One of the worst things that happened to me in Mary Kay was that I lost my voice. I was accustomed to supervisors who answered my questions, and listened to my suggestions and ideas. My SD never had any real answers (although she seemed to try and me feel stupid for asking questions), and tended to dismiss my ideas out of hand, or at best give them a “that’s nice, dear.” When I wanted to discuss real problems and issues, I learned it was taboo to admit that problems even existed. The truth is, nothing I had to say (or at least, nothing honest) got any kind of positive reaction, and too much of what I had to say earned me disapproval.
For years after leaving Mary Kay, I never felt like I could talk to anyone about my time in Mary Kay, or how I felt about the company after having those experiences. To this day, it makes me nervous to talk about.
I was reminded of all this by a discussion on the boards about why we’re often afraid to speak up. In this discussion, our friend EWON (Eyes Wide Open Now) spoke of experiences I shudder to imagine, reminding us about one of the classic hallmarks of the abuser — s/he suppresses the voice of the victim.
I was reminded, too, of how powerful it is to tell our stories. EWON’s story reminded me of more than one person I know who, after years of being treated like a doormat, learned to speak up — but forgot (or didn’t know how) to temper her judgment with kindness. These people are often viewed as cranky, obnoxious, or bitter. The best part of the story was when she got help from friends who were brave enough to speak up — criticizing her with kindness, and helping her to change for the better.
I like to think that’s what we do here at Pink Truth. We speak up and tell our stories — helping others find the voices for their own stories. We correct or challenge people when the things they say seem wrong — because truth is important. Sometimes, after what we’ve been through, we’re hurt, angry, and maybe bitter… PT provides a place for people to voice those feelings (and laugh about it all, too.) And when someone goes too far in her anger and crosses the line, I like to think that we remind her — gently — that grace is rewarding, and forgetting to temper judgment with kindness can be destructive.
PT gives us a nice, safe place to speak out. We’ve accomplished a lot with that. But many of us want to learn to be better at speaking our minds to real people, face to face. Luckily, we get help with our PT friends at finding ways to do that, too.
Helping each other find our voices, and use them effectively is such a big part of what we are at PT. Do you have a MLM story that you haven’t told yet? Bring it to us! Is there someone you need to talk to about it, but you just don’t know how to do it? We can help! Do you just want to find ways to reach out and spread awareness? You’re in a place full of people who’ve been there and done that. We can help you do it, too.