Why I Stopped Talking

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Third From the Top.”

Last night I had the opportunity to sit and talk with someone about what was bothering me that day.  It’s like that many nights, some are questions she asks and other nights it could be a stream of conscience type arrangement.  When you spend any quality time in the hospital you get “assigned” a person to make sure you are handling everything.  The first person had to step away, she got emotionally involved with the narrative; bu that might be expected at a teaching hospital.  They haven’t yet completely mastered the stone face.

On this evening we broached the idea of why I don’t speak to many people in my social circle about how I am doing.  Basically, why not reach out to a friend?  The answer is simple, but the emotions behind it are so far more complex.  I joke about it being an existential crisis, but in my mind I see it as a yin/yang scenario.  One issue chasing the tail of the other issue in a ceaseless circle.

I told a friend that I still was in love with my ex, even after six months of absolutely zero contact.  The part I left out was that I wasn’t going to allow anyone to dictate how I was dealing with those feelings.  The fun part is that single statement shut down the email exchange we were having.  It’s not that I even talk about it very often, with some not at all; but I was trying to be honest with her about my feelings.

It leads me to wonder if there is something she is hiding from me, some piece of information that might hurt me; or it might just annoy me?  Dealing with cancer sometimes has emotional consequences.  You pull away from people so that they don’t get hurt, don’t worry about the daily routine.  They only see the bigger picture.  Admitting that I am hurting, in a lot of pain was a big step for me.  I’ve been taught over the years to just handle my business without whining about it.  Paint on the smile even though anyone looking at you can see the pain.

But why does a simple statement about my ex cause someone to just walk away?

Then I remember why I don’t talk to people.  I write this bog with whatever enters my mind that day.  People read it, some comment, others may even understand because it touches on their own experiences, their own fears.  I only once looked at the stats page and realized I didn’t care.  But in the end, the small level of anonymity allows me to be honest about my feelings.  Apparently more honest then my friends can handle.

In that same email trail is a comment about how I “want” two things.  That I knew neither of them were in my control.  In order for them to become reality it was in others hands.  That one was significantly more important than the other.  My friend must have thought I was referencing my wish that the ex would talk to me, but it in actuality was something different.

“But with the passing of today” I continue to hope that a different person will reach out and just ask how things are.  That one voice matters to me right now.  It won’t change anything, but it has the possibility of changing 10 minutes of my life.  In my darker hours I would trade ten years off my life for those 10 minutes. There are times when silence makes you already feel dead, but trust me it’s worse.  It’s not her fault for finding it hard to talk, but I wish she could.

The other thing is silly.  It’s work related and as you can tell by now, not the one I would call significant!  Just a stupid wish.

So I’m going to spend the rest of my afternoon bargaining with various people, doctors, and maybe a deity?  And I guess in some ways I need to either lie to my friend or stop talking again.  Great solution, so proud of myself right now…

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