I’ve been extremely silent lately. And usually for me silence is coupled with sadness. Usually because there’s enough silence for me to hear my own thoughts and that just depresses the hell out of me.
I remember when Dr. Van Harte gave me my first exercise to do when she was counseling me in college. She pegged me to be the chatty type. The type that had to cover every silence with some kind of chatter / banter. She was right. Silence back then DROVE ME CRAZY. She encouraged me to start with 10 minutes and work my way up to an hour. Just be silent…and hear the thoughts I was attempting to drown out. Just listen to them. Try not to be horrified and hear them through. For 2 weeks… I sat on the windowsill on the 7th Floor at Pace University and I heard out all these “thoughts”. They were indeed horrifying. I couldn’t BELIEVE the thoughts running through my overly ever active mind. NO WONDER I’d become such the chatter box. Mixed with random thoughts of death and horrifying imagery of things I’d seen throughout my life (fictional and non) were thoughts that just quietly berated me. Told me I wasn’t enough. I’d never be enough. I wasn’t worth a whole lot and so no wonder I have to work 10 times as hard just to get to level. That I was fat (at the time at 155 lbs) and undesirable and no one wanted the time of day from me. No wonder all my boyfriends cheated. I wasn’t worth shit. Might as well settle into the idea of being a cat lady cause I’d end up being alone and unloved.
In time she taught me how to talk back to those voices. Refute and rebuke them. Tell them they were wrong. Give them examples of my accomplishments in life and love and how they were flat out wrong and actually how I didn’t NEED to listen to them ever. Slowly… the voices got quieter and quieter. Until I was in control. Then I flooded myself with positivity. Self affirmations, self-help books… positive reinforcement. I had it under control.
Lately the voices have started again. And I’ve not gotten chatty to tune them out – quite frankly, I don’t have anyone to fill the room with chatter to. I just find something else to occupy my time. I believe I’ve begun construction on my own little “mental white room” (the same one we envisioned my mom going into when she would get a spacey look in her eyes whenever someone else was chatting her head off.) One where I can just retreat and be left alone to my own devices. Except… I’m now dealing with outside voices.
In the last 2 weeks I’ve been asked as many times if I’m pregnant. One person put her hand on my tummy and asked me “who’s in there, huh?? when are you due?” and the other asked me if she should be congratulating me. I wish people were more observant. And in lieu of that – at least mannered. If they would just put the pieces together – they’d KNOW I’m not. But I must be so godforsakenly fat to them that they can’t help themselves. But what world is it okay to ASSUME someone’s pregnant state?
So driving into day in my normal state of quiet… the voices came rushing back with all their regular distaste for me and anything that makes me happy. And nowadays – i just let them talk. I don’t know what else to do.
It might all sink into the white noise of my quiet mental white room one day.