Last week I posted something political to my wall.
In the past I have hesitated to post political stuff to my wall for two reasons…
Reason #1. I hate conflict.
I dislike confrontation of any kind and prefer to avoid it at any cost. I try to keep things uplifting and inspirational. Who can argue with that, right?
Reason #2. My dad.
First let me say that when it comes to politics we live in different galaxies. Our solution in the past has been to agree to disagree. This approach has allowed us to continue our relationship as father and daughter. Except, every time I post something political on Facebook (which is rare) jumps in to disagree in the comments. It’s not the disagreement that bothers me, it’s the way he does it. He doesn’t offer insight into why he disagrees. He doesn’t seek to understand my thinking. His typical response is something like TRUMP 2020!!!! Or some other asinine declaration designed to polarize. In the past I would simply delete his comment. But what I realize now is that I have been allowing this behavior to keep me silent about things I feel strongly about.
So last week after I posted something political…
He came onto my wall to do his thing. But this time, I didn’t delete. I responded with something akin to “I don’t understand you. How can we share the same DNA?”
It was like pouring gasoline on a fire.
Long story short, he said a lot of things he shouldn’t have said.
As is his pattern he called and texted to apologize and offer to, once again, agree to disagree.
This time, though, I did not respond to his text and his voicemail. I did not want to agree to disagree.
I blocked him. Then wrote him a letter. I shared why I was angry. I told him what his words meant to me. I told him why I was no longer willing to let it go.
It would have been easier to “agree to disagree,” to let it slide as they say.
But then I would have continued to hesitate to share what I have the right to share on my wall. I would have continued to carry unspoken resentment towards him. And I would have missed the chance to express to him exactly why I was hurt by his behavior.
Since that letter I haven’t heard a word back.
I may never.
And this sucks. Because I love him regardless. It makes me feel sad, angry, and guilty.
But a relationship based on agree to disagree when in reality I will be harassed if I share my viewpoint, isn’t much of a relationship.
A relationship that requires me to stay quiet or else isn’t much of one either.
A relationship based on the knowledge that if I do share my perspective and he doesn’t agree with it, I will either be verbally abused or ignored, isn’t a good enough for me.
I’m not writing this for your sympathy.
I’m sharing this with you because I bet there has been a time when, like me, you have opted for the easy way out.
To let it slide or agree to disagree.
I’m sharing my story with you because, for me, enough is enough. No more self-censorship. No more I’ll just share what is fit for the Hallmark Channel as not to invite attack. No more allowing people to intimidate me into silence. No more holding onto resentment to save another from accountability.
Maybe you have had enough as well?
It is time to pull the curtain back. To speak up. To share your truth.
It’s time to stop sacrificing your voice for the illusion of comfort.
Your anger is not subject to the approval of somebody who thinks he knows better, nor is it up to anyone else to silence you.
Your anger is a message from your highest self showing you that something is not right. It requires you to be brave and take action to right the wrong, not to swallow it back down and carry it in silence.
Women, whether you are black or white or somewhere in between, stop buying into the lie that anger is only for those who pee standing up.
Own it. Work with it. Allow it to fuel you to speak up and take action.
You might lose some people.
But the good ones will come back with a new perspective and a whole new level of respect for what is yours – your voice, your opinion and your fucking power.