Fading into silence

A couple of days ago, while having a cup of tea with family, my Nan turned to me and said ‘I can’t understand a word you’re saying; you’re so softly spoken’. And my gut reaction was SCORE! Like this comment freed me from all obligations to speak in future. Of course that’s not what it meant; if anything it was a criticism, an instruction to speak louder. But deep down it really pleased me.

My parents are worried when I visit them, I can see it in their faces. I don’t say very much anymore. I actively don’t want to speak – if at all appropriate I’ll nod or shake my head. Conversations are things that happen around me. We went out for a long dinner tonight, and the sum total of my vocal input was giving my order, and saying ‘No, I don’t think the menu has changed since last time‘. Seriously. I could see my Mum trying to draw me in, directing questions at me, but it was like I wasn’t really at the table.

I feel kind of guilty, but at the same time, I can’t help it. If I forced myself to talk more it would feel so false. My Dad is starting to get angry about it – yesterday he asked me if I’d ever tried tofu – I shook my head – and he stared at me angrily until I said ‘No’ out loud. Was it worth it, Dad?

I’m told I look sad. I don’t feel sad.

I don’t feel anything.

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