Mute: The Monstrous One

You feel the trepidation set in
long before you step through the door.
You tell yourself,
‘These are your friends, you’ll be fine’.
You ask yourself,
‘What are you afraid of?’

And part of you knows
you’ve been finding this difficult for a while.
The last few times you’ve been together,
you didn’t have an awful lot to say,
did you?

You wonder what changed.
Did you change?
Perhaps.

Either way, your loyalty brings you back.
Your love for her, brings you back.

But this time,
you cannot hide your fear.
This time,
there are too many people,
unknown faces,
unknown voices.
The unfamiliar frightens you,
doesn’t it?

You push the swing door open,
and there are just so many people.
Children run screaming around your legs,
flashing lights blind you.
‘How many in your group?’
’16’.
The words echo in your ears.
How can you possibly face so many people
all in one place?

“How are you??”
a familiar voice.
You turn to answer,
to tell them about your life.
Surely, you have interesting things to say.
Surely, so much has happened
since last you saw each other.

But the words won’t form.
Your mind is numb.
Numb with the rushing chaos.
Sensory overload
renders you speechless.
You stumble over your words,
suddenly conscious of your facial expressions.
Why are you so worried about your face??

And the other half of you,
the monstrous one
living in your mind
tells you;
‘They’re going to judge you’.
‘They’re looking at you strange’.
‘They’re all comfortable with themselves,
look how confident they are…
you are such a mess’.

And so you spend the next few hours
battling with her.
You tell her to be quiet,
but she just won’t stop talking.
If only they could hear her.
If only they knew
what an effort it is
to listen to her at the same time
as you try to listen to them.

You leave early
and as you walk through
the fairy lit streets,
you wonder if they thought you rude,
if they thought you indifferent.
You wonder,
if they realise how much you wanted
to be part of it all.
What an effort it was to be there,
to plaster a smile on your face,
to try and feel like you mattered.

And you ask yourself
‘why now, why today?’

And perhaps, you have just become
a little more introverted
than you used to be.
Perhaps that’s ok.
Perhaps you don’t need to be sorry
for the changes you have made.

To be afraid to drink
in public.
To find conversation a little more difficult
these days.
A little more meaningless?

To struggle to keep up
as they tell their stories.

And surely you adore them.
You hope they can see
that nothing of this
should fall onto their shoulders.
This is all you.
You and your twin,
social anxiety,
the monstrous one.

 

 

no face woman © 2018

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20 Comments

  1. Nearly all those I am following have been posting pieces that are relating, at least to me, the 2 sides of coins. Doubt/Confidence, Fear/Faith, Joy/Sorrow, energetic/exhausted. We cannot be familiar with one side without having experienced the flip side. I have and do experience doubt and concern for what other’s perceptions are of me. A few quotes that come to mind that have been suggested to help me 1. “what other people think of me is none of my business.” 2. “I can’t think my way into a new way of acting, I have to act my way into a new way of thinking.”
    It sounds like you are very familiar with the monstrous one, and maybe less so with the twin.
    I have to embrace and treat my demons with the love of a parent. What I fight I give power.
    One more “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”
    Thank you for sharing so honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

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