I quite often have a problem with getting myself to talk. Sometimes it’s a confidence issue or maybe it’s a processing problem. I know it often happens during conflict, where I freeze up because it takes too long for me to figure out how to phrase what I want to say in a way that won’t make the person even more angry. Hell maybe it’s just that I don’t have a great grasp of the English language and have trouble finding the write words. But in the end it’s something that I have to deal with on some level.
While this isn’t always a big problem it is something of an inconvenience, I think. Lately a lot of people have been offering their ear should I need it. The people vary from old friends to some I’ve met just recently. This isn’t unusual, hell at a friends birthday I noticed she was a bit distraught and we had an exchange of “You know if you want to talk about it I’m always free” followed by a “I know, but knowing us we won’t”. Still I think it did us both good to say it and be told it.
So what is the issue? Well, I rarely talk about my problems. Most of the time I just sit back and process it all in my head. Which I guess is fine, but if there is something that keeps pestering me no matter how much I work through it things can hit the fan. I’ve had several depressive episodes that could have been avoided if I talked to someone about it earlier.
I’ve got some sort of strange block in my mind that I have trouble getting around, it’s a fairly simple block it’s “If someone doesn’t ask they aren’t interested”. So if I’m having a shit day, where I want to walk out my door and never stop walking, I won’t say anything. I could be talking to all my friends and unless they ask “How are you?” or some variance, then I won’t tell them. On the flip side of this if someone asks me a question I will pretty much give them a straight answer.
For a while I combated this problem by giving out “Free questions” to people, basically telling them that if they have anything they want/need to ask me they have at least one free ticket (with the caveat that I will not preach promises of secrecy or give information about other people). I didn’t really know why I did it at first, and since I learned why it became mostly redundant, also most people forget about them in a matter of days if they don’t turn them in. Still I don’t think that most of my friends even know about this weird facet of my mind.
A good example of the inability to talk actually happened earlier today. I was in a van with a co-worker and we were talking about various things. When he got a phone call, ending a conversation prematurely. Now I wanted to start the conversation again, but I couldn’t cause I couldn’t get myself to start talking again. Cause in my head I was thinking “Maybe he was bored and used the call to end it without having to change the topic”. There was also several points where I was just sitting there thinking about Trigger (pet dog, has cancer, will have to be put to sleep soon. Posts are Here and Here). But I also kinda wanted to talk about it. But unless I was asked what I was thinking about I wouldn’t, I couldn’t, I was caught in a struggle to try and get around my mental block. I’ve been struggling with it since I came home too, cause I have friends on chat that I’m sure would be happy to talk, but I can’t! It’s really annoying, and I find it really difficult to overcome no matter how hard I try. Thankfully blogging is weird (future topic?) and I don’t associate it with actually telling people things.
There is of course a small flip side to this which is sometimes I can’t stop talking, even when I probably should. A fair few of my friends know of this fault. One of them has to tell me to shut up almost every time we are together for more than an hour. Maybe it’s just me being happy I got past my mental block, or making up for all the not talking I do. But I think that they are somehow related. This is probably related to my Asperger’s Syndrome, or it might not be, I know that it’s normal to have difficulty expressing yourself, I’m just not sure if it is normally this bad.
A last mention goes out to one of my closest friends, who uses my own problem as a tool. “Is there anything I should ask you/you need to talk about?” are questions that not only give me a chance to circumnavigate my mental block in that instance, but also help to get around it in the future when she doesn’t ask those questions. Cause by asking those questions I know that she really does want to know what is going on and that she does actually care.
As always I hope you enjoyed the read and I didn’t ramble too much.