Clenching at The Voice  

Seriously_Real 49M
1458 posts
3/28/2006 8:00 am

Last Read:
8/16/2006 5:28 pm

Clenching at The Voice

I can hear it.
It is the sound of a quick breath before speaking.
The sound of inhalation antecedent to a scream.
I know well that nameless sound.
It forebodes.
Like the bat of an eyelash in the face of the wind
I clench my ears when I hear it, readying myself ‒
It is coming.

It begins with syrupy sweetness,
Kindly reminding me, engaging me, overwhelming me,
Demanding attention, agreement, allegiance ‒
I become surrounded, impounded by the shrieking gentleness of it.
I am immobile and marooned, without provisions or assistance
Unprepared for the cascade of words
(Falling harder now)
In a blizzard of calculated moralisms.

It ends, and the cleanup begins.
The memory of the storm remains.

The storms do not return as often now.
The damage done, I have been conditioned.
Trained to hear the sound of breath before speaking.
Trained to remember the bitter, deceptive sweetness.
Trained to repeat the words,
The memory,
The demand to comply.

I clench.

(c) 2006 Serious Man Productions


This post was inspired by [blog 1hotwahine]'s post about breaking the tape that plays in the background of your head -- the one that is on a constant loop and tells you that you aren't good enough, smart enough, talented enough, tall enough, sober enough, whatever -- to get what you want.

I responded to her post at the time with the idea that we learn our patterns by age 30, and that our jobs as adults after that, if we are to grow, is to discard the patterns and attitudes that do not fit. I thought some more about it, and then realized that what she was really talking about was "The Voice" that I've often referred to in the past.

The Voice is the one that tells me what to do, challenges me when I do not do it, and speaks the truth to me. Much of the time, the Voice is my own, requiring me to be honest with myself, reminding me of what I REALLY mean to say or do or want or think.

Unfortunately, though, I began to realize lately that The Voice is usually that of my mother, moralizing endlessly. I was raised to believe there was no greater sin than selfishness. Getting what you wanted was not allowed. WANTING to get what you want was even worse. Disagreement was not tolerated. Compliance was demanded.

This so far sounds as though I was abused and neglected as a child; but that is the opposite. All of these messages were delivered with the loving and gentle spirit that is my mother. It was not malevolent. It was not cruel. It was the way I was lovingly raised because -- to my mother -- such obedience and self-denial was what the Southern Baptist concept of God demanded. I was told every day for the at least the first 18 years of my life that everything I had must be returned -- talents, money, time, skill, energy, focus, purpose. I could keep nothing. "To whom much is given, much is expected." Those words will haunt me forever.

Those words are bullshit.

They are bullshit because self-denial only works if you want it to. I never wanted it. I never bought the concept. So when I wanted something --when I WANTED to be selfish -- I had to drive that desire underground, undetected. And that led me to where I am today.

Now, though, I see things differently. The words hold no power any more. I give what I want to give, and I follow my heart's desire honestly and openly.

That doesn't mean that I do not still hear The Voice of my mother, moralizing me. I hear it even when it is not there. Such is the power of the conditioning of many years. I still clench.

And therefore I wrote the piece above.

Thank you to [blog 1hotwahine] for reminding me of the road I am on. Thank you to [blog sj365] for whispering the truth into my other ear. And thank you to My Sweetie for demonstrating how the honest, full and evolved life can be lived.

--Seriously (Liberated)

aascrompn 43M
6444 posts
3/28/2006 10:02 am

You're welcome... I'm the too short and drunk guy, aren't I?

Seriously_Real replies on 3/28/2006 10:04 am:
Que? Que? I am seriously not following you. Because you aren't too short.

rm_1hotwahine 64F
21091 posts
3/28/2006 10:11 am

Makes me wonder what I'm doing to my kid. No, I mean that, seriously. Or should I have said: I mean that, Seriously.

Your post leads me to think that before the voice/tape/whatever becomes a negative force, its root may have actually been positive. Kind of like a conscience run amuck.

Good job! Thank you.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

Seriously_Real replies on 3/28/2006 10:22 am:
Bingo. When you are a child, being denied what you want is also a self-preservation mechanism -- I WANTED to eat nothing but Reese's peanut butter cups (mmmm....Reese's.....) but I would have died from it eventually. The problem is that it is very hard to turn "off" the self-denial machine. I'll bet you find the right medium, 1Hot.

jadedbabe78 107F

3/28/2006 12:28 pm

I remember from Pyschology that the majority of people are have their minds set in their ways and are almost impossible to change affter the age of 22. Just a tidbit of useless knowledge, I am full of it.

I'm the Queen of self denial, I only hope I don't pass that on to my spawns. Of course, I'm also full of contradictions--so I doubt it will be passed on.

Damn, this post made me think. Good job.


Seriously_Real replies on 3/29/2006 9:07 am:
My theory is 30 and not 22, but we're in the same page on that. As for passing on shit to the spawns...well, hell. We'll probably never know how we're fucking up our offspring. The best we can do is the best we can do and hope that one day they'll see we did the best we could. I don't blame my folks -- they were doing the best they could. (And your double-negative contradiction idea is hilarious.)

TheRealThing655 49F
9558 posts
3/29/2006 7:32 am

Wow, this is all the truth. Thanks for putting it into words that really mean something. I didn't have that Voice you did, but somehow I am finding my way...I'm glad to have the opportunity again and be true to myself. I feel "free" again in so many ways.

Seriously_Real replies on 3/29/2006 9:12 am:
Freedom from the Voice....freedom from artificial restraints....freedom to be what you are all the time....these are things that matter the most. Good for you, and stop by again.

MoonRise9 59M

4/8/2006 5:31 am

About Valley Rat's "older and wiser", there is the often quoted 18/40/60 _Rule ...

When you're 18, you worry about what everybody is
Thinking of you;
When you're 40, you don't give a damn about what anybody is
Thinking of you;
When you're 60, you realize that NOBODY's been thinking about
You at all, the whole time.

Seriously_Real replies on 4/10/2006 6:53 am:
Damn. That's good. I never heard that....and true. Except I've been 18 for about 38 years....

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