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Silent Treatment

I am not really sure how people do it. How they talk around a subject and insinuate the ridiculous and avoid the truth as it stares them in the face. I am not really sure how so much gets said when words are never spoken. Communication is the root of every problem, every failed plan, every happiness, frustration, and every dream come true – so why are we so bad at it?

I sit around the table with people who have known me since the day I was born or since the day they were born – since it is my immediate family I am referring to here. Hell – why hold back now?? Every single person in the room knows damn well – through the reality of my divorce and the life choices that I make that I am not the person that walked down the aisle and promised to death do us part with a man all those years ago. They see my lifestyle – they read my blogs and they know that I give my time to very specific organizations that target the LGBT community and the future we all hope for. I wear shirts with slogans like “closets are for clothes” “I support same sex marriage” and “queer as f*ck”. Please don’t tell me that I need to have a sit down with every single person in my family and in my life and proclaim to the universe that I am not a straight woman. I hide nothing – but I feel no need or desire to have “that talk” with my parents or my siblings – and no one asks a damn question or raises a thought or wonders what the hell is going on in my life these days. Yes my dear – there is an elephant in the room – and it is definitely me.

The conversations that turn in circles through the rare but coveted family time are conversations that I no longer feel a part of. They exclude me without excluding me – they come close to touching a chord of curiosity or concern and then they retreat into some unspoken corner of all our minds. And there really is not much left that I can relate to when their chatter turns inward and all the words all begin to sound the same – all the stories repeat themselves and the meanings all lose total meaning to me. Was my world really ever this small? Since I have returned to the lesbian community after such a long time away – I wonder every single day how I ever lasted that long in a world where there are so many things that are left unspoken. Where there is so much avoidance, fear and uncertainty.

This is the way my family functions. This is the way many of my straight friends function. Is it me? Do I put up a “do not trespass” vibe that won’t allow conversations to take place? Or is this the way it feels to be inside of a world that is not yet perceived as a world I should be a part of by those who have known only all I have let them know about me for so many years? What a complicated mess….

I am the woman with a thousand questions and a million possibilities. I am the girl who was always the independent “unusual” one in my family who built walls to protect all the things I so deeply wanted to share. I am the poet and the dreamer who might have a few communication issues when it comes to proclaiming the obvious to so many who I was so sure – knew me so well.

Communication is only as true and as effective as we intend for it to be. In all my certainty it seems that I may have to learn to say what no one is asking me about or perhaps aren’t ready to hear – and I certainly will – when I figure out what it is they are waiting for me to say.

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About K. Guzman

Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.

Discussion

6 Responses to “Silent Treatment”

  1. Wow, so much I can relate to, coming from a large Catholic family and having been in a hetero marriage (that produced two kiddos) for ten years before coming out. Even after 6 years “out,” its still something that just can’t be discussed.

    Posted by Val | December 1, 2011, 11:00 am
  2. So many of us live parallel lives and we don’t even know it! Thanks for commenting – appreciate it.

    Posted by K Guzman | December 1, 2011, 11:11 am
  3. Wow I felt like you were just talking about my life there for a minute. It all seems like a lil craziness sometimes. I believed myself by all the things I’ve done and who/how I am would be enough without saying it. But it wasn’t. I think because I hadn’t said it OUT LOUD in the beginning, everyone thought it was I who didn’t want it discussed. When I made those phone calls (yes phone calls) and said, I’m getting divorced and yes I’m with woman and yes I’m GAY (yaaay me) just as I was many yrs before, it made it easier on the family knowing I was comfortable talking about it. My babble may not make sence but my point is, should we have to spell it out? No. But if they feel we are not comfortable to talk about it they don’t feel it is either. Just my opinion

    Posted by Jeanine | December 1, 2011, 12:58 pm
  4. you make total sense Jeanine – perception is such a powerful thing. Thanks…..

    Posted by K Guzman | December 1, 2011, 1:02 pm
  5. Sometimes we walk around with a pervasive assumption that we need to put a definition on who we are and what we do. There might be this little internal battle pining away in the back of our minds like a little devil on our shoulders telling us we have not completed the “task” of defining ourselves. The reality is, on the other hand that many also feel more defined by what they Will Not Do then what they do, do! The mere fact of what they want do is a boundary essentially that states a broad spectrum of things NOT part of who we are…. i,e…. you won’t date men…. To many folks who surround us, they might not truly CARE that we are lesbians- or not, or anything else for that matter… they care because they love us, that we are happy beings, that we know what we don’t want in our lives, that we have respect, and give and receive love. Sometimes the elephant in the room is our own twisted perception about silence… some communications are said best by saying nothing at all…. maybe they see it as you being in a delicate space, unable to formulate your words, because you do not WANT to be defines by a sexual label or preference….. maybe they are respecting your silence, instead of fearing your potential words as you assume they are… the key is, that what needs to be said, can only be determined by what voice you want to define you. It is essential to honest and clear with one self to define just what that voice is, and if it needs to come up out in some verbiage, let it out… and if your definition is that you do not want a definition at all- that is great too!!

    Posted by Cody Ann | December 4, 2011, 10:22 am
  6. Oh Cody Ann – This article flew out of me and the response has been all over the place – what an amazing journey this life can be…thank you for your thoughtful words – words that forced me to think and think some more. Every step we take brings us closer to all we are meant to be – and this has been no exception. Thanks again.

    Posted by K Guzman | December 6, 2011, 9:08 am

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