Sometimes. Sometimes the words will not come. They get lost in the deafening silence that echoes through the emptiness of my world. Swallowed by the black hole of isolation. I cannot speak them. They are sucked back into the void before I can form them. I am too numb to shape them. It is too difficult to put them together in a way that makes sense, much less that tells my story with any degree of coherency.
I am trying to explain a perspective I can barely see or comprehend. The words remain in my throat, strangling me, as unformed as the insight I am trying to grasp. I’m attempting to put all the pieces back together…to make myself whole. Trying to put the words together, to explain the unexplainable. How does one explain nothingness? A brokenness so absolute, there is nothing left but dust. How can words begin to paint a picture of the reality where I exist?
Sometimes the words will not come.
Sometimes, they sit on the tip of my tongue, but I cannot spit them out. They are peanut butter, stuck to the roof of my mouth.
My entire life, I have been silent. I have choked back all the words that were oozing from my pores. Choked them back along with the pain. Focused on anything other than the abuse and the destruction it caused. Struggled with crippling depression. With hopelessness. Decimation. I have pushed the words, the emotions, down, down, down, until the volcano within me became dormant. And it remained dormant for decades. I have held the lava and let it burn me deep within; never spewing. Containing the toxic gasses, the scorching fire and excruciating hurt.
Sometimes the words won’t come. I have held them back until I forgot how to speak.
Not even the Heimlich maneuver artfully performed can successfully dislodge them from my throat.
When I was a child the words were near the surface and available, if not fully understood by my immature brain. The wounds were raw. It would have been so easy then to release them and let them fly away. But there was no one to tell. No one to listen. No one who believed me. That’s when I started to hold them down in the dark depths of my soul. That’s when I learned to stop talking. To hide. Behind a mask and a wall of silence. I learned to pretend everything in my family was fine. To act as if I was a normal kid. That’s when I learned how to lie. To still my tongue. To close my mouth. And that is when I became acquainted with shame. When I lost my words for the very first time.
Love could have freed me. But sometimes there is no love. No prince to ride to the rescue. No shining knight. No escape. Sometimes, it really is that hopeless.
Now, I try to pry the words out of the crevices where they have been lodged for such a long time. I try to release them. To allow the lava to flow. To let them dissipate into the atmosphere. I try to form them, to let them roll from my mouth and be whatever they are. Whatever they want to be. To say what they want to say…what they have wanted to say for the entire length of my lifetime. They are not beautiful. They are not skillfully crafted. They are not inspiring. But saying anything, I have learned, is far better than saying nothing at all.
And so, I write whatever words I can find and I send them out into the world of 1’s and 0’s. Out into another dimension. And I leave them hanging there.
Whatever comes, however they sound, I let them go. I let them tell my story in whatever way they can.
Sometimes they are not reachable. I fish for them and come up empty. But I have learned, catching a Sun Perch is better than catching no fish at all. I catch whatever swims by; whatever I can. Then release. Watch them go. Grateful for having touched them. For having finally been able to say something.
I held them, those slimy words, for a moment in my hand. Felt their barbs. Let them make me squirm.
Sometimes the words will not come. But sometimes, if I sit very, very still in my silent world, I can hear the child I was so long ago crying in the endless night and I can find a tiny word or two to let her know her pain has not gone unnoticed or unacknowledged. It is then that I realize, I do not need to speak. It is enough to simply sit with her in her empty, lonely room, to hold her hand and watch the tears as they fall, one after another, from her eyes.