Silence or Silenced?
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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou

 

Silence or Silenced?

Michele J. Rolle

Author of “Invisible Warrior-A Memoir”

 

 

Silence is what we often choose when we turn down the volume of the TV or music. Silence is what we seek when the noise of this world overwhelms us, it’s our choice.

 

Silenced is sometimes what we become by circumstances beyond our control. The clearest example of this was witnessing my mother being silenced by medical institutions negligence.

 

Although she was in her nineties her mind was razor sharp and the promise of a longer life for her was on the horizon. She entered the hospital to be treated for dehydration, not uncommon in the elderly who often refuse to drink enough liquids. The suggestion of placing a feeding tube into her abdomen did not seem unreasonable, and so the family agreed. This method would assure the proper amount of nutrients and she would continue to live the remainder of her life reasonably healthy and peacefully.

 

The events that followed opened my understanding of the value of my voice in a way I never understood before. The hospital staff fed my mother through the feeding tube but neglected to monitor the volume of liquid she was ingesting. She was later found unresponsive, and after being resuscitated was admitted to intensive care. A tube was placed in her throat to assist her breathing. Her voice was silenced that day, and for the remainder of the nine months until her death.

 

I grieved because I lost my mother that day, and often wondered what words she would have uttered to our family. However, I was comforted by the memory that at one time I did hear her voice, her words, her laughter and I remember what that sounded like, even now.

 

What or who has silenced your voice? When did you stop speaking the truth to your circumstances? Do not die in your silence. Break free now! From whatever or whoever silences you by giving voice to your pain, insecurities and your joy. That is my intention; I will be listening to your voice.

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