you were so afraid

of my voice

i decided to be

afraid of it too

-rupi kaur

The other day I went into a bit of a tailspin, worried over the idea that I may have offended someone I care about. It was silly, really…but boy, did I get whipped up.

I realized later that while the idea that I may have hurt his feelings worried me, it was the worry that he wasn’t going to be honest about it that caused even greater dis-ease within me.

That he would be upset, and pretend he wasn’t –

Be someone he’s not.

No, you did not hurt me.

(I think I did.)

Whenever I find myself getting into this hyper-sensitive state, it fascinates me to try to figure out why I’m there.

What’s this about?

This unwillingness to believe that Everything is fine?

I care very deeply about the man to whom I was married, and being married to him was really hard. He was not a communicator. I knew this, going into the marriage, but when we are young and in love, we manage to convince ourselves that love will conquer all.

At least, I did.

(It doesn’t.)

As life became more complicated, and there were more abundant and more complicated things to discuss, our relationship became harder and harder.

He did not like to talk about his feelings.

He would not reveal himself to me.

If I said or did something to upset him, he would push it right down.

Everything was Fine.

(It wasn’t.)

I always knew when he was wounded (…angry…frustrated), but I often didn’t understand why, and I didn’t feel understood, either.

Understanding was never something with which I was indulged. 

There’s a long story there, and it begins long before we met – a lifetime of keeping secrets and hiding in plain sight.

I never stood a chance at really seeing him.

When you are not ready to reveal yourself – the core of yourself – I suppose pulling back the curtain in any small measure is much too risky.

I was never able to help him become more comfortable with expressing himself.

It wasn’t my job.

(It was hers.)

It wasn’t a lie.

(Was it?)

It was an omission.

An omission of soul rocking proportions –

He was never the man I married.

He was she. 

She was the one who was hiding, all along. 

img_4600

Drawing by Rupi Kaur

So what is the impact on me?

Me, who married a soul-shaking secret keeper –

Someone who said Everything is Fine, when that was so far from the truth?

It is this –

Honesty and transparency will become like air to me.

(They have.)

I choke and struggle and gasp if I feel I am being deprived of them – by others and from within myself.

Maybe that is why I am here…

Telling you. 

 

{For more on this topic, click here.}

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