A small gesture

It’s hard to talk when I’m sad. I want to, but I just can’t make my mouth make any sounds that form words. My father realized this when I was younger. One time, and only one time, when I was upset and feeling like I couldn’t talk, he set me up in front of a computer with a text editing window and asked me to type my responses to his questions. He was clever; his questions were simple yes-or-no questions at first. I think he realized that it was even difficult for me to type anything more than that at first. Slowly, as he sensed my body language change, he would start asking more complex questions that required more complex answers. Yes or no responses soon turned into short sentences and soon after that I was pouring my heart out onto a digital notepad.

That is how well my father understood how to communicate with me, for I am all but incapable of communicating actively when I am in such a state as that.

Interestingly, it is only around another person that that state causes such a complete shutdown of my communicative faculties. Alone, I am still quite expressive, as this short piece illustrates, for it was written shortly after I was left alone in just such a state. Furthermore, an internal dialogue is constantly running through my head in these states. Indeed, I am very expressive in every meaning of the word, except in outward appearance. Small gestures such as the slight twitch of a finger are in fact huge, sweeping, screaming motions, so loud as to silence my own thoughts for a few moments and yet so invisible to an outside observer that I somehow feel that much more unheard when someone—through little fault of their own—fails to recognize it.

This is unendingly frustrating. I am at once both completely irrational and unreasonable, unforgiving of people’s blindness towards me and at the same time intolerably chastising myself for being so incommunicative. The internal war feels as though it is enough to tear me limb from limb, which in addition to making it hard to speak makes it hard to move. Muscles become at once weakened and strengthened, incapable of lifting the weight of my own extremities and yet ready to unfurl in so spectacular a display of speed and strength at a moment’s notice that one might believe them to be constructed as though they were made of some giant wound metal spring.

I do not understand why it is so insanely impossible for me to break from these states. Of course, in moments of obvious sanity I tell myself that it is precisely insanity that makes me so distraught. However, this very thought also makes me wonder how I can be so sanely aware of my insanity and yet be so unable to do anything about it.

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