I have been accused of being too wordy, by some. Funny, my ex-husband, in his pre-alcholic days, disliked my reticence. I learned to keep my mouth shut around him, so he’d have nothing to get fired up about, nothing to twist into some crazy attack on him, nothing to make me defend myself against.
I once told his mother, who was calling him at 8 AM, that he’d call her back when he got out of the shower. OMG, the tongue lashing I got for telling her he was in the shower at 8 AM. Geezus. When you live with someone like that for almost 40 years, you learn that the less you say, the less he knows, the better off you are. (Why I stayed is another story, in fact a book, but abusers are good at making us shoulder the blame for their anger.)
When I left him, I gradually found my voice, and my words, and I vowed no one would ever silence me again. Much to the chagrin of at least one other man.
But what else do we have, to express ourselves? Rolling of our eyes? Hand signals? Hanging up the phone? Withholding in bed? I’m sure I use the first 3 of those, in combination with the words. The last? Not really my style….
All that stuff….may communicate pleasure or displeasure, but it doesn’t let someone in. Some people don’t want anyone in. Fear. Afraid if someone gets in they might get hurt. We all probably have that fear at times.
My greater fear is that no one will ever get in. That forever, I’d be alone with my thoughts that I didn’t have the courage to be vulnerable enough to say out loud.
I can say “I love you” if that’s how I feel. There could be a million reasons why it’s not said back. But there also might be a reason to say it. Like, it’s just how a person feels. Maybe me saying it first takes away the fear of saying it back. Maybe not. But maybe. And it may be worth the risk to me. The bigger gamble for me would be to spend my days wondering “What if I’d said it? Would he still be here if he knew?”
I like the truth out on the table. I like things to happen based on the truth. Not on games that people want to play. Not on being manipulated into a position. I know who I am. There is kindness underlying my truth, most of the time. Unless I sense injustice. I hate injustice.
But words, written words in particular…have taken me from the dark days of an abusive marriage, they enabled me to help my son to climb out of that same dark cave. The words brought me through an intense affair that ended in terrible betrayal, to the joy I feel in this moment, because the words have allowed me to be true to myself. They have allowed me to tell my story, to form relationships with like-minded people, all over the world. They let me see what is in my head, and decide if what I was thinking, and what I’m saying is actually true. I have discovered, along the way, that the truth rings. If it’s not ringing in my head, it’s most likely not true. At least for me.
Just some thoughts on words.