the dumbest questions.  You want to know ‘why didn’t I say something’.  The truth is, I did but you didn’t want to get involved. 

♦When those women, who find the courage to come to you, express why they no longer want to open up, you just make excuses for what you did.  You never 
apologize.  You defend your decisions.

♦You want women to marry you, but you don’t want to listen to them when they speak up. 

♦You want women to accept you, but you don’t want to stand up for them. 

♦You want children to respect you, but you silence them in their childhood – allowing others to run over them. 

♦You weren’t even trying to listen to what women and children were trying to say.

It’s amazing how you can defend the reasons why: 

•You ignored me. 

•You berated me. 

•You called me disrespectful. 

•You called me sensitive. 

•You called me ‘the problem’. 

•You treated me as if I didn’t matter. 

•You looked the other way. 

•You made excused for their bad behavior. 

But, you know, what I CAN call you? 

•A head-turner. 

•A person who looks the other way. 

•A person who was afraid to stand up for who you considered small. 

Do you know CAN’T call you?   

•A help or supporter! 

•You wanted me to be silent because it was easier for you and others to ‘not’ get involved. 

•You wanted to me to be silent because it was easier for you and others to defend those who you really favored.

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You never wanted to help me. You never wanted to speak up for me. You never wanted me to defend me.

Listening to me was all just a formality.

You never wanted me to speak up.

You never saw me as a person that mattered.

All I wanted was the same respect and for someone to love me, the same way you told me to respect and love others. You treated me as if I was childish for wanting that.

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  1. Very thought-provoking. You’re right – despite being encouraged to speak up and tell the truth sometimes people would rather we kept silent as it’s easier to turn a blind eye. Keep raising awareness and sharing your thoughts!

  2. I don’t think keeping silent is ever the answer. These were horrible things to say about not saying anything. I’m always looking to help anybody and when someone is told to be silent and they keep everything inside it makes it extremely difficult to help that person.
    How are you supposed to trust someone who berates you and treats you like this? It’s time to think for yourself and use common sense and not let any one person to tell you what and what not to do. Time to take control!

    • Hi Rob,

      I think there is a misunderstanding. The post is saying that ‘support systems’ may say open up, but they all too often look the other way. It’s saying, in truth that many people would rather you be silent than to speak up.

      Many people – teachers, preachers, mentors, friends, etc – really want individuals to be silent ’cause they just don’t want to be involved. The post was to expose that.

  3. Lane,
    A powerful message about a uncomfortable subject for our society today. All too often, victims are victimized again and again by getting responses like your examples. Bringing awareness and knowledge is essential to changing how we as a society deal with abuse and with how we grow together. Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Deep thoughts here. I believe a lot of people can relate to your statements. More often people from our surrounding (friends, family members, co-workers…) pretend to land a hand when they really want to walk away. Even some counselors just want their shifts to be over and don’t really care much about the person coming to them with their problems. We need to pay more attention to those who come to us for help.

  5. Hello Lane.
    Very powerful, reflective, deep article. I must admit it saddened me as well, because there is so much truth in what you have written.
    It is a mindset and sometimes a cultural faux pas when it comes to expression – expressing that which needs to be heard but is often silenced – silenced by thought, word, or/and deed.
    A a society, we need to be mindful and indeed more supportive. And yes, it has to start in the smaller clusters – like the home-front- and then spread out to the village, and then conquer the world. But the key is to start. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Lane,
    This was a very thought provoking article and shines a light on some home truths about society. You are right, we are told continually to speak up by parents, teachers, priests, and bosses; in fact, now more than ever we are living in a time of speaking up. You only have to turn on the news to see it happening all over the world, children and adults alike speaking up about bullying and abuse.

    But I do think that it is harder to speak up against the people who are supposed to love you i.e. close family members. This is where a huge problem still lies as many don’t want to rock the boat within their own homes. This is an area that is much harder to be addressed, and where often you are silenced or not listened to. I guess the people you confide in just don’t know what to do and are scared also. What do you think?

    • I agree. There are so many paths and roads to this. Children, definitely don’t want to speak up against their parents. Spouses don’t want to speak up against the other. Especially, churches. People who love their churches don’t want to speak up because it will make the church look bad. Sadly, this is where manipulation comes in. People will make you feel guilty for speaking up.

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