Wrong…?

I stare at my screen. Again. What do I say? It’s been an age, and the words haven’t been coming.

But today, something tells me to write.

Lately, I’ve been listening to the stories of those who normally go unheard. Folks who aren’t white, aren’t heterosexual, aren’t rich. Folk whose voices are silenced despite how hard they try to speak. I remember being in that place once.

I see the world right now, and I wonder how we reached this point. I think back to my school-days. Were we ever taught to think for ourselves? There’s a vague memory of having to write about our skills, but not much more. We were taught what was Right and what was Not. Marked in red pen, passing exams with ticks in the margin and a score.

There was no room for questioning.

I remember asking what the Poll Tax riots were about. Why teachers were striking. Why the electricity went off from time to time. I remember seeing Margaret Thatcher on Saturday morning TV. I saw a bearded Irishman silenced on the news as bombs went off in London.

Later, I discovered comedy and satire. I learned to read between the lines. School taught Shakespeare; Blackadder showed the Bard’s deeper power. Spitting Image showed politicians laughing at the audience, calling them stupid for voting in such idiots.

I still love Shakespeare, despite school (which should definitely NOT be the way it is). He showed all those shades of humanity: the poor, the non-British, the mad. Each had wisdom of their own.

I learned to love the anti-heroes, the rebels, the dispossessed. I saw punks in the High Street and was awed. I wanted to ask, but couldn’t. I learned to stay quiet, but my eyes were open.

I saw bullying by other children and adults. I saw how people were treated. I felt how I was treated, my usefulness determined by how intelligent I was. Book-smart but mocked for it.

I hid in fiction. I loved words and stories. None were more or less valid than any other. But I saw how preference was given to certain demographics over others, so I quietly tried to seek out what was being hidden. I’m grateful to the kind adults who let me into their section of the library.

Years later, as an adult, I found my voice at University, through feeling my anger at being silenced rise and rise until it had to come out. I jumped on a stage (something I’d specifically been told not to do at school, because I’d fail), and I SHOUTED. The room fell silent. People listened. I jumped down, physically shaking… to have friends congratulate me. Why had I not done this before?

Now, as the world opens up again, the empty stage is open to me. I’m being asked what I want to talk about at events. What will my next book be?

I want to tell my stories. I want to hear the tales of others and give them the gift of time and space, so that fighting to be heard is unnecessary. I want to help the shy ones, the afraid, the silenced, the invalid.

I’ve been mocked for ‘always taking in strays.’ I don’t think that’s a fault. I see the world, I see the mistakes made before, and I see the cleverness of those children coming up behind. I want to help them.

I write. I think. I listen. I question. I hope I inspire others to do so as well.

What are WE doing?

I’m trying to listen and find my path again after the world went mad. Because we’re all mad here, as someone once said. All human.

7 Comments »

  1. brilliant. Resonates. Well written, thank you.

    • druidcat said

      The poke to come up with a talk theme helped – thankyou back! ❤️

  2. My pleasure!

  3. Tommy Elf said

    >I hope I inspire others to do so as well.

    Every single day, MiLady. Every single moment. Even when you’re struggling and sharing that those struggles are happening. Every single time, every single moment. You feel like you’re flailing and achieving nothing, but you are. You’re sharing those moments…you’re surviving those moments. You’re sharing that there’s no reason to quit, but there’s always a need to stop and rest. A time to have those tough moments alone…

    >What are WE doing?

    This is a good question. And here you’re inspiring me… 🙂 I’ll write on this for Thursday… 🙂

    ::hugs:: Never forget…you’re loved…you’re cherished…even in those roughest moments.

    –T /|\

  4. Lesley said

    With much gratitude, Inspirational words and deeds Blessed be.

  5. […] Cat Treadwell, “Wrong…?”, https://druidcat.wordpress.com/2022/04/05/wrong/ […]

  6. Daniel Ishmael said

    “I’ll talk a little crazy to you. See whether you can’t listen a little crazy too.”

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