Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Silent Treatment Sentence

There are some things I just don't understand in life. Like, how people can somehow be oblivious to the way they treat others. Their silence or aloofness can feel like a sword thrust into the body. It may not mean much to them but it means so much to others.

Of course, growing up in a house where insults were hurled at the speed of light in a very subtle way, these interactions of communication get very difficult. In times past, one was not allowed to defend themselves or even stand up for your self. It was take it as it comes with no questions asked. If you did manage to question things, most likely you were awarded and given the silent treatment.

The silent treatment was given in hopes that you would come to your senses. It's purpose was to bring you in line with the wishes and desires of the family. Then, if you worked hard enough and were as nice as you could possibly be, you might have the sentence of the silent treatment lifted. Most of the time though, your efforts fell short.

The quickest way out of the silent treatment, was if another member of the family did something to receive the same sentence. Usually there could not be more than one person being shunned and in the doghouse at a time. Most of the time, the family only had the fortitude to hate one member at the moment. Some might argue that "hate" is to strong of an action word to describe this but it sure felt that way.

Before anyone thinks that the silent treatment sentence was given for major infractions, lets set the record straight. It could have been given for the smallest things you did or did not necessarily do. In fact, you might have been unaware of any thing you did to deserve it, but without a doubt, you knew you were being given the silent treatment. Often it was given in circumstances where you disagreed with the family in some area of life and this could include a vast array of situations. Sometimes though, if you followed your heart's desires or longings and the family rulers felt this was wrong for you, the silent treatment began. I could give example after example on this.

Growing up and even now in life, a lack of communication or even poor communication can feel like the silent treatment to me. Most likely others don't mean to be this way but I'm finding that so many just don't know how to communicate. It is difficult though for me to separate out communication problems from the fears of being given the silent treatment.

The loneliness one feels when the world is silent to you is so hurtful. It registers within my gut and holds my breath as if I have said the wrong thing. It makes me to never cease working to hopefully get people to like me. The feeling of the silent treatment is exhausting to my mind and my body.

I've come leap years through this but sometimes it is all I can do to keep it in perspective. Life sometimes throws challenges my way to help me heal this, but that can come with great difficulty and stress. for now, I keep trying to recognize that the old tapes are playing and that I am free to live my life as I choose. I am no longer bound to those messages I was taught as a child unless I continue to allow myself to be. I recognize there will be speed bumps as I continue to grow and heal but the more I reclaim of myself, the more I discover exactly who I am.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog


  1. Don, you have a great blog! I just wanted you to know I gave you a One Lovely Blog Award today on my blog. You can find it at:


  2. Thank you Sheila. I'm glad my blog is touching others. And thank you for the lovely award! I enjoyed reading your blog today as well.

  3. I too experienced the Silent Treatment growing up. Yech!!! Good post






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