Telling someone how I’m feeling, really feeling, is equal parts simple and impossible for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I have always been this way, which is a trait that hasn’t always served me well. It isn’t hard to decipher my mood; people can always tell when somethings up. I wear my emotions like I wear clothing. The trouble is that when it comes to explaining the catalyst for the mood, telling someone that cause or what’s rattling around in that brain of mine, I go blank. I can’t articulate what I’m thinking and feeling. And when I try to do so the sentences come out all jumbled and fragmented, like a drunk jigsaw puzzle.
I can’t express myself as clearly and coherently verbally as I can when I write or think. I’m actually really nervous about writing this post, but I really need to make some personal changes. I’m worried that if I don’t work out how to express myself in a constructive way vocally everything in my life will grind to halt; my romantic life won’t ever stumble beyond a couple of dates. My career progression will constantly be hindered by my mood or an annoyance that I can’t explain when I’m challenged over.
The ironic thing is that when it comes to social affairs, going clubbing, or pulling a guy, I find it rather easy. I find it easy because I can rehearse. I am constantly thinking of funny things to say then I store them away and wait until there’s an applicable situation for me to use them in. I find it easy to banter with friends because it’s mostly superficial; every day, mundane life stuff. I’ve had lots of practice at that and doesn’t require any real depth on my part. I can give good advice and comfort people, because I’m a voracious reader so I understand how they feel on paper, therefore I can relate and offer advice. But when it comes to speaking about how I feel, either in a small circle or heaven forbid publicly, I can’t explain the emotions, concepts or ideas that are so clearly defined in my mind.
Give me a pen and paper (well, a laptop as my handwriting is atrocious) and I’ll write you a personal essay about the topic. But verbally? I just stutter and stammer and wait for my brain to kick start after it stalls. Emitting sounds that portray how I feel is difficult without breaking into a sweat, having heart palpitations or feeling like there’s a knot in my stomach. Telling someone I care about them in ‘that way’ face-to-face is massive deal for me. I’ve done it before, sure, and after it felt as though there was a massive weight lifted off my shoulders. Until of course I start over analysing everything about the situation, from ‘did the person next to us hear me say that’ to ‘I should have put chewing gum in my mouth’ and finally ‘they probably don’t feel the same anyway.’ But either way, I managed it. I said it. I can do it – I just wish it didn’t throw me off for the rest of the day, week, month, year, decade…
Verbalising things eloquently takes a lot of practice for me so I’ve been reading advice and articles on cognitive studies, so I have a basic grasp of the science behind it. I use different parts of my brains for motor functions like speaking and a different part to comprehend, decipher and understand. I think I find the writing process easier because it’s slower. I have time to let the words evolve into thoughts which then become sentences, paragraphs, essays…So perhaps if I take my time when I speak I may find it easier to express how I feel properly? Because as it stands now I just get very frustrated and then angry because I don’t know to explain what it is I really want to say. And as such everyone thinks I’m just angry all the time, when that’s not it. I just can’t explain my feelings so it builds up into this pent up aggression.
Obviously I’m aware there is a direct correlation between the above problem and my confidence levels. When I tell people I don’t have any confidence they normally laugh. Those closest to me know (and that is a very, very small circle) that I have zero self-esteem and confidence. The song and dance I put on for others is little more than an act. An over compensating, well-rehearsed act. Do you have any idea how emotionally and physically exhausting that is? Playing a part all the time. Being overly camp and flamboyant; being loud and opinionated just so I can get myself through another social engagement? People tell me I’m so much fun, that they love me and that I should never change. It’s flattering, it is, but it’s not real. It’s not me. I feel like a jerked about marionette doll, forced to put on this ‘puppet show’ for the world. All I want to do is sit in silence most of the time, but I’ve had it drummed into me whilst growing up that this isn’t acceptable adult behaviour and as such I’ve altered mine in order to adapt.
I just wish I could really express how I feel verbally. Really tell someone why I’m mad, or why I think something at work isn’t fair. When I tell someone I have feelings for them that it doesn’t play on my mind all day. This essay stemmed from four words: ‘I care about you.’ That’s it. That triggered this diatribe, which was easier to write than those words were to say. If anyone has advice, or has been through similar, then feel free to share. That’s why I write these posts. I just want to better explain myself when I’m face-to-face with a person without my heart race spiking, getting pins and needles and feeling like I’m about to have a panic attack.