I so many times re-read a post and my hand trembles on the mouse as I hover over the publish button. But I steer it away and press save draft instead. Maybe another day. Maybe another time. There is a limit to my openness. A threshold of exposure I am not prepared for.
If I pressed it, maybe you’d understand.
There is this double edge sword to my personality. What makes me so compassionate and empathic in turn causes me to be sensitive and so easy to bruise. I wouldn’t trade one for the other, but when that cut bleeds my skin I question. Why I let people in so easily when they so quickly and sharply swipe the blade? If I were to shut my heart down, build up a brick enclosure and not let your words effect me, then I wouldn’t be myself. If I didn’t let you hurt me, I could never love you. It’s the price one pays, this sensitivity, for the ability to love deeper.
At the calm of my work life came a personal drama so unexpected I was blindsided and winded. When I jokingly questioned you I was met with an anger I couldn’t have prepared for. To be told by one about the anger of another? When did you become so passive that you couldn’t address it with me? I hate when the petty cloud our judgements. When the inner wound prevents our outward thinking. You were hurt. Yes, I understand, it was so unintentional I wish you understood. Now there are four of us involved and what are we even arguing about?
Then again quickly blindsided by the closest friend’s harshest words. Didn’t you know how sensitive of a subject that was? How it takes all my willpower to come every day to a place that gives and takes and hurts and laughs with no warning or advance notice. Of course I try. Of course I write it. Of course it is never my intention to make these mistakes. I bite my tongue. Push the hovering tears back.
Then there’s you, the third. If you only knew how hard I try. How I question every move, doubt myself, doubt your intent. There are people who want to be my friend? A thought still so foreign to me. Yes, I am a great friend, but you don’t know that yet. You’re running on blind faith without my persuasion. Since when did I acquire friends this way? So I misinterpret you. Question you. Take your silence as my doubt.
My eyes scan over Anne Sexton’s words to find my voice within them.
Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
I strung today’s events with a thick thread of vagueness hoping only my emotion would show through.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren’t good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
I have this fault. This need to over explain. I dig this ever widening chasm with my words, so many more opportunities for a misstep when there are so many words scattered about.
There is another fault. This fear of being misunderstood.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.
Poem by Anne Sexton “Words”