Working on TLD I have gotten a chance to hear a lot of heart-wrenching stories, news articles, and statistics. So when I heard this line from the poem, “Revelation”, it stopped me in my tracks. It immediately gave form to half-finished thoughts I had on my own experiences during my darkest times in college.
Probably one of the things I regret the most was how much I expected people to reach out to me and/or read my mind. “Didn’t they get it?” I would ask myself. “I sent very clear signals that I am NOT doing well. What do I have to do to get people to be concerned about me the way that I think they should be?”
Yet even when someone did ask, I evaded or brushed it off or minimized. At some point I was thoroughly confusing myself:
“Wait, don’t you want someone to ask if everything is alright?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t like looking weak.”
“Yeah, it’s a thing. Look, I’m fine now.”
“Ahhhhhhhhh, why won’t someone understand me???”
It’s kinda humorous now. At the same time, I sometimes futilely wish that someone had (compassionately) explained to me something along the lines of that poem.
“You know, nobody’s a mind reader. You can mope and exude auras and send up silly white flags a la angsty blog posts, but until you say the words, nothing will change.”
“Not too much, no.”
“Oh…well, then…I’m scared and I feel so alone. I kinda hate myself and sometimes it feels like it’d be better if I could just cut off all emotions…”
But it’s much harder to get to that place. You begin to get so good at sending mixed signals to a busy, careless world that you trick yourself into believing that hiding deeper is the right thing to do. Besides, who are you burdening when you do that? What do you put at risk when you hide?
“…I think I need help.”