Detrimental Pauses

Picture Reblog: phillipelliott

A little girl in an apartment, she is standing near the sink in the bathroom, with the door open. She can see out, into the living room, where the window is open wide. At the bottom of the stairs, the apartment is situated in the middle of the traffic, goings in and goings out of this two apartment building complex, both buildings face eachother. The sense of being able to be seen, in a moment which should be private, a moment that should be hers and hers alone, in this place she calls home, simple private time to be by herself. But no, she never is allowed this, not this. And she heard the preacher and her mother speak, of how not to talk to non Christians alike, because they would send you to hell. She hears these words every Sunday and Wednesday, of how those who are not Christians are evil. She hears how they are dangerous, and to even speak with them could bring her down the wrong path. And so she tries not to speak in school. She keeps her words to those close around her, a very few. 

The anxiety it grips her with all it’s might. Walking down the hallway each day in middle school is a fight with herself internally, to act calm, to not say a word, while her heart races beyond all reason. But since it is all that she knows this she considers normal, and does not know that she is alone. She thinks everyone has fear grip their heart and their chest as they walk down the hallways in the school. It continues into high school. But by this time, she has learned, that if she keeps more distance between herself and other bodies, it keeps her heart rate down. She becomes used to this world of detachment and loneliness, watching, always the observer of those around her. This particular attribute is what will save her, some year. 

As she grows into adulthood, she finally learns to speak when spoken to, and when not. So she talks and talks incessantly to those around her. She knows that they were let in on information which she herself was kept from. They were privy to the world that they take for granted so much. Yet many don’t grasp the entirety of what it is exactly that she doesn’t know and why. And so they surmise, she must be stupid. She doesn’t mind. It is a better alternative then where she had come from, where she felt that the whole town knew that she was a child prodigy. She takes this time to ask questions, as many as she likes, about anything and everything inbetween. For she knows that if she asks everyone every possible question, she will soak it up like a sponge. And then she might “know” whatever it is that they know which she was never privy to. 

Eventually her curiousity got the better of her, after all she is a cat. And she learned much more then she had bargained for. The trade for innocence and knowledge wasn’t as good a trade as she thought it would be. But it’s too late now, she realized. It helps to understand those around herself, to be able to read them like a book. It was something which she could never do before. Body language was always like a foreign language. And so she had to study it and she studied it well. She gave surveys, survey after survey to hundreds of unsuspecting bystanders. 

But what she didn’t know, is that still there would be one thing left to surmise. Her problem to communicate affectively was far and wide, encompassing so very many things. That she had trouble saying what was on her mind. She could speak now. But she would leave out little words, or phrases. Often she would leave out the subject, sometimes simply standing there mute inbetween sentences, not sure of what to say next. But this wasn’t a matter of shy. No, she simply could not access that part of her brain that had the switch off and on connected to her mouth, and what it is that she longed to say. It wasn’t obvious. Often she could speak on many things just fine. But other times, the inbetween times, which came much too frequently for her taste, she could not complete a paragraph in the exact words that she needed to speak. Things were left out, disjointed, and sometimes, important things never said. This grew over the years to a list that was very long, the paper it hits the floor, of all the things she had wished that she’d said. It wasn’t as if it were a choice not to say whatever it is that she didn’t say. It’s as if something stopped her and gripped her by the mouth. It shut off connections necessary to communicate. And so she held onto these moments in time, in her memory, of where she didn’t get to say whatever it is that she so desperately needed to say. And then there are the little moments, that simply made her life abrupt. It was a constant barrage from one day to the next, worrying about what they could have meant, or what was left unsaid. It left her with a daily anxiety, that perplexes her as something that she needs to fix. But now she has an answer for all of this. It’s a disability. So then it’s not her fault after all. But it doesn’t change things thus, for she longs to say whatever it is that was last unsaid. It’s enough to drive her batty in her head, just a little stress over yesterday and the day before, and never getting to fully be a part of the conversation in a way that would fully express herself instead.

And after all this, it turns out that what they had said at church when she was a little girl, they didn’t mean it, no. She took them literally, which is the only way which she could perceive it. For that is the way she sees things, not figuratively.

Copyright Kat Lyons  

Picture Reblog: girlinlondon