Why Telling Me "What Happens In This Household Stays In This Household" Doesn't Keep Me Quiet

In order to fix the foundation inside the home, sometimes you got to go outside.

Disappointed Child
Photo Credit: Photo: Warner Brothers

| July 03 2017,

8:14 pm

Every time I hear the statement, "what happens in this household stays in this household," I'm like:

Giphy

No! What happens in this household doesn’t need to stay in this household, and it never did. Especially if the energy is toxic and in need of cleansing.

That’s because we’ve grown accustomed of trying to solve our own problems out of fear that someone else would know too much about our business. It’s like we think that we can keep our problems within our home because who better than us to resolve our issues than the people who need help anyway? WRONG!

We fear judgement, we fear others telling us what’s wrong in our families, because as black people, we’ve been judged our entire lives. And what the hell do we look like receiving help from a person who doesn’t understand our community and upbringing? As that one person in your family used to always say, “the only thing worse than a white person talking down on us, is one of our own” (insert head-shake here). I know this may seem all too familiar.  

I say simply nothing is worse than people who refuse to acknowledge their family issues and get the help they deserve.

Personally I feel the statement, “what happens in this household stays in this household,” prevents people from:

  1. Willingly getting the advice/help they need
  2. Assumes that those who do speak on family matters are negatively impacting their families
  3. Silences the trauma (if any exists) in the home, and
  4. Tries to prohibit people from speaking their truth

Growing up, I was afraid to say when something wasn’t right. Of course this was out of fear of being disciplined or being told that “I needed to stay in the child’s place.” Yet, sometimes children can teach adults things and need to step out of their positions as children. This is because they play a vital role in the growth of family just as the adults. Now, I don’t mean they need to tell their folks how to do X, Y and Z, but I do believe that children should use their voices and speak out when something just ain't right. If their voice cannot be heard, then it is definitely OK to reach out to trust-worthy friends and mentors, especially in times of need. And that’s the thing, I never felt like keeping in my pain or struggles was helping me. When something was wrong and I got tired of covering up my circumstances, I let it go.

In fact, I felt like it was detrimental to my mental and physical health as a black woman to keep it festering inside of me. Even more so detrimental to my family. When stuff in the home wasn't working, I needed an outlet, or as my mama called it, "telling my business". 

“Telling my business” was never telling my business. It was me talking through my experiences with sistas who also were told to keep their business within the home quiet too. What we realized is that a lot of what we were experiencing was the same, and dammit, it felt so good to not be alone.

In efforts to get through my experiences, I was relieving myself of negative energy and talking through the things that didn’t make sense to me. If it wasn’t for stepping outside of “the household,” I wouldn’t have been able to deal with what was going on inside of the house. And this is what I encourage others to do, TALK ABOUT IT.

The days I held my troubles, I found myself sinking into a dark hole. The same hole that others around me weren’t able to get out of because they refused to talk it out.

What I learned is that simply stating "what happens in this household stays in this household" is not the end all, be all to resolving the problems of the home. It's easier said than done. There's a difference between yapping to everyone about the household, and finding an outlet to deal with what's wrong with it. It should never be stated to mask issues and prevent others from speaking about on what's really going on.





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