Listening to: (I can’t tell you) But it is “Crazy, sexy, deep layers of everything erotic, and spiritual, and musical, all at once” (this is me, quoting me) And when you some day hear it, you will be mind blown by it!
Once upon a time, in a life far away, I was a well spoken chick. Not on purpose, not intentionally, it was just a thing. My love affair with words, and talking, started at a young age. I have a very clear memory of being in kindergarten, so, 5 years old, and for some reason pointing out to my teacher that the “thing” depicted in the book being read to us, was a conveyor belt. I remember the look on her face of “how in the actual fuck do you know that?” and her saying something, that didn’t at all involve the word fuck, I’m sure, but that told me a 5 year old wasn’t supposed to know words like that. (I have no idea, then, or now, how I did.) I also remember getting in trouble for not shutting up when I was supposed to. And then for talking back, when I was getting in trouble, for not shutting up. A-fucking-dorable, right?
Some of my best memories in life involve having long conversations on topics ranging from deep and serious, to just silly, which were somehow taken deep. Sometimes those conversations have been an equal exchange, other times they have been a bit more one-sided. Whether deep thoughts, deep feelings, discussion of facts, or just bullshitting, throwing out supposition that seemed to fit, I could hold my own. And by that I mean, I could make a contribution to the conversation. Even if I wasn’t well-versed, or versed at all, on the topic, I had something cogent to say.
In recent months, as I’ve actually started having conversations with people again, after years of hiding from anything too deep, or even too silly, I’ve found myself tripping over my thoughts, and stumbling over my words. Or trying to give Reader’s Digest versions of whatever it is I’m saying, even if the topic isn’t really Reader’s Digestable. I’ll ramble, even when I’m saying something that is actually meaningful to me. And the thing is, I’m smart. I mean, legit smart. Like, back in the day, tested at Genius IQ level, smart. This isn’t bragging, because it’s not something I can take credit for. And god knows I’ve not done fuck all that I could have to utilize the intelligence level I was given to its potential, so, definitely not bragging!
Last night, after a conversation which at some points was really deep, and other times just brilliantly silly, but was in sum total fantastic, during which time I was speaking of coolness that’s going on in my realm, I got reflective (read: a little bit obsessed over how many times during the conversation I might have sounded like the huge dork I am), and realized how much stuff I didn’t say. Not blah blah stuff, but stuff directly related to the explanation of the coolness! And how not eloquent I feel I sounded. Not like I’m supposed to be all Queen’s English, Shakespearean, or whatever, in daily convo. I just feel like I was rambly, speeding through topic, little girl, cutting myself off without saying what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it.
Because I’ve noticed the frequency with which I’m feeling this way, irrespective of with whom I’m speaking, I decided to take a deeper look to see if I could figure out how I arrived here. But the look ended up having to be not that deep at all. Some really shit memories came back of how often I was told that I speak too slowly. Literally SPEAK TOO SLOWLY. I was told to speed it up, cut to the chase, omit shit for the sake of expediency, or to leave out what the listener thought to be extraneous info. I was told that what I was saying was a repeat of shit I said before in other conversations. Told that I didn’t need to bother using “big words”, because no one was impressed by them. Told that I didn’t actually mean what I was saying, because the look on my face conveyed something else.
I used to pride myself in being (for the most part) thoughtful, and taking my time before vocalizing my thoughts and feelings. I thought it was a good thing. Until I allowed myself to believe when I was told I needed to speed it up, or shut up. Words hurled with such disdain, and condescension, served with a side of “looking at you like you’re an absolute worthless idiot, shooting laser from my angry eyes” that I’d lose my train of thought, completely. Or I’d just shut up because I felt I had nothing of value to say. Or I’d giddy the fuck up, as instructed, so as not to further annoy or bore the listener. I started to wonder if I really believed what I was saying, no matter if I was saying “my name is Michelle.” But, is it really? Or does the look on my face say I’m full of shit?
I felt moved to write about this because this IS indeed part of the larger picture of domestic abuse. More covert than getting punched in the head, but abuse none-the-less, which has left its mark on me. Clearly it was/is a form of control. Along with telling me I walk too slowly, which I heard all the time too. A way to, intentionally or not, break me down. Make me feel less than. And it worked.
I won’t suppose to know the reason behind this aspect of the abuse, anymore than I have the physical portion of it. The why doesn’t matter, anyway. What matters now is me fixing this tiny little fracture, which feels kinda huge when I think about it. I suppose it comes down to, as much as does, bolstering my self-confidence. Remembering who I am. A glittery chick WITH a high IQ, and something to say! I guess I just need to take a beat, and have a few more conversations with myself, in which I remind my, me, that its more than OK for me to speak, at my own pace. That the fact that I at least attempt to be thoughtful when expressing whatever it is I’m trying to say, is GOOD. And that anyone who does not see the value in that, isn’t worth the time I’ve taken in being thoughtful.
And for you, who may someday read this, who may need to hear this, know that you too should be cool with taking things at your own pace. Know that not all scars are visible, and that the invisible ones, I’m learning, take more time to heal, than those you can see. Surround yourself with those who see your worth, and tell you they see it. But even in the absence of them, make YOUR voice the loudest thing in your head, and know it for yourself.
Listening to: The Eagles “Love Will Keep Us Alive”