So many times, I’ve felt like I was in the Lionel Richie video of the song “Hello.” In terms of being different and standing out, I relate to the blind young woman. And because I don’t feel like I can successfully express all my thoughts, I feel like the man narrating the song, who wants to know someone, but doesn’t know how to describe these thoughts.
In my case, my thoughts are well-organized in my writing and mentally, but saying them is a horrible challenge. I only say 5-20% of what I want to, and this is involuntary. As a kid, when I didn’t want to talk to someone, I’d pretend to be mute. Now that I have help with speech and counseling, I know I can’t trust all my reactions. I ask myself, what do I not know; what am I not picking up on that I should be, and why won’t my face and gestures match the feelings I have inside? Put simply, the inside and outside don’t match.
Another complicating factor is this: many times other people just pass me by. They don’t try to know me. If they do, usually it’s not the people I’m intrigued by–or want to know—who take interest in me. Instead, I get stuck talking to people I don’t want to talk to. Time after time, I feel disappointed because the only calls or emails I get are from my socially-challenged family, not from the friends (or people I hope to be friends with) I so want to hear from. Each day I feel lonely, and that writing and music are my only outlets.
Being alone is different from depression, which I used to struggle with profoundly, but now I love life, and trust I will, slowly, meet people, but how is the question. And through all this, I know too that my safety is nothing to play around with, so sometimes I avoid connecting for that reason. Elsewhere I blog about situations where I didn’t trust my gut, and was taken advantage of in many different ways, ranging from manipulation to abuse.
So, I guess I’m saying I hear all who have written to me about similar struggles. I have them daily, too. Perhaps we can campaign for writing’s usefulness, and encourage our friends to communicate with us in emails. Yet, we also need those phone calls and Saturday night dates. Like everyone, as people, we need to be included, welcomed, and given chances to express ourselves peacefully. We so deserve, in short, to be heard.