My heart thuds and there’s a rushing noise in my ears, like a subway train. A single thought fills my head, ” I HAVE to get away.” My feet pound the asphalt and I risk a lightening glance over my shoulder at my pursuer. “Oh my God, he’s gaining on me!” Panic squeezes me in it’s icy, iron grip and my belief in my ability to outrun him vanishes.
Society has strict ideas about what is acceptable to talk about, and what isn’t. When you chose to break this code of silence, you run the risk of being ridiculed, ostracised, even threatened. If your words make people uncomfortable, to protect themselves – they judge. Suddenly, you find yourself on the outside looking in. This is how the culture of shame keeps its victims mute.
But secrets eat away at you. They weigh you down and, like a cancer, spread to other areas of your life, contaminating, changing, so that eventually, you become a different person. The only way out is to break your silence, before the silence breaks you.
The coming week will see the first in a series of posts exploring taboo issues. Entitled “Breaking the Code of Silence”, the series is dedicated to fighting the stigma surrounding mental health issues, by bringing them out into the open and encouraging the sharing and discussion of subjects that people usually associate with shame, embarrassment and fear.