Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tongue Tied

I'm terrible at talking about things. Words just tend to bunch up somewhere in the back of my throat, stumble around on my tongue and never make it past my lips. Whenever they do manage to come out of my mouth, they are discombobulated, adjectives running into nouns, trampling each other and never making sense. So that's why I write - because I'm horrible at getting out the things that I want to say in an eloquent enough way for them to makes sense to human ears. I try to explain myself to people, apologize for things, separate myself from situations in a mature, adult manner and I can't. It's not that I don't know how - I can formulate all the monologues in my head - but it's that I don't know how to get them out of there. So I don't. I cease communication. I cut people off. I cower into a corner, speechless. Because it's easier to be silent than try to stutter and ramble or be guilted or have to fight or defend myself. Easier than having words thrown back in my face - words that hurt or sting or pull at my heart strings. Words that make me feel things that I want to avoid.

Usually I'm better at writing than I am at speaking. But I haven't even been able to write lately. The words get stuck in the area between my brain and my fingers on computer keys. I've been worried about it. Thoughts that used to flow so easily now seem difficult to get down on a page; forcing my creativity to show itself ends in vain. Even this post right now is a challenge: I'm distracted. I'm distant, unfocused. Everything is crowded. All the great ideas, the stories, the jokes, the anecdotes - they're trapped, aching to find release. I know what I want to say, so why can't I just get it out?


They say if you never ask then you'll never know. But really, don't we already know? Isn't that why we're afraid to ask in the first place? We're not strong enough to face the rejection of our dreams - no matter how strong of an argument for them we may have, no matter how passionate we are for the cause - we're afraid of the possibility of "No". I was told "No" so often growing up every time I asked for something that I just decided to stop asking altogether, because I was tired of hearing no. I'm afraid to ask anything now, even if I know the answer will be a resounding yes; all because of the small fraction of the potential for "No."

I wish I could just tell him how I'm feeling. How when I got that email, how much I wanted to say the words that I'd been waiting so long to say because he'd finally said something that I'd been waiting so long to hear. "I'm lost too." I should have told him. "Come back and we can be lost together. We'll help each other find whatever it is we're looking for. I can be your Next." But I chickened out and just typed a sarcastic, off handed remark and the door to that topic was closed. And now the words are piling up because all I can think about is "What if?" What if I said what I'd wanted? Would it have had a warm reception? Or would he have just brushed it off as a passing, drunken comment in a moment of weakness that had no real weight on the reality of his situation? Maybe that's why I didn't say what I should have: because I was afraid that I wouldn't get the response that I was hoping for in my head. Maybe that's why I never say what I want to.

Because I'm afraid of the truth. Because I'm afraid of the "No".

If I don't ask, then he never has to let me down, he never has to reject me. I can keep the fantasy going in my head; the hoping, the wishing, the wanting, the waiting. In my head, I always get the answer I want.

But then the words start piling up. There's no where to put them all - all the things that I want to tell him, all the things I want answers to, the things I've put off discussing. They start clogging my brain. Then, there's no easy way for them to come out. The exits are blocked, the doors are bulging as they try to hold back the overflow. One day, I'm just going to explode and everything will just spill out like lava, destroying everything in its path.

...And then, I'll just get tongue tied again.

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