In case you haven’t noticed, I find it very difficult to express myself in a way that other people can understand. I’m not sure how much of it is me, and how much of it is just lost in translation from my mind to another, wherein mere words don’t entirely suit our needs.
I struggle all the time to find the words I want for whatever it is I am trying to express, but from the responses I receive, I can tell I’m still not getting it right most of the time. It’s frustrating, because I often end up feeling a little bit trapped inside of my own head – in part because I can’t talk about some things in a way that someone else will understand the way I need them to, and in part because there are so many things I can’t talk about at all. When there are enough instances of both, it all builds up inside until I feel like I can barely think straight.
And waiting until it’s ready to boil over is of course not the greatest course of action! Yet for some reason I continue to allow myself to get lost. In…myself. Haha
Part of me hopes that writing something here every day – even if it’s not touching upon the things I really need to – will help in some way. Maybe I’ll even get better at expressing some of the thoughts, feelings, or whatever that heretofore have laregely remained unspoken and/or unwritten. Mostly unwritten, because if I think I am bad at writing, I am really horrible at speaking. It’s ridiculous.
Part of me is also convinced that this won’t help at all, and is basically a waste of time. It’s too bad that it’s only mid-February, but with a little luck – and my innate stubbornness – it’s possible that I’ll still be able to write every day for the rest of the year without skipping days or throwing in the towel, whether any of it helps, or not. I do hope I make some progress, at least, but I’m not holding my breath. I have, after all, met me! 😉
My vocabulary isn’t very large, but I think more of the problem lies in the fact that I’m not sure words alone really do the trick. No matter which words – in any language – to express that you feel sad, or angry, or happy or whatever you’re feeling, I think they just barely scratch the surface of the experience you’re having of the actual emotion. That’s why so much gets misinterpreted online and in other written correspondence. There’s no tone of voice, there’s no visual representation of a person’s facial expression, or body language. Talking on the phone is better, speaking in person is even better, and one-on-one conversations in a quiet spot are probably the best. If you’re me, throw in some alcohol for the walls to slip further down and get a look at the real deal. Or as real as whatever is being felt in the moment.
Like, our minds and emotions so often lie to us. So freaking often. I sometimes wonder if I can ever really trust any of it. That might be part of the reason I feel so disconnected sometimes – I can’t trust myself, and I feel unable to connect with someone else long enough to bounce some of the things going on inside of me to see what they think. To get another perspective; one that isn’t bottled up inside with its pal, Melodrama, lying to me. But when I can’t connect – when there’s faulty wiring and what I’m trying to express isn’t coming out nor being received properly, the effect is that I feel further away from the person I’m trying to talk to than ever. And that makes me shut down and shut them out even more.
Well, it doesn’t make me do that – I have to take responsibility over my own self and my reactions – but it makes me want to, and a lot of times that feels like the same thing.
The other problem is that I hate feeling like I’m just talking about myself all the time, and not reciprocating in the listening department, or that I’m trying to spend all my time getting something out that I don’t let anyone just relax and have fun. I have trouble understanding in the moment when to draw the line and just let conversation flow to things that have nothing to do with me, or that are just silly and fun instead of more pressing or serious. Like, just because something is eating up my mind doesn’t mean it has to be on everyone else’s. Or anyone else’s. I’m pretty good at keeping it to myself and pretending it’s not there – unless I get started. Then it’s hard to stop. And equally difficult to find the balance. At least until I figure out that either no one wants to talk about it, or I’m just not saying things in a way that helps them understand. Then I have no problem just stopping and folding back up inside myself.
I got so good at folding up that I’m not sure I even know how to unfold, really. I don’t really know the difference between sharing bits of myself with someone, or just talking things out until I get a better grasp of whatever I’m thinking or feeling. I can’t just say I’m anxious about something and expect another person to understand why I’m anxious, particularly if I don’t know why, either. Sometimes I feel the need to just talk through something until I have a better handle on it – like bouncing it off a sounding board. Either it begins to sound true to both of us, or talking about it helps me realize it’s not whatever I thought it was. That’s where connection lives. Most of the time, though, I can’t get to either of those points, and end the conversation just as frustrated and confused as it was when I started. Only lonelier, because my attempt at connecting was a failure and all I can do is sit and stew in it, feeling like I couldn’t break out of my shell even when I wanted to, and therefore will never really be close to anyone ever.
I’m not sure I know how to talk or share or express things with another human being. Sometimes I’m not even sure I want to, but there always comes a point when I need feedback, even if it’s just to stop the lying spiral in my mind and set me back on course. I’m sure it’s doable in baby steps, like everything else, and on some level, this blog is pretty baby step-y.
Except for all the things I can’t put here.
But that’s what therapy is for.
Now I just have to realize that friends aren’t therapists, and figure out where to draw the line, even as part of me is a little sad that the person closest to me is someone I have to pay to connect with me! 😉