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This Is My House

What happens in this house stays in this house
Don't run your mouth with folks about what happens in this house
I'll whoop your butt for talking about what happens in this house
It ain't nobody's business what goes on in this house
Those were the rules
And for years I bought into the idea that family business
Was supposed to be kept private
But there's an exception to every rule
What about when what goes on in the house shouldn't be going on
I'm convinced that those rules were made only to instill fear
In the child who knew that what was happening was wrong
Living with the fear of what might happen if those wrongs were exposed
I realize now that those rules were lies
The truth is it had nothing to do with respecting the family's privacy
It had everything to do with protecting the abusers
Forcing the child to hide what was happening
Protecting the family's secrets, the family's image
The parents' reputation, and the illusion that the home was a happy one
Because what would people say, what would they think
If they knew about the violence that went on
Behind the closed doors of that house
God forbid anyone expose the abuse
That would destroy the facade
So instead, just let people wonder
Let them wonder why you hated us
Why you kept running away
Or why there were years of silence between us
Keep it quiet
Take it to your grave like your father did
So that our side of the story is the only one that ever gets heard
Even if it is all lies
But I've built a new house since then
And I make the rules in this house
Rule number one
In my house I am no longer a fragile and fearful child
I am a strong and fearless adult with a voice that I am free to use
Rule number two
You do not get to subject me to years of abuse
Then demand that I keep quiet about it for the rest of my life
I have the right to tell my story no matter who it offends
And if you wanted me to have nicer memories of you
Then maybe you should have behaved differently
This is my house and those are the rules
Close the door on your way out