Tag Archives: Caribbean norms

Culture of Nothingness

I can hear the pain in your voice, yet still you say nothing is wrong.

I can see the tears rolling down your face, yet still you say nothing.

I have heard stuff that you are going through, but you opened not your heart to share it with someone.

Why does it feel so wrong to bare the most ugly and painful parts of us with everyone?

As Caribbean children we are taught to bite our lips and nod our heads to the point that saying nothing transcends everything.

We wobble in pain, grief, uncertainty, chaos and misery but we have no courage to speak. We force a smile or put on a facade just to avoid being asked why we are sad.

And the funny thing is, even in our greatest moments nothingness seems to prevail over everything.

Why are we so reluctant to share even our wins and our success?

It is as though we were indirectly taught that silence is everything. We turn a blind eye, we cover our ears and we bound our tongues only to pretend that what we have witnessed, heard and want to say is imperceptible.

There are a myriad of reasons we do not want to share certain aspects of our lives with the world. I, however, no longer am afraid to speak my truth.

Some wise person once said that with experience comes knowledge. And I can attest to that as each day I live, I have learned that:

  • It does not matter if those who have ill-will hear of your pain or your triumphs (they are not a part of your life anyways)
  • Not because you have bad experiences and speak of them, it does not necessarily mean you are bitter or hung up on the past
  • Self- expression is great
  • Your story (whether good or bad) may just save someone
  • You only hurt yourself when you keep everything bottled up inside
  • Open up your heart and share the good and bad if you feel comfortable or inclined to.

So, today I implore anyone (Caribbean affiliation or not) who is reading this to remember that it is ok to choose someone to share your wins and losses with.

It is totally fine to even share them with the world.

Do not be caught up in the culture of silence and nothingness.

Take the time to understand yourself in your best and worst moments. Embrace who you are. Share your stories with the world- they may just be a safe haven to someone somewhere.