Wednesday, February 09, 2005

la voce mancante

I talk too much. I always have. One of my dear friends asks me to define “too much” when I mourn this fact and insists it differs for everyone. So I reconstruct my argument. I talk too much for my family. And how do I know? Well, there are varying circumstances that tell me. I have outright been told that I talk too much, too fast, too excitedly. I have been told that I never let anyone else talk. I have been told that I think only of my self. I have been ignored. I have been interrupted rudely. I have been interrupted and then treated as if the other person thought I was done and when I continued, ignored. I have been told that they all love me for who I am. Do you see why it doesn’t make sense? Do you see why I no longer believe them? I have been encouraged and supported in many words, but the words are blown to pieces by the actions and the accusations that come later in fits of anger or annoyance.

My friends see me when I come home from family events and they feel sorry for me. My eyes are usually swollen and my face streaked by the time I arrive at their homes. I cheer myself up to be with them and I have a good time, but that’s largely thanks to all the crying I did on the way. I dry myself out. I started excusing myself from upsetting family situations by saying I wasn’t feeling well. It always works. They may suspect something, they may even talk amongst themselves, but they never ask me why. They never assume that they could have done anything wrong. Because it’s easier to blame the person they’ve been calling a “drama queen” their whole lives. And sometimes I even find it funny that they don’t stop to think that if you say something enough, you believe it’s true. Thus I have introduced the only thing they say that I truly believe anymore.

A few weeks ago I found myself so hurt by something that had happened that I sat down and I wrote a children’s story about a little girl who talked too much (a story that was ten pages long). The little girl finally realized how unhappy it was making her family and she decided that she must find a way to get rid of her voice. To get rid of the very thing that had always been a source of happiness for her. She was only truly happy when she was telling stories or singing songs. In fact, she only did those two things around the people who made her happiest. But her family was more important than herself. I wrote a happy ending that night, but I haven’t gone back to the story since. I haven’t been able to because I don’t believe my own ending. I haven’t yet decided whose happiness is more important. When I think there’s a chance that it might actually be mine, I have to consider moving away from all of them. Not just physically. It is either the loss of who I am or the loss of people I love. What kind of a decision is that for a person to have to make?

After my Uncle Mickey died, I lost interest in a lot of things. I never went back to voice lessons after his funeral. I was in a few more plays, but after high school I wasn’t into it anymore. I used to do these great drawings, but no one really thought they were a big deal. Mickey was really supportive of the things I did. He could see that they made me happy. He sent me books on the plays I was in and he always asked how they were going. He was involved from another coast far more than my own parents were on this one. After I finally gave up on singing, I found writing again. I realized how much it helped. And even though no one supported me and no one encouraged me, I did it. And I loved it. I’ve never given up. I never will, even if I’m the worst writer on the face of the planet, it is something that I truly love. But there are times when I wish I could show someone something I’ve done and have them be really excited about it. At those times, I miss Mickey the most. He would’ve noticed my voice disappear and he would’ve fought for me to keep it.