I am pleased to announce that my newest book, Soul of My Voice, is now available at Lulu.com. Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. This text was written as a workbook/journal to accompany my first book, Soul of Voice published in 2016. However, Soul of My Voice is just as effective as a stand alone book, chuck full of essays, poems, quotes, photos, writing prompts and mandalas. Happy reading (and writing, and coloring, etc.)!!
The hot topic in the news (again) is that of domestic abuse. No matter how much attention this topic is given or how much it is discussed in the media, it still hovers over us like a dark cloud of cultural malaise. Although I realize it is not gender specific, more often than not it is our women and girls who are the victims of the physical violence we too often see.
As an expressive voice specialist, I am curious how that kind of abuse specifically affects the voice and its ability to express the truth of a person’s situation. What I have discovered is that domestic abuse is not only fear based but likewise saturated in shame. It has been my experience working with women who are or have been victims of domestic abuse that they tend to vocally express themselves either by clamming up, by defending their perpetrator, or by becoming a “Chatty Cathy”—talking about nothing and everything at the same time. Unfortunately, all of these choices are a silencing of the self.
When one silences themselves, they are denying the very truth of their personhood. Often they feel so diminished, that they can take on the blame of another person’s abuse because they feel somehow they deserve it. For these women a black eye often feels like an affirmation of the perpetrator’s love for them. “He wouldn’t hit me if he didn’t love me enough to set me straight” is in their thinking.
By creating a safe atmosphere for these women and by opening up their voices, the possibility of them becoming strong enough to deal truthfully with their abuse becomes more and more evident. They begin to courageously speak out, to see the abuse for what it truly is, and begin to find once again the truth of who they are—confident, strong and worthy women who do not deserve the abuse they are receiving.
We need to keep this topic in the news. As we speak openly about domestic abuse, we offer those who are or have been abused to take the appropriate steps to end their distress by likewise speaking openly. It is our birthright to have our vocal expression be a reflection of who we know ourselves to be and not be squelched or silenced by those who would reign terror over us.