You finally arrived after many failed promises. Looking shattered and
scattered, I hesitated to greet you with touch as I was so accustomed to
doing. Your aura read like a do not disturb sign, official and threatening;
like there could be a penalty or perhaps just the impression that you
might recoil. A penalty I might have considered, but the harshness of
your dismissal would have crushed me. I took the safest road and asked,
“How are you?” "Tired." you replied, closing me down by walking away.
I watched you silently, studying you and waiting for a cue to approach
you. I misunderstood your muttering to yourself, thinking you had called
me in to your thoughts at last. Your icy stare told me that I had
interrupted you again. I felt like a chastised child even though you said
nothing or swallowed your annoyance.
I am off balance by this disconnection. I need to talk about your need to
not talk. My questions appear to make popping sounds into your
personal space. I struggle to turn myself invisible to please you.
What’s wrong? What have I done? What do you want and what can I do?
Threads of, ‘what’ thoughts, spin around in my mind. A female habit, I
acknowledge to myself. You are out of order and I take it upon myself to
fix it. It’s not mine, I remind myself, let it pass through. I ignore many
years of training, in the art of not taking on other peoples stuff, and ask
you once again “Are you okay?”
It’s a silly question really. What I really want to know is, “Where have you
gone and why didn’t you take me with you.” I am here - but not in your
It’s a curious observation that I have been deemed invisible or
superfluous. And you in your exhausted body, your brain cells short
circuited and spirit darkened, still, somehow, manage to maintain the
dominate influence. I am weakened by your energy.
It’s a hostile attack – silence. Oh, I know the poison and injury of words,
but silence - silence is an insidious weapon. Silence frees the aggressor
of all responsibility. He says nothing, he does nothing. How can he be the
aggressor? An act of passive aggression. With silence the recipient
measures out the meaning.
Disapproval; lack of interest, punishment or maybe a case of emotional
blackmail. It seems to me that I have been controlled without any orders
Subliminal dictatorship - resulting in self flagellation. I feel the daemons
raise within me, the not quite good enough child, slowly kicking at a
pebble, to hide the truth behind the bowed head and slumped shoulders.
The adult diagnosis of low self-esteem, resets the child’s clumsy
interpretation of, ‘Am I enough to matter,’ or more bitingly, ‘Am I
Days change, moods lighten in sporadic moments, and hope rises, as I
search for the invisible cord which holds us together. Glimpses of life
returning. Polite talk meets with some civility. We keep it safe and simple,
with short discussions about meals and the weather.
I take my trepidation to the side of your bed to ask if you want me to
leave. The slight pause before you respond reminds me of a guillotine
waiting to fall. "No," you say kindly. "I am here to rest, I need to feel
peaceful again, I need thoughts which do not insist on urgency. I have
come here for the silence; the silence is my healing."
Silence: transforms its meaning. Silence to me had been hostile. Silence
to him meant peace and rejuvenation. Silence had caused me to panic
and clutter my mind. Silence had allowed him to still his mind and
We do get to know each other through exchanging words; sharing ideas;
finding common ground or simply entertaining each other. Enough
similarities and sames are offset by some opposition to keep it all
interesting. Friendships are based on that. The right combination of
similarities and differences. The exact formula might only be decided as
the X factor. Words can be a distraction. We can master social etiquettes
and manipulate our words to gain approval or acceptance. We can hide
and protect or even misrepresent ourselves with our words.
To feel comfortable in another’s presence, through extended periods of
silence, can be confusing and confronting. Initially, I had misinterpreted
the silence. I struggled to get comfortable with it and wanted to challenge
it. My biggest mistake was in viewing it as disconnection. Finally, I
understand that comfortable silence is what changes a friendship into a
relationship. The ease of simply being, rather than the need to be doing;
this is where the true comfort lies. In a way it really is a matter of trust. To
allow another to be within your personal space is the true measure of
Copyright Sonya Green 2008
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To allow another to be within your personal space is the true
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By Sonya green
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