Finding My Voice

Written by on October 7, 2005 in The Healing Journey with 0 Comments

At five or six, I remember dancing alone in our living room to the music of Swan Lake. Against my parents’ wishes I would sneak across a major highway behind our house and stand inside an adobe bus stop for long periods of time, just for the pure joy of hearing my voice bounce off the walls.

Music was a part of my being and essential to my survival. It was like the air I breathed. The cells of my very existence could not exist without it. I sang and danced whenever I could, but those things eventually faded into the past.

Our home was like a dark vacuum that swallowed up any evidence of life. It was dull, quiet and almost tomb-like. I don’t remember any sunlit rooms radiating the sights and sounds of living. Even when we watched a comedy show, once my dad bragged he could watch something funny without laughing, we followed in his stead. It was unthinkable to do otherwise.

For a number of terrible reasons the freedom to speak, to express one’s true self was forbidden.

There could be no true self. Incest, psychological and emotional abuse were part of our home life, and as they never could be acknowledged, never mind addressed, neither could the parts of ourselves that suffered.

Silence became the rule. Mom was always sick, so we had to be quiet – no singing, no laughing, not even crying – especially crying. My world was a series of gray.

When my parents discovered through 6th grade chorus that I could perform and shine as a soloist, I was granted a conditional reprieve. My father became my vocal coach. He told me what to sing and how to sing. He gloried in the accomplishments of his precocious daughter and his fine mentorship, and never passed up an opportunity to let me perform the songs or poetry I wrote in honor of him.

I felt special during that time…like I had some value.

One night – I was 12 years old – my voice cracked and gave out in a performance…(continued on page 2)

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About the Author

About the Author: Greetings, fellow dreamer, and welcome! I’m Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist. Some of my creative projects are a CD of healing music, “For the Sake of Love” and a children’s book on the interconnectedness of life, “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” published by Illumination Arts. Currently, I’m in the process of creating podcasts for my book series on covert abuse. My commitment is to the creative process especially as it relates to the healing journey. Whether I’m singing at a vigil for asylum seekers, memorial for political activists or sitting around a table sharing tea and conversation with friends who just want to talk heart to heart, I am always deeply moved by the human spirit to love and live with authentic beauty. Thank you for being here, for reading my posts and/or listening to my podcast. There’s much to share, much to create and the journey has just begun! Meet you on the path. .

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