On The Silences We Face
Well I have come to be writing to you at this ungodly hour because despite all efforts on my part, I have failed to fall asleep. It's not that I'm not disgustingly tired, it's just that my brain won't stop working. Have you ever experienced that? I hope not. Usually curling up with a good book will cure me of that, but I've devoured two books already and I'm tired of reading.
I rarely write in my journal about anything more than newsy nothings or to promote some event here on the site, but I suppose that's an oversight on my part I'll now try to correct.
Lately I've been quiet here on my artsy home, because it's hard to know how to express myself personally without worrying that some may take my words the wrong way, or perhaps what we all fear more: that they'll simply be ignored, but I don't mind anymore. I blame insomnia for this brash entry. I figure those of you who do take an interest, however you know me, don't appreciate my silence or my dodging questions. And if someone can benefit from my rambles, all the better.
So I'm here. I've been here, almost every day, logging in and looking around.
Recently something rather sad, personally taxing, and bizarre happened to me; of which I have written 75,000+ words of so far, reality transfigured into a novel. I'm not really a writer, but I have been writing quite a lot. It can't be all true, I filtered some of what I saw with my own thoughts, I can't remember every word spoken that night of the disappearance, nor can I really claim to have witnessed every single detail. I'm sure some of it escaped me. But still, it compelled me to write, because it involves losing someone I love. It's not done yet. I have quite a lot of writing left to do.
No death happened, nor any dissolution of a relationship, but just the slow, sinking realization that someone I know very well, or thought I did, someone who I care more about than I think he knows, someone intelligent, an amazing conversationalist of all topics sans himself, someone who is kin, blood, and shares part of my genetic makeup, has slowly been losing hope, and I was not astute enough, or simply chose to ignore, the signs. Perhaps he concealed it well. I still don't know. He disappeared, no sign, all weekend plans and the next week's plans, and the weeks after that... gone. What do you do when someone you care about vanishes, leaving behind most of his worldly possessions? My sister and I filed a missing person report, it was all we could think of. It was a shock, even though I knew deep down he could not be happy, I did not realize the extent, and I still don't. His silence, more than anything else, distracts me. Any questions I ask are dodged. I replay the days, weeks, leading up to it, wondering if I mistook any cries of help for commonplace comments, but I find nothing in my memory. It's interesting what we choose to share and what we choose to hide of ourselves - who do we protect with this quiet, unspoken action? Those around us from our problems? Or ourselves, from having to admit it? From shame? Regret? Who knows. I know my silence here has been driven by my inability to come to terms.
It's interesting how we fill our silences with daily trivialities or sweeping abstracts... how we filter ourselves for the people we love, thinking it is imperative. It is not so. The silence is deadly. It can kill from pure neglect, a slow creeping death of the suppression of pain. Physical, mental. Both can kill. Whining is intolerable? Pfft. Whine to people you love, just do it without the high pitched voice perhaps. Don't be afraid that they don't care. They do. And it will bring you closer. If it doesn't, you have lost nothing except the secret. I think at least you'll get a hug.
I realize I need to take my own advice, so I'm publicly declaring: talk. Talk about what matters, not just about what is convenient. Talk because it could very well save someone you know.
There are other things going on in my life, some wonderful, brilliant, breathtaking, some stressful, mundane... but my uncle resurfaces quite often in my mind. Ever since the night he disappeared. He is now found, I am glad to say, although in what condition I'm not entirely sure. He's in the hospital still. And he is still silent.
I am not writing because I want your condolences - I am writing because I should. And because people need to dig below the surface more and ask questions. Difficult questions, sometimes. Painful even. But those questions unasked hurt more than talking them through.