Good evening, friends.
I had started writing a post to FB, decided it was getting too “I want attention-y,” so I decided like every normal person who thinks they are engaging in sometimes harmful attention-seeking behaviors to head over to my blog because no one uses their blogs for this kind of shit. Nope. Not at all. Having said that, read about me and then comment on FB when this gets shared to my page as a passive-aggressive way to seek attention but doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it, m’kay? M’kay.
It’s tremendously fun to be a constant ball of emotions but try desperately to not let any of those slip out. Like, so fun; the funnest thing I’ve ever done in my 36 years and I hope I keep doing it for 36 more years. And I wonder why people tend to pull away from me. What do you mean they can’t read my mind and act accordingly to what they read in my mind? Jesus, it’s 2017. Way to not be telepathic, you fuckin’ slackers. What is this? Amateur hour at the Apollo Theatre? You expect me to be open and honest and communicate? Oh, fuck that noise.
Would it blow your tits clean off to know that communication–or rather, lack thereof–was the number one cause of the demise of my marriage? Well, hold on to your tits, because it was.
I suck at talking. I’ve written about my inability to talk many, many times and yes, writing the line “I’ve written about my inability to talk” made me chuckle at the irony and stupidity of it.
I’ve tried to pinpoint the cause of this disgusting habit, and I’m coming up empty. I’ve always been like this. Ask my mother, whose tactic to getting me to talk to her was get me in the car and drive because she knew she had me held hostage. Eventually, I would open my gob and speak. Thinking about it now, that’s probably why I don’t speak–because I’m a passive-aggressive, stubborn asshole.
Allow me to explain: as a kid, my parents took a shine to walking around the house bare-ass naked. I apologize for this visual, but if I had to live with it for 19 years, you can suffer a moment of brief discomfort. Seeing them in their birthday suits constantly made me extremely self-conscious and prudish and “I am never going to be like my exhibitionist parents and wear clothes all the goddamn time!” I did, too. When I first moved into my current dwelling, so many people told me, “oh my gosh, you can walk around nakey whenever you want now!” Ha ha ha! Can I? Probably not. I do admit I’ve become much more comfortable doing that in my old age, and do sleep in the buff a lot now, but it has only become more of a thing for me to do within the last 5 years or so.
And hence why it’s hard to talk. Ma would corner me, I’d feel threatened or whatever, then shut up, taking the stubborn stance. I ain’t never talking as much as she does! Also, oddly enough and also ironic as all fucking get-out, in order to ever speak to my ex-husband, I’d employ my mother’s tactic and get him into the car and drive. Like a dog in a shock collar who got tired of getting buzzed, he wised up and learned to never go anywhere with me, ever. Shit. Foiled!
Dad, on the other hand, wasn’t a big talker, either. He and I are very much similar in many ways, which is both wonderful and are you fucking kidding me right now? I swear that when my parents were married, Dad hardly ever talked to me just to chat. There was always a reason to chat. I liked that I didn’t have to talk to him about stuff I didn’t want to. I had Mom to hassle me, so to have a “safe” parent was glorious.
Then, Ma and Pa got a one-way ticket to Splitsville and then suddenly my dad turned into a goddamn Chatty McChatterson. It was all about talking about feelings and he started to openly cry in front of me, which is also something he never, ever did growing up. For the record, I do not see that as a sign of weakness or being a sissy or any other derogatory thing people equate expressing emotions with. I admire people who wear their hearts on their sleeves like that. It’s a quality I posses only to myself, so to know there are people who unabashedly bawl at commercials or seeing a soft, fluffy puppy or hearing a song that slaps you across the face with its lyrics… I wish I had that. I wish I had zero filter with my emotions to be able to do that, as well. But, here I am.
Getting back to Dad, though…this sudden, flagrant display of emotions was jarring to me. Like…I’ve known you my entire life and never saw you like this up until now. What the fuck gives, old man? Did you get hit in the head and it jostled loose your ability to express yourself? It was seriously bizarre to me and I shamefully admit it made me pull away from him more because now this goofy motherfucker was going to start asking me about feelings and want to talk about them and hell no. Good day to you, sir. If I had a dollar for every time I left my father feeling exasperated with me, well, I’d have quite a lot of dollars.
But that definitely plays a factor in why I am the way I am for sure.
And let me address my former husband again, if I may. As I mentioned, we had the communication skills of two people who were under the impression that being open with your spouse was in violation of some sort of secret code. Oddly enough, I tried to talk to him, I really did. It was painful as fuck for me, but goddamn it, I tried. I recall vividly a point in time early in our marriage that we needed to have a Serious Adult Discussion about something; I think it was job-related to me. I had been working at Walmart and absolutely hated it and wanted to quit in the worst possible way, but wanted to get his say in the matter because that would mean he would be supporting us while I looked for a new job. This was extremely laborious for me to have to initiate, but I knew it had to be done. I recall laying on the bed with him because I guess I wanted a place that was comfortable for us both and it got rid of the confrontational aspect of it–we were in neutral territory or whatever. So, I began my talk. When I try to talk about something heavy, my words fail me. I take great pauses to gather my thoughts and force them out of my brain. I can fully understand how engaging in this type of conversation with me can be mentally taxing on a person because I can feel the other person’s intense exasperation and frustration with me to just. fucking. spit. it. out. already. god. damn. it. Needless to say, my darling husband ended up falling asleep during this, snoring and all. I was absolutely crushed and devastated by this. Incredulous, awestruck, furious, you have an adjective to express how flabbergasted I was, I experienced it. That was also the first time I ever truly became so blind with rage at the man, I was glad he was sawing logs because I thought I was going to kill him. I left his snoring ass and went to the living room couch to bawl my eyes out. I felt so betrayed and just…like he found me so skull-numbingly boring that his only defense mechanism was to pass out. In retrospect, that should have been a massive warning sign back then, but we were young and stupid and all that happy shit.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t an isolated incident. He never fell asleep on me again, lucky for him, but every time we had to have another Serious Adult Discussion or I was feeling frisky and uncharacteristically chatty (it happens on occasion), unless the conversation was specifically related to him, was about something he took an interest in, or pertained to him in any way, shape, or form, he’d ignore me. He’d focus on what he was doing and give me an occasional “yep” or “uh huh” and nod, but other than that, I was talking to a six foot tall brick wall with curly hair and a gap between its two front teeth. Eventually, I learned to not talk to him at all. Something needed done, I’d do it or ask Dad for help. Hard to believe we got divorced, isn’t it? I mean, golly. What a gold star relationship that was! But I was with the man for a total of ten years and that’s a long time to get used to not talking to someone. You’d think that after being ignored for 10 years, I’d be itching to talk peoples’ ears off, but nope. Why? Because that would mean I’d be like my dad and what do we feel about being like our fathers? That’s right! Fuck that noise!
I also hate talking because in a fair majority of any conversation I’ve ever had, there is always going to be someone who demands to be heard above everyone else and feel that what they have to say is the most amazing, interesting thing in the history of the universe and they will only be concerned about what they are saying. When you try to speak, they talk over you or try to bring the conversation back to them and let me tell you what: aside from arrogance, that is my #1 pet peeve. I detest people who constantly interrupt and/or just impatiently wait for their turn to talk without listening to a goddamn thing you have to say. My god, even writing about it fires me up. Fucking a. And they always talk about the same shit, like a broken, self-involved record. When this happens, guess what? I refuse to talk because what’s the fucking point? My thoughts won’t be validated or acknowledged, nor will I have a chance to even speak anyway, so fuck it. This is why I kind of don’t like being in a large group of people: too many conversations to keep track of, too many opportunities to be ignored, too many people who will think that what you have to say is stupid anyway. It makes me weary down to my bones, I swear. And there is always the inevitable “gosh, you’re sure quiet. You’re so different in person than you are online!” Yeah, okay, person who always takes selfies while holding their phone directly above their head as to diminish the 4 chins you have. Please tell me more about how I portray myself as something different online as compared to in person. Fuck me.
And that’s another thing I know about myself and have also written about to death: my writing is not only how I prefer to communicate, but I also like to think of it as how I would speak in public if I didn’t have so many goddamn hangups about it. I write in a funny way; it’s more conversational than informational, if that makes sense. It’s open and candid and I like to think not at all tedious to muddle through. It reads like a carefree talk with a close friend or something. Or I’m full of shit, which is entirely possible.
There is a way to get me to talk your ear off, and that is called alcohol and I am fully aware of how messed up that is. It’s the whole letting my inhibitions go and being able to remove that pesky brain-to-mouth filter I have. It also means I get really loud and will slur my words because alcohol, and it’s still highly frowned upon in our society to be shitfaced constantly. Oh, and it’s like, a terrible coping mechanism or whatever. *eyeroll*
If I had my way, I’d write all the time. Maybe I should fake being mute in order to achieve this. Come up with some sort of tragic backstory that has rendered me speechless and I can only communicate via writing and oh, that poor, precious woman! Here, give her a pen and paper and let her write! You write, darling! Write!
While that seems perfect to me, I also realize the absurdity of that and how I need to grow a pair of ovaries and just fucking talk. It’s goddamned agonizing for me sometimes, though. Okay–most of the time. A solid eighty percent, as least. Like I said, though–there are times when I get moved by the spirit and I do feel like jabbering away, but those are rare occasions and usually when that happens, I feel like I’d be bothering people, so I keep it to myself. Chalk that up to another nasty habit picked up in marriage: feeling like what I have to say is inconsequential and no one would care anyway.
Gosh, I’m a mess. I know I’m a mess. I’m trying to be less of a mess, I promise. Because I also realize how motherfucking infuriating it is to be with someone like me who can’t speak. It makes people feel like I don’t trust them, or that they don’t matter enough to me to open up and be vulnerable with. That breaks my heart because that is as far from the truth as it can be. I also tend to have a quiet speaking voice, and if someone doesn’t hear me right away, I get embarrassed and refuse to repeat myself because I am also the literal worst. (insert Jean-Ralphio “she’s the wooooooorrrrrssssttttt!” here)
For example, I recently spent the weekend with someone whom I have nothing but love for, but do you think I was able to hold any meaningful conversations with them? Of course not! Why would I go and do a silly thing like that! That’s preposterous! I laugh in your face! I’m sure they loved that, too! Oh goody! Over two days with someone who can’t talk their way out of a wet paper bag! This’ll be a goddamn hoot!
I know I write about this so much; it’s probably my second favorite topic. Depression would be the first, followed by my zany adventures in quitting smoking (not a smoke since July 18th, thankyouverymuch). I like to think the fact that I do write about it proves that a) it fucking bothers me tremendously and 2) by writing about it, maybe I’ll eventually finally realize how asinine it is of me to be so friggin stubborn about it and learn to talk. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m an optimist.
I started seeing Therapist again after a several month hiatus, and she asked me last time we met how my “self talk” has been. Yes, she’s kind of a hippie therapist, but not in the moon crystals and menstrual cycles sort of way, but the cool, eccentric English teacher sort of way. She also says “fuck” the same amount as I do, so we get along famously. Anyway, she asked me how I have been talking to myself, and I ell oh ell’ed at her to mock her silly question. I’m an asshole to myself. She was unfazed by this dazzling admission of guilt. She also then mocked me mocking myself and that one of the funniest things anyone has ever done to me, and again, why I adore this gal.
However, while I am a massive jerk to myself, I do it in a loving way. Let me explain: when I start getting down on myself for whatever reason, I say to myself, “you dumb bitch, it’s okay. Just keep at it. You fucked up, but it’s fine. At least you know you did and can fix it.” Take today, for instance. Today, I was getting on my own ass about school. I’m kind of struggling to pay attention and with procrastinating with assignments. Goddamn it, Erin. If you would take the time to goddamn study at night instead of playing around on your goddamn phone, maybe more of this shit would make some goddamn sense to you. Realizing I was in full asshole mode, I then rebutted with: Erin, you’ve been out of school for twelve goddamn years. It’s going to take time to get back into the swing of things. Take it easy on yourself and yes, you do need to study more, but you can do that tonight after work. You’ll get there again, just cut yourself some goddamn slack, goddamn it.
See? I am the nicest cunt to myself! Or maybe I’m truly bipolar because I don’t know if having these types of two-sided conversations with yourself is entirely the stuff of a person without a mental illness, but that’s okay. We are all painfully aware the neurons between my ears aren’t always on their best behavior. And yes, Therapist has mentioned in nearly every single session we have had in the last year about my tendencies to be highly self-deprecating, but she also enables it because she tells me it’s hilarious when I do it because I make it funny, so it’s her fault. So there.
I hope I’ve shed some light on me. If not, well, I’m sorry. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll freaking write about it again soon, so maybe then it’ll click.
I do want whomever is still reading to know that I am trying to get better; I really am. I mentioned Therapist and I had been on a hiatus–most of that was due to our schedules never matching up, the rest is that I got all cocky and thought that I had a pretty good grip on things after seeing her for a few months and I was well-equipped to go out into the world with my newly gained knowledge and dazzle the pants off everyone with my newfound confidence and willingness to work on myself. I did well with that for like, a month, then ttthhhbbbffftttt. My depression and anxiety have been kicking into overdrive as of late and I felt myself falling face first into my old ways again, so after several weeks of thinking I could kick these feelings in the crotch like I had been able to before, I finally conceded and contacted her. Yay me.
And there it is. I think I’ve prattled on long enough, and don’t think I’m not having a small panic attack about what I’ve just written and how much I’ve written and how easy it was for me to write and how I should take this same energy and focus and passion for writing and fucking somehow channel that into working on how to speak like an adult to other other adults, because Jack, I most certainly am freaking out about it. It’s just a joy and honor to be me, lemme tell you what.
I’m done now, I swear. As always, thank you from the bottom of my weird little heart to those who have stuck through all 3,200 words. You’re the real heroes. God bless.
Thank you for reading.