There is a dark side to silence that comes when being silent causes us to build strongholds. We think it will protect us. The longer we’re silent, the stronger the walls of defense and isolation.
Dr. Dobbins says, “Satan builds his strongholds in the secrets of our lives and reinforces them by silence. When we break our silence, we break the stronghold.”
When we use silence to protect ourselves, we are building a wall that will eventually make it impossible for anyone to penetrate.
In our isolation, we experience loneliness, anxiety, and fear.
Our walls of silence are built up over time because we don’t talk about the things we’re uncomfortable to share. This may be a result of past abuse, the memory of a significant loss, or ongoing rejection you feel. It can be so subtle that we have no idea we become silenced.
Keeping secrets becomes a dark side of silence. Being silent does far more damage than the experience that initially silenced us.
I could not have told anyone at the time of my daughter’s death, and the abuse that came soon after, that my voice was stolen. I only knew for sure I couldn’t talk about what my struggles were.
My husband Jonas says, “If the secrets of our history are kept silent, that silence screams out in the hallways of our soul and keeps us trapped, fearful and angry.”
God created us to be free and live in the light. That’s why our soul screams out for freedom.
The energy it takes to stay silent will deplete you of the energy it takes to give you the change you want. The enemy of our souls thrives on secrets and silence. I can tell you that the older we get, the less energy we have to fight this kind of emotional battle.
There are several ways the dark side of silence acts out.
We learn how to play the game of silence through pouting, whining, drama, lying, deceiving, and crying, to name a few.
As the days, weeks, months, and years went by, I became more silent and afraid. So I complained more.
It seemed the only thing left to speak was complaints about everything that went wrong, yet never being real about anything. I call it whining. We feel like a victim and believe this is the way life is.
Our voice was silenced, and we feel our right to speak has been stolen, so we use our smaller voice to get the attention we desperately want.
Many of us have no idea how we are communicating, but our body language is clear. We hold everyone at an arm’s length and then cry because we feel no one wants to be around us.
The dark side of silence confuses those who are closest to us.
I remember living with the dark side of silence. I didn’t know there was a way out of my secrets. I also knew I couldn’t be close friends with anyone because if I were, eventually, I would tell my secret.
Secrets and silence are twin sisters. They depend on each other for their very existence. They never allow you to tell because if you share, it is no longer a secret.
Secrets and silence protect each other.
I desperately wanted a close friend when I was living on the dark side of silence.
There was a lady who had moved to town and attended our church. I liked her a lot and wanted to be her friend. The dark side of my silence told me to believe the lie that she wouldn’t like me if she knew me. As I got to know her better, my walls began crumbling, and I started feeling a connection with her.
It scared me because I wasn’t ready to reveal my dark side. I remember telling her one day as I drove her to an appointment, “I’m happy to take you today, but just so you know, I really don’t have time to be a friend.” WOW!
In other words, the walls I built to protect myself would not allow a friend to come into my world. I desperately wanted to be her friend! I was so lonely!
I was afraid my protective walls would crumble if I got too close to anyone. This fear is a sure sign that you are living on the dark side of silence.
The dark side of silence nearly destroyed a life long relationship with my two sisters. We were attached at the hip and thought nothing could separate us.
We often felt like triplets. We thought alike, dressed alike, and loved the same things. We slept in a double bed until we were married, traveled as a trio, and built a church together. We did everything together. We were tight and nothing would separate us, or so we thought.
The dark side of silence builds walls, destroys friendships, families, and in my case even the tight bond of sisters.
I would never have dreamed our relationship could ever be destroyed because it was loving and secure. The irony of our tight-knit sister connection was that the abuse I endured they too endured at the very same time.
For about five years, we didn’t know about the other’s abuse. When we thought we might all be in this abusive situation, we had no voice left to break the silence. (This story happened many years ago, and my sisters and I have reclaimed our bond.)
The dark side of silence will dominate you as long as you stay silent. The dark side controlled me, and I learned how to navigate my way around in the darkness.
Just as the Holy Spirit guides us when we walk in the light, the evil one will give us the tools we need to find our way into the darkness.
When I refer to the dark side of silence, I cannot explain how trapped you feel, and yet you have no way of knowing how to walk out of the darkness.
Psalms 39:2-3 explains the trap of silence. “So I remained completely silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased, my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned, and then I spoke with my tongue”.
Our silence is all-consuming and affects our hearts. We can feel the fire burn and the heaviness of the darkness. It’s an emotional experience that leads to real heartbreak.
There is a dark side to silence, but I’m happy to tell you we can break through it and make choices that will allow the light to enter your darkness.
The way to a happy heart is to be open and real. Start your journey today by breaking your silence and speaking the truth.