Your voice is a powerful weapon. The first time I really ever spoke up and truly had my voice was in court against my uncle for sexual abuse.
My childhood was far from easy. My parents had a catastrophic divorce with lots of fights and my uncle didn’t make things easier, at least not for me.
As a kid, I loved to sing, dance and perform. I never took the leading role, though, mostly doing backings for my sister, since I was shy and quiet.
One night, I performed a song by Whitney Houston at a karaoke night at the campsite, ready to be the diva. My whole family was there, and I was ready to take the spotlight. Feeling confident, I stood there and sang. I was so proud and happy afterwards. That unfortunately didn’t last long. Later that night, my uncle abused me in his trailer. I stopped singing and didn’t start until university. The abuse went on for two years and I never told a soul, until a couple of years ago. I kept it so well hidden, even to myself. That’s where I lost my voice and spent a long time feeling depressed.
Are you looking for your true self? What does it actually mean to be you? I definitely didn’t know. Nowadays, it’s whatever is joyful for me. When I was younger, my sister was my voice for years. She was very talkative, studied fashion, was outgoing and no-one could stop her – a perfect place to hide behind for someone who didn’t want to be noticed.
What is it you desire, if you could create anything and have a voice in the world?
Having your own voice could be anything. There are times when silence is the greatest form of having a voice. It can in the form of dancing, writing, cooking, smiling, you name it. When it comes from happiness and ease, that’s when your voice truly shines.
So, how did I find my voice?
Following my sister’s steps, I applied for fashion design and, failing at it, I started wondering: What was it I desired? I’ve always been fascinated by voices. What else was possible without being onstage? That’s how I became a speech pathologist and specialised in vocal difficulties. Giving people a voice, creating a space where there was no judgement, where they could be heard, and I could give them tools to find their voice in the world, and using their voice in a way even when it isn’t “you”.
After graduating from speech pathology, I went away to study singing in Copenhagen. I discovered I was actually really good with my voice. I could sing anything I heard with total ease. Except when I had to perform. I would literally lose my voice the day before the concert or I would disappear onstage. Being a complete different person. Ask me to talk or dance, no problem… but singing. Never again! Until I got these tools from Right Voice For You:
You are not your past
One of the things I realised is that you are NOT your past. You have a choice today and for the future. Don’t let your past define you. Your past is your past. There is so much more available when you are willing to go beyond it. Ask yourself: If I didn’t have a past, what would I choose? What do I desire to create? Although, of course it traumatised and affected me at the time, when I think about the abuse I endured, I view it as though it is no longer something significant anymore. I don’t allow it to have power over me anymore, and I am in more control of my own life, today, tomorrow and for the future.
Caring for you
Is it time to care for you first? Coming from a damaged family, I was always worried about them, making sure everyone was happy. Even in court I wrote a victim letter to let them know they did a great job and to let my uncle know how it affected my life. Not to blame him, not from anger, just to create awareness in his world. What I didn’t realise until much later was I did it for me. I spoke up. I stood up in court and read the letter aloud and was able to say what’s true for me. Having my own back and letting myself and others be aware that I matter too.
It was the first step in choosing for me. The life I created is fun, easy and I make a conscious choice to look towards the future, rather than the past. I’m so grateful now. I wouldn’t change a thing about my past because it’s gotten me to where I am today.
Your voice is your weapon. Use it! Stop hiding yourself and own the stage of your own life. It’s your time to shine!
About the author
Crystel Poetiray has always been fascinated by voices. She is a speech therapist and a life coach specialising in vocal and authentic messaging problems, who is also authorised as a Complete Vocal Technique (CVT) teacher. She looks at how you can change the body so it supports the voice when there’s an authentic and important message to be shared. Crystel is a certified facilitator for Right Voice For You, a specialty program from personal development organisation Access Consciousness.