You know when you were younger, and you were learning about social interaction in the playground by having an argument with a ‘friend’ about something ultimately pointless and trivial? Well, I was never very good at holding my own in those situations.
Whether it’s because I really dislike confrontation, or the pressure of a heated attack on my person made me nervous, I would always stand in hopeless silence. Later, I’d have an epiphanic moment where I knew exactly what I should have said – which of course by then was far too late to serve as redemption for my passive humiliation.
This sort of ‘I should have said..’ moment carried on throughout my school life, and beyond. I never quite managed to get my brain to move fast enough to create a clear, concise explanation of the point I wanted to get across, and translate that to my voice without faltering, which therefore rendered the whole exercise pointless anyway.
I don’t know about other people, but I always find it difficult to let those moments pass without internal struggle. Part of it is stubbornness, and the innate desire to make myself understood. But another reason is because if I don’t get those thoughts out, they literally swim around in my head and stop me sleeping.
Then I discovered the beauty of the written word. Letters, lyrics, emails, (blogs..): a way of saying what I wanted to say, exactly as I want to say it. I can re-read, edit, amend, and then take a decision on whether to allow the person to whom it is intended to read it or not (and more often than not, they are).
I do realise that on occasion this has led to people thinking of me as a little bit weird, and possibly slightly crazy. And I can appreciate that. But to be quite honest, if it’s a choice between that or being driven genuinely mad with regret and unanswered questions, I’ll pick the former any day.
So yes, I’ve written messages to people I’ve never properly met who I feel have wronged me to explain my paranoia and irrational behaviour when I’m around them, and I’ve written in-depth accounts about my passed relatives in hopes people I care about who will never get to meet them will understand why they meant so much to me. I’ve ‘dragged out’ the ending of friendships/relationships to ensure that I won’t be left with inner turmoil when we finally go our separate ways, and I’ve answered aggressive emails to people I owe nothing to, just to make sure I’ve done all I can to explain the situation from my side of the non-agreement.
Don’t get me wrong – I do have a sense of restraint. I don’t always reply to the text messages I want to, and there’s one particular letter I’m itching to send to someone I used to work with, but I’m holding off even writing it because I know that at the present time it will not help anything or anyone. But I’m not afraid of saying things I want to say, just because there’s a chance someone somewhere thinks it would have been better for me to keep my mouth shut or my fingers still. If the things that are swirling round my head at night can be calmed by putting pen to paper, then that’s what I will do.
I won’t be left standing in silence in this present-day playground wishing for a comeback. Even if my defence is slow on it’s arrival, and longwinded in it’s delivery, at least I’ll have peace of mind.