I wrote this post back at the beginning of December, about six months in, after a couple of real-life encounters began to crack the wall I'd built around my happiness and my heart. I thought I'd share it so maybe, just maybe, there'd be a slight bit more context for why I'm so ... devastated ... over something that seems, on the surface, like it shouldn't bear so much weight.
The effects of standing in the cold rendered my fingers numb to the point of light tingling. Shoved deep into the pockets of my too-light jacket, I dropped my gaze to my feet, suddenly tongue tied as my ankles rolled in and out, a subtle heel-clicking to alleviate my discomfort yet inability to do anything but speak.
My friends looked at me expectantly, eyes slightly hopeful at seeing this small glimmer of the spark that escaped at a gentle, unsuspecting mention.
He looks like your type. I could introduce you.
He looks like your type. I could introduce you.
It isn't that I didn't know the answer. I've known it for the better part of this year. It's rolled around my brain, my eyes reading it a thousand times over and my fingers typing it a thousand times more. My inner voice has mulled it over and rolled it around in lilts my vocal chords could never accomplish, mumbling it and shouting it all behind the pull of the nerves that ache from squinting in the dark too late each night.
I have never said it out loud.
I may have whispered it to myself in the stillness of my empty evenings, my lips trying to understand this new configuration, this previously foreign combination of syllables and phonics. And I'm fairly sure, in hushed tones, I have spoken parts of it separately as was necessary for whatever need lay at hand. But never have I spoken it wholly, with a full voice, for others to hear.
I looked up from my feet, sideways through too-long bangs creating a veil between the air, the parking lot streetlight, and my eyes. I stammered as the cold air hit my throat, interjecting filler between the first and the last, my lack of practice apparent as I tried to stifle any sign of emotion from escaping along with this utterance.
But for all my posturing, I failed.
This has been The Thing Of Which I May Not Speak, and I have knowingly acquiesced to that reality while understanding my own that if I may not speak of something, I will quickly lose my ability to speak of anything as compartmentalization has never been my strong suit. As well, I know myself well enough to understand that once I spoke it, once I released it into the world around me that my ability to draw it back in would be harder, near impossible. The longer it is held in, the more pressure would build. A leak in the dam to become an overflow, with nothing available to plug it back up again.
It happened again, the next day, and I stammered again, a different set of eyes expectant upon me, fingers poised for the research I myself had done what feels like forever ago. I knew what would be found there, if left unchecked, if not prefaced.
Still, I spoke. And my words, undone with their stifling, poured out and danced around the truth that my face couldn't hide any longer.
This is the happiest I've seen you in years.
The truth of that statement rang in my bones, stealing the breath that was betraying me.
I have a glimmer of light. Like all things in life, it is not necessarily easy or pure or without it's own special complexities and complications. But nonetheless, it is there, and has been, while I've stumbled through this darkness -- not necessarily towards it, but more assisting me on the journey, lighting the few steps ahead of me so that I may not stumble more than needed.
I think back to when I last felt this flicker, this hope, and the closest I can muster is when Tova was born, when I looked into the eyes of another face altogether and, in my way, begged for the opportunity to make this feeling last, or at least make it welcome to return.
It never quite did. Not without tremendous effort and choice and a certain kind of force that only the most wounded or most frightened can produce.
I wasn't sure I'd ever see it again, to be honest.
I have tried to be cautious, to try and not give in to my nature and see things that aren't there, to proceed with trepidation and care. With my silence has come denial, for to me if you cannot or will not speak it, it does not exist beyond the confines of your imagination, it is not a real, tangible thing but the work of dreams and bits of magic.
Yet the truth of it, the reality of it is breaking through for those who are looking for it to see, and with that I had a choice to make -- to continue my silence, to continue to shut it out and push it to arms' length ... or to let it in, ride this cascade of words and thoughts and emotions so painfully unfamiliar to me after all this time, and call a spade a spade.
I spoke your name aloud for the first time.
And I refuse to regret it.