The words of this blog post hit me hard: The 13th Floor Issue of Everything Left Unsaid . I know what this is talking about and have been through parts of it my share of times... At the root of it, most came about because I or another was afraid how the other would react if we said how we really felt... Those lessons were painful, but we have a new bond of honesty between us from it.
The fact that I've dropped into periods of silence myself more than once, and that I've helped friends sort through similar situations tells me that this isn't an abnormal reaction in many cases. Misunderstandings happen, and those closest to us can cause us pain inadvertently or on purpose, but if you love someone you need to take the risk of talking it out... Silence to sort our thoughts or to try to let it go is not wrong - I'm just saying that you should never hold everything back and let the feelings of hurt take root in your friendship and grow. It will fester until you can hardly think of them without considering things said. Now there are times when it is not wise to speak out...but you should never choose to go silent because of fear.
What have I learned from these situations of my own and trying to help others in them? Silence won't heal the rift - If something is wrong, just say it. Don't close off and think it'll get better and justify the other person's actions. Let them know you value their friendship then honestly state what's been bothering you... A true friend will seek to help right things again.
"You will not wait for the silence to consume us, until all that we’re left with is polite conversation and shallow niceties. You will not let the uncomfortable pile in between us until we’re left drowning under the weight of things unsaid. You will not deny the realness of the situation or gloss over the details. You will say it to my face: ““" -Isa Garcia
So here for you is a poem/freeverse/prose thingy trying to be a poem:
Lost In Silence
I'd rather be silent than expose myself to you.
I'm probably just being stupid.
“Get over it!” Self mocks me.
You don't need to see how I'm feeling.
These feelings... they'll blow over, given time...
So I'll go quiet.
I'll close up.
I'll smile and pretend I'm doing okay.
Better to pretend than have to relive that again.
We both know something happened -
Now we tiptoe on glass shards that cut slivers on our feet
While pretending the glass never was broken...
You broke it.
I broke it.
We knocked it over together but
Neither of us wants to admit what we're really feeling.
“My fault. My fault. All of this is my fault,”
Those words sing-song laugh in my mind.
This guilt is mine but I'll hide that from you too -
No need for you to see how warped my thinking has become.
The thought of talking this out with you terrifies me
But it's also what I want the most...
The thing I want the most, yet I bury the possibility under layers.
Layers of, “It's not that important.”
“I should learn to deal with it by myself.”
“It wouldn't fix anything even if I tried.”
Can't take it. Close down thoughts. Shut them down. Go silent.
Not real silent – but the kind of silent that never brushes past,
“Yeah, today was fine,”
“Yeah, today was fine,”
To the real tangled up emotion.
You and I, we're still friends, but the tension is just below the surface.
“You hurt me!” Whispers the betrayed voice in my head.
“No... I'm just being stupid...”
“The fact that I can't let this go shows how poor a friend I am.”
We both know something is wrong
But walking on glass shards seems safer than cutting open the real problem.
Whose fault is it?
In reality it's somewhat shared, but this silence has even bound that truth.
We go through the motions like everything's okay
While underneath we're pulling farther and farther apart.
What went wrong? I'm still not sure.
Yeah, maybe asking would help...
But I can't risk feeling that pain again.
Then one day
A little crack, a misplaced word, a meaningless jibe
And suddenly the landslide breaks.
Floods of hurt,
Not knowing -
All of it swirls about in chaotic wind.
“But why didn't you -”
“I didn't think you'd understand-”
“I felt alone -”
“I wanted you here -”
“Why did you -”
“Because I thought I'd lose you.”
The words flow free, exposing all the tangled strings.
We tied the knots together when we doubted each other's care.
We pulled back when all we really wanted was to be held closer...
So we both thought the damage being done was solely in our hands.
Our feelings twist and clench but we smooth things out bit by bit;
Apologies and promises of honesty
Give weight to our discussion.
In the end we're wiser than we were
And stronger friends in many ways.
Now we know...
Talking it out is painful,
But not as painful as pressing it down.
Honesty hurts, but it's worth it...
Because I never want to lose you, my friend,
Copyright © 2013 Ophelia M. Flowers