I have something to say.
I’ve always had something to say. I just didn’t know how to say it. “It” would get stuck in my throat, crouched behind my tonsils or rattle around between my teeth, pushing fervently against my lips – my mouth refusing to open. I felt I needed permission – some mysterious entity’s approval – to say “it.” Whatever “it” happened to be. To be me. To state “me’s” purpose. It seems utterly absurd in retrospect. Surely, I have inherent
permission to be me, by the simple fact that I exist. Don’t I? And yet, somehow…somehow I have always felt like a guest. A visitor wherever I was – inside my home, around my family, among my colleagues. I felt undeserving of thinking my own thoughts. My opinions didn’t matter. These things were never actually intimated to me, and I am unable to pinpoint the origin of these fantastic mistruths. “Only child” syndrome, perhaps? Abandonment issues from my widowed, single parent upbringing -who knows? And even when asked, nay, encouraged to speak, the words would not easily flow. Time after time my little vocal folds betrayed me. This is crayzeeeeeeeee! I am a singer. A poet. A reader. Prose LIVES inside me. Why won’t it come out?
Ultimately, the tragic consequence of this psychosomatic muteness – this inconvenient, embarrassing, perpetual state of “loss for words” – was that I eventually came to believe the lie. I indeed must have nothing to say. Cue insecurity and doubt. “…Places, please for low self-esteem….” And so it went.
I do not recall specifically how or when this ‘illness’ abated, but I’ve been a recovering psychological mute for several years now. It feels incredible to open my mouth and let words just tumble out. Sometimes clumsy and awkward like a newborn colt, finding its legs. At other times eloquent and charming, if I do say so myself. And I do. Say so, that is.