Being silenced or feeling that one is being silenced is an awful feeling. Not being able to express how one really feels can be detrimental to one’s well being and emotional health. And yet, it’s not always in our best interest to express how we are feeling or what we are thinking to another person. Perhaps we are not ready. Perhaps the relationship is too fragile or the time is not right or we are afraid. Perhaps the other party is unwilling or unable to "hear" us. There are many reasons, as to why we might not always feel free or ready to speak our minds.
If we are unable to express our feelings, they may seem to disappear. Sometimes we wish they would. Sometimes others may wish the same. But they don't simply go away. Instead, we may internalize them and still be affected by them in a multitude of ways. They can affect us emotionally, psychologically, and physically. These unexpressed thoughts can take on lives of their own. They are heavy to carry, and because we have tucked them away, they can be even more detrimental to our well being.
If those unexpressed feelings or the silencing stems from our relationship with our mother, the burden can be even heavier. Psychologists have many theories about attachment, bonding, and mother-child relationships, and though the findings vary, few would deny the profound importance of this relationship in a person’s development. A challenging, difficult, or painful relationship with our mothers can affect us in other aspects of life.
Writing letters is one of the most powerful forms of communication that we have. Unsent letters provide the writer the opportunity for self-expression without the risk of actually confronting or sharing one’s feelings another person or the need to. While it doesn’t replace the impact of an actual conversation, it can provide writers with an outlet, an opportunity to rehearse a conversation, or the realization that all that was really needed was a way to personally process whatever the issue is.
Trina O'Gorman, perhaps best known in the "journaling community" for her notebook/journal gallery on Instagram: @ninjatraveling, has also given many workshops and journaling classes, both online and within her community, teaching people how to use personal writing as a tool for self-development. Her unique MindMosaic writing technique has been used by individuals and in classrooms to help people, who have found themselves previously unable to freely write, quickly produce pages of writing and establish a regular personal writing practice. Those who have attended workshops, teaching the MindMosaic and other personal writing techniques or coaching sessions have referred to these techniques as “life changing.”