On Silence (a letter to my readers)

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The Internet is like an ocean. It rages with turbulence. The “trends” come in waves as the masses keep up with the latest of current events.

Bloggers ride these waves with manifestos, calls to action, staunch opinion pieces, and open letters.

Bloggers, big and small, are tackling big issues like racism, sexual abuse, gender issues, social justice, and politics.

Everyone always has something to say. A finger to point. Points to be made. Very important words to say that must be heard.

The tides change with each passing new issue. It’s enough to make your head spin. But it doesn’t stop the blogging surfers from riding each and every wave, over and over.

This space remains largely silent.

It’s too quiet sometimes. Unnerving for me. As I sit on the shore and simply watch and observe the waves. I sit with my thoughts and wonder. My mind follows their lines and watches those surfing on top–so sure of their thoughts. So determined to speak out. To condemn or support. To break silence. And to judge those who don’t as being “part of the problem.”

I turn away. I turn away because the big things that have taken the world by tidal wave force aren’t what have taken my world.

My waves are things like my 4-year-old’s behavioral regression that threatens to drown me multiple times a day. When the punches keep coming and I feel lost. When he says horrible things that rock my world and I start to question everything I’ve ever done as his mother.

The questions hit me like waves, one after another, barely space to breathe in between. Maybe we shouldn’t have pushed him into summer camp. Maybe we shouldn’t be medicating. Maybe we should be medicating differently. Maybe we should be trying this, or that. Maybe we are doing this wrong. Maybe we are too inconsistent. Maybe this is because of xyz that happened when he was a baby, or because of abc way I did such and such when he was a toddler. Maybe he needs more this. Or less this. 

And yes. I know there are pastors in prison and black people being killed and cops going nuts and men becoming women and girls being sex trafficked, but I just can’t wrap my head around it all because I’m having to remind myself to breathe after being beat with fists by my beautiful brown-eyed boy who is just having the hardest time right now.

And so I look at the waves. And I look back to my silence.

This space that is nearly dead but for belly shots and depressing blog posts about my personal life. 

I feel like to say anything more would just be to throw tiny pebbles that would be lost in the expanse of the Internet ocean.

I look back on who I used to be. Even two years ago. I was so very sure of so much. Even in everything I had uncovered about my personal faults, I was still sure. I could express my opinions freely and easily. I was brave. I spoke up for what I thought was right.

But there is something about being in a challenging parenting situation that can make you feel really lost. There are therapists and doctors and books and the Internet but really — you are still the parent and you have to make the decisions. And parenting can look a lot like shooting arrows at a target in the pitch black dark and just hoping that something sticks this time.

I talk a lot about mess. And how there’s always beauty.

Because there is always beauty in the mess.

But there isn’t always clarity. 

I would love to have this blog to be a bastion of hope to recovering fundamentalists, to tired mothers of littles, to special needs parents. And maybe it’s been that in the past.

But I’m fresh out of ideas people. I’m fresh out of anything new to say. There are no words. No opinions. No clear directions for how to make anyone’s life, not to mention the world, any less messy or more peaceful.

The only advice I have for this world for any issue, big or small, is this:

Breathe. Just breathe. 

Silence doesn’t always mean apathy. It doesn’t always mean privilege. It doesn’t always mean you are part of the problem.

Sometimes silence means that people are fighting their own big-to-them battles that might seem petty in the face of the bigger issues of the day.

Sometimes silence means that people have more questions than answers and would rather not talk about things they know they don’t really have a clue about.

Sometimes silence means that people aren’t convinced that words thrown up in an opinion piece on some blog can really effect change all that much.

Sometimes silence means that people are just overwhelmed with the Internet and don’t want to add to the noise.

Sometimes silence means that people are just life-weary and have no words left…to speak about anything.

So, readers, when this space is silent–

I don’t know really. Go check Facebook or better yet, Twitter. There’s enough people out there raging and writing and sharing enough stuff to keep you busy for a while.

I don’t have to be one of them. At least not until I have something more interesting or helpful to say.

Until then, I’ll be over here facing my own waves and remembering to breathe.

8 Comments

  1. Ginger Jerzak

    I have walked in your shoes. Dodging flying fists and other items is, at times, an all consuming job. My son is now 17 and has been in residential treatment for 2 years (this is the 2nd time) with very little progress at times. There are times when all you can do is remind yourself to keep breathing. Please do not ever apologize for not having time to write to write the “pulitzer prize winning blog”. Those of us who have felt this pain truly understand, and will be praying for you. Praying for the answers to come, and the wisdom to make the decisions necessary….sometimes in a split second.

    • Thank you so much, Ginger. I’m sorry that you are going through your own pain right now as well. It helps to put things in perspective, at least a bit.

  2. Bonnie DeZelar

    Oh precious daughter of our Lord! Silence with Him is the best chaos buster I know! 🙂 Prayers to you and your family.

  3. Amanda H

    And sometimes there is wisdom in being silent. I feel it’s growth. I don’t HAVE to be part of those conversations. I don’t HAVE to share my opinion; it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Someone else has already probably said it exactly as I would, or even better than I could. So, honor others’ words. Your own will come soon enough when the moment is right.

    • Someone else has already probably said it exactly as I would, or even better than I could. So, honor others’ words.

      Exactly!! Thanks for understanding!

  4. So sorry you are dealing with this, Aprille. So hard. You might want to check out these two things:
    http://integratedlistening.com/
    and
    http://www.familyhopecenter.com/

    I can vouch for the first myself, having trained in it to help my son (they’ll let you train if you’re a mom in the trenches), and I have a friend who’s had excellent results with the second. Feel free to email me if you have questions. I’m not selling anything, just hope this may be helpful.

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