“Speechless”

Jasmine’s new song “Speechless” in the live action Aladdin speaks to me so, SO much as an adoptee, as a victim of narcissistic abuse, as a woman, as a child of a rich man. I’ve been listening to all three versions nonstop (there are part 1 and part 2 from the movie, and Naomi Scott’s full version) with chills and tears welling up. This song affects me deeply and I think a big part of that is because I have been reading The Primal Wound, digging through my memories and feelings, unraveling this crow’s nest of tangled threads, and emerging from my adoption fog.

My voice has been shushed, silenced, and attacked my whole life. As an adoptee, I have always felt like I couldn’t talk to my parents about my adoption because I was afraid I’d hurt them. I didn’t know back then that I had a right to know my roots. Every time I brought it up, I’d see the looks on their faces and shut myself up. Whenever I told someone I was adopted in front of my mom, she looked uncomfortable. I’ve been told how lucky I am so many times by so many people that I grew to feel guilty just by wanting to know my roots. The wealth I grew up in was constantly envied by people, and it made me feel selfish for wanting more, for not feeling fulfilled, for wondering about this other family who I knew nothing about. I began to guess what my genetics were made up of from my features. I’d look in the mirror and think things like, “I bet I’m Irish; look at those freckles, red hair, and green eyes. I must be super British with how much I love tea. My high cheekbones must mean I’m Native American. I think I look a bit German; I’ll root for the Germany soccer team.” I started to fantasize about myself and my biological family, internalizing it instead of facing it, facing my parents and facing what society shoves down your throat about adoption. Because I put my mom and dad’s feelings before my own desires, I lost precious time with my biological family.

My dad wanted to raise me to become the person he wanted for a daughter. He did everything he could to mold me, sculpt me; bribery, manipulation, fear, control, holding money over my head (figuratively, of course). When I resisted, he’d resort to harsher methods such as gaslighting, insults, punishment, disowning (I’ve been disowned at least 6 or 7 times; I lost count). Whenever I displayed my independence, he’d roll his eyes or brush me off as just being a kid/teenager/woman. When I made choices for myself, such as when I stopped eating meat that was not free range because I cared about animals, he made fun of me. When we’d go out to eat and I asked the waiter about their meat (politely, mind you), he’d roll his eyes and laugh at me, then apologize to the waiter and make jokes about me. He did this to my mom, as well, so I grew up not only with it aimed at me, but also watching her take it from him. She fought it, sure, but one can only fight so much. He made fun of her weight, he ordered me to take off my hoodie once because it was too baggy and wasn’t ladylike, he insisted she wear makeup, he made my life hell if I didn’t answer his every phone call.

As a woman, I have experienced countless men trying to shut me up or trying to cut off other women’s voices. Disney movies have been important to me because they taught me that I didn’t have to keep quiet. They encouraged me to speak my mind and go against “the norm” and other people’s expectations of me. I always loved Jasmine, Ariel, and Belle specifically because they are outspoken, smart, courageous, loud, brazen, stubborn women who got what they wanted by NOT being silent.

This new song gives me strength, power, and courage. It reminds me that I am on the right path for myself, that cutting my dad out of my life was the right thing to do, that seeking therapy for the depression that has taken over me since my mom died is healing me, and that delving into the depths of my mind and figuring out how my adoption has affected me is something I need in order to grow.

SPEECHLESS PART 1:

Here comes a wave Meant to wash me away
A tide that is taking me under
Broken again, left with nothing to say
My voice drowned out in the thunder

But I can’t cry
And I can’t start to crumble
Whenever they try
To shut me or cut me down

I can’t stay silent
Though they wanna keep me quiet
And I tremble when they try it
All I know is I won’t go speechless

SPEECHLESS PART 2:

Written in stone, every rule, every word
Centuries old and unbending
Stay in your place, better seen and not heard
Well now that story is ending

‘Cause I
I cannot start to crumble
So come on and try
Try to shut me and cut me down

I won’t be silenced
You can’t keep me quiet
Won’t tremble when you try it
All I know is I won’t go speechless
Speechless
Let the storm in
I cannot be broken
No, I won’t live unspoken
‘Cause I know that I won’t go speechless

Try to lock me in this cage
I won’t just lay me down and die
I will take these broken wings and watch me burn across the sky
And it echoes saying–

I won’t be silenced
No you will not see me tremble when you try it
All I know is I won’t go speechless
Speechless
‘Cause I’ll breathe
When they try to suffocate me
Don’t you underestimate me
‘Cause I know that I won’t go speechless
All I know is I won’t go speechless
Speechless

SPEECHLESS FULL SONG:

Here comes a wave meant to wash me away
A tide that is taking me under
Swallowing sand, left with nothing to say
My voice drowned out in the thunder

But I won’t cry
And I won’t start to crumble
Whenever they try
To shut me or cut me down

I won’t be silenced
You can’t keep me quiet
Won’t tremble when you try it
All I know is I won’t go speechless
‘Cause I’ll breathe
When they try to suffocate me
Don’t you underestimate me
‘Cause I know that I won’t go speechless

Written in stone, every rule, every word
Centuries old and unbending
Stay in your place, better seen and not heard
But now that story is ending

‘Cause I
I cannot start to crumble
So come on and try
Try to shut me and cut me down

I won’t be silenced
You can’t keep me quiet
Won’t tremble when you try it
All I know is I won’t go speechless
Speechless
Let the storm in
I cannot be broken
No, I won’t live unspoken
‘Cause I know that I won’t go speechless

Try to lock me in this cage
I won’t just lay me down and die
I will take these broken wings and watch me burn across the sky
Hear the echo saying:

I won’t be silenced
Though you wanna see me tremble when you try it
All I know is I won’t go speechless
Speechless
‘Cause I’ll breathe
When they try to suffocate me
Don’t you underestimate me
‘Cause I know that I won’t go speechless

All I know is I won’t go speechless
Speechless

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