I have a lot of things that have been weighing heavily on my mind. Over the years I find that writing about those weighty, oppressive, sad things help ease the pain. However, as I age, I start to wonder am I really writing about the actual issue. If I can't be honest with myself in my own private writings, who can I be honest with? And maybe more importantly, why can't I be honest. Mostly, because some of the things that weigh my heart down and fill it with loathing for my life is too painful to put into words, because words, well, words bring things to life. Words,even dishonest words, make things a truth. Words, even when said carelessly in passing, are dangerous. They need to be regarded as the most dangerous of all human creation, these words that just anyone can use.
I have a story about words. It is a very painful story, so painful in fact, that it takes my breath away when I think about it. However, in wanting to make a point, stories have to be told. One day, I was standing in the kitchen in my home, I am guessing I was about 16, no wait, I am thinking perhaps I was 17 because the fight started over her going to my senior play. Yeah, so 17 it is. Not that age matters, OK, so enough with the hesitation on with the story. I was standing in the kitchen because in my mother's family, we are kitchen people, that is where we spend our time. Some families are living room people or deck people, but we, we are kitchen people. I was (OK, I will get there this time, don't rush me!) standing at the cabinets, I don't remember what I was doing and The Mother walked in. My mother. I asked her if she was coming to the opening night of my senior play and a fight soon ensued. I remember thinking "but it's my senior play and you can't even come, why?" I think I even said as much and my mother said "blah blah blah (meaning I don't remember what she said prior to this, all I remember is what she said after), I wish I had had you aborted like I wanted to, but YOUR Grandmother wouldn't let me. Instead she made me get married to YOUR father". Boy, did that statement take the wind out of my sails. Nothing like the good ol' abortion statement to stop an argument with a teenager. Not that I would ever recommend this method but it is pretty damned effective argument stopper.
Now, the facts of this story sometimes shift and change in my mind. Sometimes I am younger, sometimes I remember other details, but the constant thing in the memory is the words. And how much they hurt. I have had at least twenty years to deal with this hurt and I feel that is a long damn time. Twenty years and many people later, who tell me they are happy to have me in their lives. But nothing stops the awful sting of those words.
Now, you would think that I, being so hurt by one statement (OK, many statements but hell, this isn't therapy hour) would be oh so careful with my choice of words. But alas, I am not. I am careless with my words. I speak and speak and speak without thought of what I am saying and whom I am saying it too. And it makes me very sad. These careless words cut to the quick, they slice and dice and kill a person's love, a child's self-worth, a friend's trust. Those damned rushed thoughtless words smother the light that burns in a lover's eyes. These words, these hateful, painful words can't be taken back. Once they are out there the dig deep and resurface to cause pain, over and over and over. Those damn words ruin a marriage.
Now, before you think I am a word hater and that I have it all wrong. I know there are two sides to every story and I am not letting the words tell their side of the it but I have no words for them. I am selfish and use my words for me. As for the words and their story, well they are going to have to speak for themselves.