Home > Uncategorized > On the Monsters That Lurk: Silence and the Unknown

On the Monsters That Lurk: Silence and the Unknown

            I realized, this morning, that I don’t handle silence well. Not all across the board, but in certain circumstances that maybe make me a little insecure. I’m not a needy person by any means. But there are some dynamics that already have me at a disadvantage. I’m not a person who panics, but there are old fears and scars that raise their heads, sometimes. It’s like…if you always got picked last for gym class, you carry that small sliver of, “Will I get picked last?” with you. Realistically, I know: it’s just fear. And fear turns us all into idiots. Fear feeds our lesser selves, until we’re pale parts of ourselves. It’s certainly not constructive.

            I know, exactly, why I worry. I can’t even say it’s unjustified. Because there’s a pattern, and underneath that pattern, there’s an element of the unknown. And when I don’t know the parameters of something, when I’m left to guess what’s in the dark? Well, let’s just say my imagination gets the better of me, and I start picturing monsters. Or evil clowns. Because, you know, clowns are horrifying.

            The truth is that, sometimes, I need reassurance. I most likely won’t ask for it. I won’t let you see me (figuratively) sweat. I tend to guard my insecurity well. It’s a defense mechanism. Because if you know I’m worried and vulnerable, you can hurt me. And I’ve had that happen entirely too many times before. So, most often, I’ll just sit with the feelings. That isn’t entirely healthy. But I’m also stubborn. I don’t want something that isn’t freely offered, and I very rarely ask for help. I very rarely ask for anything at all — especially if I’m being mindful of others. This can, on occasion, lead to an impasse.

            There’s something inherently alarming about silence, sometimes. It can drag up all the questions you’ve been trying to ignore, shove all your fears into the forefront of your mind, and point out exactly all the ways you’re probably fucking everything up. I have this running joke with my best friend, whenever one of us doesn’t answer a text or we don’t hear from each other. Once, my cell phone was broken and stopped receiving text messages. She’d sent me three, and I hadn’t replied. So, she called me and said, “I didn’t hear from you – I was worried you died.” Jokingly, of course. But now whenever one of us doesn’t respond, there’s a, “Are you okay? Did you die?” joke. It might be in bad taste. And, most often than not lately, it’s a problem of our cell phones having non-functioning fits.

            But the thing is, when you care, you worry. And I’m all heart, darlings. So, silence tends to eat at me in unexpected ways, no matter how much I try to ignore it or push it away. Yet, the kicker is, there’s really nothing you can do when you’re surrounded by silence. You can’t fight something you can’t see. You can’t push back against something that isn’t physically there. You wait, and you hope. And you try to manage your concern.

            It may seem silly to be afraid of silence. But there it is. 

            It’s strange, sometimes, the things that set us emotionally off balance. It is all largely dependent on circumstance, obviously. Silence can be good. But there are things that make us wary and gun-shy, no matter how often we try and convince ourselves otherwise. It can be beneficial to admit things out loud – to put them out in the world as a piece of truth. Admitting a flaw means looking at it. Admitting a concern means giving it a name. And in naming something, it makes that thing look less scary. That, I suppose, is a kind of power.

            So, lately, I’ve been terrified of silence. Of the things that wait in the recesses of what I don’t know. What are you afraid of? What don’t you want to face or admit? Let’s brave it all together. 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Two years ago, a two-year relationship ended; it was for the better, but everything came to a head. Her jealousy, which was very outspoken, undermined me; and so I kept a silent nature, because when I spoke everything I said came out wrong. My silence also was a threat to her.

    The girls I have dated following were complete opposites; they complimented me, and I was not used to it. I found my voice, which was confident as ever. However, due to fear and insecurity–thinking all these great personalities were unreal, I let the relationships distance themselves and fall apart.

    Then, I had met a girl last fall. She taught me that silence, at times, is good. If a couple were to be together forever, there were going to be silences in the car or at home. This was true, but she was probably thinking ahead for the both of us. We dated for just less than a month, because her clingy actions spoke louder than words, and now I’ve been on a six-month dating hiatus.

    Where it was once fear of commitment, evolution and awareness has proved my fear lies with intensity that pushes a relationship to bounds without preparation. Due to this, I’m torn. I’m considering not dating again for fear of heartbreak, for fear of divorce. I’m okay with being single, but accepting that I’m not okay with it. My sincerity is dated in the sense that it’s old-fashioned, and it’s going to be a struggle to find someone who will appreciate it.

    But I cannot leave out clowns…

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