The things we don’t say

20130524-185009.jpg If you’ve known me in real life for any stretch of time you’ll know that I’m not great at tact and filtering. I’m a lot better and more patient than I used to be, but it’s hard work to keep quiet when I know that sometimes I would just be out of line just if those words come out of my mouth.

I find it especially hard to keep quiet when I see something that I know will eventually hurt someone and they are either heading for disaster, doing something that they’ll regret or someone is hurting them and it is none of my business. Very, very hard work.

For example:

In the mall I frequent there is a young lady in a wheelchair. Someone in my team asked her one day why she was in a wheelchair. Her answer? She has a fear of walking. She can walk, she just doesn’t like to.

I have been walking past this person almost daily for the last 2 years and every single time I see her rolling herself – with her feet – to the toilets I want to stop and suggest that she maybe go and see a shrink. It pisses me off to see someone this young just throw away their life. And then I talk myself off that ledge and back away from her, because it really is none of my business and I should live and let live and there’s possibly a very good reason for her being like this. But still, that’s so very wrong. I despair for her lack of independence without good reason.

There is also this person on twitter I really like. She is a beautiful, smart and strong woman, but she is so completely wrapped up in self-hate and self-loathing that it pulsates from her tweets. I desperately want to say something, but I’m scared that she’ll be upset with me. And then I consider the alternative and I’m tempted to say : Hey, stop doing that. It annoys people that you only put yourself down so much that it seems like attention seeking behavior of the worst kind. But, then I grind my teeth and keep quiet.

The friend whose husband can be a real ass sometimes? I can’t give him a klap upside the head because I know that he’ll know that she has been talking to me and it would be, well, awkward.

The neighbour who stood outside their house watching their dog attack another dog in front of our house the other day. It would not end well if I suggested that it may have been good for them to step in instead of Etienne and myself.

The two-faced energy-thief I loathe? Can’t say a word, just nod and smile.

This is possibly why I get so enraged when people don’t strap in their kids and friends from overseas talk crap about SA (that post is sitting in my drafts). There is the possibility I channel all the words I cannot say into these things.

Because I can.

But then, there are people like this guy, whom I applaud. It is SO something I would do.

Ps. Don’t google images for ‘zipped lip’. Just. Don’t.

4 thoughts on “The things we don’t say”

  1. Right now I want to tell the teachers who teach my daughter that they are thoughtless and unhelpful! Really it takes everything I have not to leave comments in red pen in her homework book for them!

  2. True friends, and people who care about others, would find a way to tell the person gently, and with love, to their face. They wouldn’t say it in a place where that person might see it and know that it’s about them. That is a VERY, VERY hurtful way to find out. We can never know why a person behaves the way they do… traumatic life stories manifest in the strangest behaviours. There is so much hurt and pain in the world, don’t add to it by judging other people’s behaviour. If you’re concerned by it, ask. That person may may have been very open to your honest and caring feedback.

    1. Ai Sascja, you know what: you’re right, I should have approached that person directly. I guess we’ll never know what would have happened otherwise.

      Know that people care about that person and are very worried about her. I can only hope she gets help and that she is surrounded by people at home that take care of her and treasure her the way they should.

      I also hope that you didn’t skim over the bits where I say what a wonderful person she is, because she really is.

      1. I absolutely read those wonderful parts – and it was great of you to say those things. I just think you should be brave and say what you want to say to a person’s face. They will know if your intention is good and will accept the feedback. If they don’t, still better to have been honest and upfront. Sometimes it takes a few messages from the universe for it to sink in. I hope that both people can learn from this and move forward positively.
        Sometimes messages are hard to swallow, but need to be heard. Hopefully they can reconnect and have the opportunity to discuss openly, honestly and with good intention.

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