A voice worth hearing

 

Some times it is still difficult to find the words that lay closest to my soul. To be truly vulnerable. To be truly myself.

But it is getting better.

Saturday I met some of Guy’s friends for the first time, the first part of the day I hung out and studied. The second part I played a few games. The last third of the time at their house we discussed the world at large, concepts of personal responsibility, thoughts on the issues our society here in America are facing. We didn’t always agree on the solutions, but I think the essence of our motivations were similar enough, and understood enough, we were able to have a genuine conversation.

One that I immensely enjoyed, for the first time in nearly a decade.

And R., when I was interrupted, interrupted another of Guy’s friends, J., and said, “Wait, I want to hear what she has to say.” And they both stopped, turned to look at me, and listened.

Do you know – that simple statement has happened far too rarely in my life. My mind is still disjointed, at times, and easily derailed. I’ve been too often dismissed, belittled, talked over, purposefully misunderstood to find it easy to voice my opinions. Sometimes, when interrupted, I mentally flounder, expecting an attack, or feeling that my opinion doesn’t matter anyway so I release the thoughts to the ether.

To  be honest, when given the gift of that acknowledgment, the first time I did just that. I couldn’t remember what I was going to say. So you know what they did?

They waited, one assured me it was worth waiting to hear my opinion. And then, once I dredged it back up, they listened. Considered it. And the conversation continued, absorbing my input and moving along from there.

It feels tragic to me that I have experienced this courtesy so little in my life. I am so used to being drowned out, and feeling small and as if I have little worthwhile when I do speak up. I am noticing a little more of it in the relationships that have deepened over the last months, most particularly since I left my ex, are improving in this regard. But with new people, they don’t expect me to be silent. I am not so defined for them, beyond how I present myself now.

Even so, I felt so elevated by the intentionality of it. And realized that it’s another piece of me that I am learning to find again.

My voice.

 

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2 thoughts on “A voice worth hearing

  1. People don’t know to act around mentally ill people. I am schizoaffective so it happens to me far too often. We need to spread the awareness of how to treat people with mental illness. Society at large is ignorant. Great post btw

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am beginning to understand that I have always struggled with anxiety, but much of my current struggles are magnified by living with an emotionally abusive ex. I was too passive and took too much responsibility, he was too aggressive.

      For the longest time I blamed the abusive behavior on mental illness. But I’ve since met many people with mental illness who are self-aware and have worked hard to find that balance of being themselves, educated others, and apologizing when they get out of line or damage a relationship – intentionally or unintentionally.

      How do you act around mentally ill people? It should be the same as how you act around ‘normal’ people. (If there truly are normal people).

      With respect, a desire to understand their outlook, and granting them the time to communicate their thoughts and views and knowledge.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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