Posted September 21, 2011on:
Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who experiences this, but I know this cannot be true. Everyone must, from time to time. Here’s what I mean. Sometimes, I feel emotionally paralyzed by a situation and find myself unable to say what I want to say.
And it has nothing to do with my stuttering. It’s all emotional. There are times when I know what I want to say, or should say, but something between my head, heart and gut freezes and nothing comes out. I find myself emotionally inarticulate.
A really good example of this happened recently, and is in fact, still ongoing.
My father is seriously ill and hospitalized. Last week, he had several large brain tumors removed. I chose not to go and see him, before or after the surgery, despite the risk that he might not survive.
This was not an easy decision for me, as I felt pressured by two of my siblings to join them and “sit vigil” during the surgery. I did not want to. To me, it felt fake.
I have been virtually estranged from my father for years, and we have not talked beyond the once or twice obligatory holiday greetings over the last several years.
I suppose both of us share the blame for this estrangement. I cannot get past feeling let down by my father time after time, and feeling (but not expressing) so angry. And since he re-built a family, he has taken no real initiative to take any interest in my life as an adult.
Maybe it’s time to leave the past in the past, but for some reason, I find myself unable to. And I cannot even articulate why.
I feel two of my siblings were being judgemental and criticizing me for not sitting vigil with them. I found it hard to even let them know how I felt. Both of them asked me the question, “How are you going to feel if he dies? Aren’t you going to regret that you didn’t see him one last time before that happens?’
There are things that I wish I could say to my sisters. Like, “don’t judge me. We all have different ways of dealing with things.”
And there are things I wish I could say to my father, but I know I can’t without feeling extremely vulnerable and getting too emotionally upset. I have always felt he was ashamed of me, stemming back from when I first began stuttering.
If I had the courage, I would want to ask him if he has ever been proud of me, and loved me for who I am, and not what he wished I was.
But I can’t seem to do that. Around these most vulnerable and painful matters, I remain emotionally inarticulate.