Why I Chose to Use My Voice to Tell the Stories My Parents Kept Secret

By: Malak Hatem

Parents tend to always hide things from their kids. Some parents change facts until their kids are a little older and they can talk to them openly, some choose to make it clear that a certain topic is off limits, some just avoid talking about certain issues at all costs and some just choose to eliminate the topic they don’t want to discuss all together. 

I am not saying that one group is better than the other or that there is something fundamentally wrong with how these parents chose to raise their kids. I believe that we should all be free to raise our kids however we want as long as it doesn’t harm them. I believe each of these parents had their reasons and most of them would even say that they hid stories from their little ones because they wanted to protect them. As much as I get where they’re coming from, I never want to live my life the same way and I don’t wish this upon others. 

So here’s why I am using my voice to talk about stories my parents kept a secret:

Because it’s better to learn from someone you know and trust that it is to learn from the internet or from someone who’s uneducated about the subject.

Because how am I or anyone else going to learn anything if there’s only but one source out there? How are we supposed to blindly trust that source? 

Because I have to have a voice of my own. I don’t need to adapt someone else’s opinion and call it mine just because there aren’t enough people out there who chose to speak up.  

Because I want there to be countless sources and a million essays and stories to go through before I formulate my own opinion. 

Because I have to put myself out there and find out how people think. 

Because I want others to learn how to ask the right questions and how to differentiate between what’s true and what’s not.

Because we’ve gotta be able to hold our ground in arguments. We can’t just “improvise” or manipulate facts and neither can we leave the table. 

Because I want to be educated on any matter before I open my mouth and speak about it. Frankly, I want everybody to be.

Because we have to stand up for what we believe in. We have to educate ourselves about things we find interesting.

Because keeping those stories hidden didn’t help me or the ones in them nor did it help my parents. I found out anyway. 

Because the more we talk about the taboos, and stories that have never been discussed the more we come closer to breaking the social norms and send out a message that there is nothing wrong with knowledge.

Because i want to teach my kids everything and i want them to know that they can ask me about anything. And whenever I can’t answer, i want them to seek the answers they want themselves. I want them to know that it’s okay. 

Yours truly,

Malak 

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