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And yes, you know there is a poem.

I would love to see the day when generations of families can sit together to openly discuss certain topics. I think that there are cultural aspects to not having a voice, but I also think that this is generational. Again I must be specific as it pertains to my own culture and upbringing. And yes, I am going to use humor. I welcome comments and interaction on my blog posts. Don’t be shy, but do be kind.

“Children should be seen, not heard.”

“It would do you good to break the spirit in that child.”

“Because I said so.”

“I don’t want to hear it.”

“Do as I say and not as I do.”

“You’re just a child.”

grey and brown tabby cat surrounded by green leaf
Photo by Jonathan Diederiks on Pexels.com

I have always been inquisitive. This has not always been a good thing as it’s commonly viewed as a negative trait during those moments when it’s best to shut up. It was often inconvenient to have so many questions floating around in my head as a child. Suppressing feelings to keep things flowing better for others would become a major character flaw.

And now, a poem:

black male burning smoke with lighter
Photo by Nikolas Resende on Pexels.com

Little rebel dances with the devil

blasphemy is she 

who shames her family.

Just hand her the rope,

her stubborn nature will do the work.

She’ll stifle herself. Stupid repetitive missteps.

Shame on her, she runs away

we don’t care why.

Shame on her to cry

wolf – what the hell is really going on?

She’s too emotional,

we don’t do that mental health shit.

Why don’t she just get over it,

she’s grown now,

having a child as a child.

Child, you’re a woman now.

What a fool,

stained wool



fluffy black sheep grazing in nature in foggy weather
Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

Lost sheep who went astray:

It will be hard for you to come back and find your place.

You’re in a space

of questioning

and self-discovery.

It will take more time for you to find your voice. 

Be patient with yourself.

Life is too short to keep lashing out. 

Thank you for viewing. Part of my intention with my healing journey is to open up discussions about difficult topics. I really believe that future generations of children could benefit from this type of growth. Embracing healthy tools helped to save my life. Which in turn helps my kids. I’d like to share a recent post here about my transparency with my children.

Read my reflection about healing and apologizing to kids here: https://jusjesspoetry.org/2023/06/15/apologies-to-kids/

Jusjess Poetry – Writing My Way Into My Destiny

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7 responses to “Are There Cultural Aspects to “Not Having a Voice?””

  1. As a child I was constantly told to hush, shut up, be quiet when grown folks are talking. Then as a teenager when I barely said a word.. my family wondered why. THEN … as a young adult it was suggested by those same family members that I learn how to speak up and use my voice, some bad stiff happened and I shut down. The wanted me to use very same voice that they stole.

    It’s hard. Even now I contribute all of the confusion of my younger years to being a quiet at times. Now, I’m not quiet enough to be considered an introvert nor am I outgoing enough to be considered an extrovert… somewhere in the middle in the right company.

    These definitely need to be discussed. Some of my family don’t like doctors, didn’t believe in mental health care until I fell to it, and definitely believe that everyone just needs Jesus …that’s their sentiments toward dealing with difficult things.

    I love this topic and it should definitely be discussed. I wonder how other cultures deal with subjects of family politics (don’t know any other way to describe that) and mental health. Is it the same way? Taking the voice and confidence from a child to instill fear is dangerous. Not a good practice.

    1. Thank you for your comment, it takes a lot to share and be vulnerable. It’s very valid to attribute childhood experiences with adult troubles, and I also want families to have these discussions. I think that for many families there is a huge generational divide and if we can first eliminate words like “entitled” and “ungrateful” and have families embrace mental health more, it would be such a great start. I think that even families who uphold strong religious beliefs can stand to be a little more mindful that mental illnesses are a real thing. Taking it a step further, I have always wondered why it is that families that do acknowledge mental illness actually instill and reiterate the stigma that leads many of us to live in shame.

      I know that it’s hard. But I am proud of you for your steps to keep going and continue growing and healing through writing. It seems like such a taboo thing to want to dig deep and use my voice if it goes against others, and that has been a lifelong issue with me since my own s*xual traumas as a child. To be honest, there are many things that I will never understand. But there are even more things that I refuse to let hold me back any longer.

      There’s an age group of people in the black community who have gained access to so many beneficial tools but wanting to heal is more often seen as a personal attack to their loved ones. It angered me so much in the beginning of my own healing journey, and it seemed to help my childhood trauma wounds fester. I love that many of us have found ways to be heard. Even posting things on social platforms (although freeing to me) has seemed to reiterate divides and differences.

      1. You spoke something that rings true to my situation. My mother took it as a personal attack when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She felt as if she failed somewhere and then that feeling turned into disbelief. We had a looong talk about it one day. She wanted so desperately to pass blame over something she nor I had no control over.

        I’m all for growth. I need it. I’ve always held the belief that our community NEEDS therapy. We’re still trying to heal from the things we were born into. Things that were around longer than we’ve been alive. It needs to happen. Truly. Thank you for opening up this conversation. 🙏 ❤️ Some things need to be addressed no matter how hard or painful. I’m still learning that there’s healing and freedom on the other side of pain. I like this side of the fence. It’s better than the suffering in silence that I’d been doing.

      2. Absolutely! I like this side of the fence as well, and I know that had to be a difficult experience. I understand more than you may know. This side of the fence allows us to set future generations up for success, knowing that success looks differently for each person. Do share this and anything that resonates as now I live to write and use my transparency and vulnerability as helpful tools!

      3. I definitely will. ❤️

  2. […] Are There Cultural Aspects to “Not Having a Voice?” Read Are There Cultural Aspects to “Not Having a Voice?”https://jusjesspoetry.org/2023/07/16/culture-having-a-voice/ […]

  3. […] Are There Cultural Aspects to “Not Having a Voice?” […]

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