I can write a 20-page letter to someone in which I share my deepest secrets and fears. When I write, I can say things that I have never told another soul in my life. If I sit down to talk to another person face to face, you can just forget it. I will sit and stare at that person for hours and not say a word. I don’t understand it. It’s as if my mind freezes up and the words just refuse to come out.
Take the things I have written on this blog for example. I can not imagine saying these things out loud. Possibly, one day, I may just randomly acquire the ability to speak what is on my mind. I have not been able to as of yet.
In fact, I have had to keep journals for therapy and counseling. If it were not for me writing during the time between appointments with the therapists and counselors I have seen, I would not have been able to share any information with them. I have rehearsed conversations in my head before arriving at their offices to prepare myself so that maybe I will find the courage to say the things that I have felt and thought out loud. I have not yet mastered this skill.
My fiancé can confirm this fact. When we first met, I was totally out of my element. We were at my cousins’ house for a housewarming party. I knew most of the people who were present. Most of them were people I had not seen or talked to in years, though. I definitely had not seen them or talked to them since my Tourette’s had become so prominent, and I am sure most of them did not even know that I had been diagnosed with Tourette’s. I know they definitely did not know of the other things I had dealt with over the last several years.
Meeting new people makes me nervous and anxious. So, when my fiancé introduced himself, I was quite backward and seemed very indifferent to him. I was in a fairly large group of people. I was loud and twitchy and just wanted to get somewhere I could let my tics out in full force and be completely comfortable with myself. I try to put on an air of not caring what people think and perceive of me, but I think that if we are all truly and completely honest with ourselves, we all care at least a small bit at times. Perhaps not all the time, but we all find ourselves feeling self-conscious at times.
I have always been terrified of showing my feelings. I guess I am really afraid of being hurt by reactions to what I feel.
I desperately want to be able to share anything and everything I think, want, need, and feel to him without these barriers getting in the way. Perhaps, one day, the words will be able to fly out at their own will in his presence.
I must say that I am very appreciative of his patience and willingness to allow me to use alternate forms of communication if needed. It may sound strange to you, but the first time I told him that I love him was through a letter. It sounds odd to me, but that is just how things work in my head.
There are times when, being the uber-emotional person that I am, I get upset for seemingly silly reasons or no reason at all. All he can do in those times is to hold me and let me cry it out. Sometimes I will pull my iPod out of my pocket and text what is going through my mind to him. Some of our most serious and meaningful conversations have been quietly spoken this way.
It is extremely hard to seek out help for any problem or struggle you are dealing with when you can not find the words to express your feelings. I guess this is why so many people who are suffering go so long without getting help or never get help. We are scared to voice what is inside of our minds. We are afraid of the stigma and afraid of the reactions we will receive. It is super important to have a support system, but how do we build said system if we can not share what we are dealing with or what we need from said system with the people who love us enough to support us?
It takes massive courage and bravery to open up to those who love you and allow them to see the darkness and pain inside of you. Asking for help does not make you weak. It takes strength to ask for help. It takes strength and courage to face your fears.
Even if you can not force the words to escape your mind and flow from your mouth, you can find ways to voice the things that need to be said. Write a letter or email to someone you trust. Allow your mind to word vomit through your pen in a journal or diary. This blog is not only a tool to share my story to let others know they are not alone. It is a tool to help me find my voice. It is a voice that is seldom heard. With strength that can only come from Christ, I am finding that voice. I will let it out in a way I never imagined doing before. It will be loud as it demands to be heard.
I hope and pray it will be an inspiration to you to scream hope and let your voice be heard as well.