Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Walls And The Wells

Photo by Valentin Lacoste on Unsplash

“Sometimes our walls exist just to see who has the strength to knock
them down.”
Darnell Lamont Walker, Creep



And why did I build walls so high? And yes, I suffer them the most... And knowing it all what stops me from pulling them down?

I miss all the beauty we created together. The people, I cared madly for. I miss all the good and even the efforts to manage many situations. We stood together – enjoyed, worked, annoyed and even tolerated each other and it all was fluid. But, the walls came only when I felt we should never beg for care, efforts or the goodness. From my situation, it was a mutual experience and we were not doing anyone favours. Communications were to be free and trustful. But why did I find myself in a place where I had to question the whole of our connection.

Earlier, I had asked for help and it wasn't refused outright. It was better if I was told 'no' in plain speak. That’s honest, kills the expectations outright. Instead, I was dealt probing glances and silences, confusions prevailed and I yelled in annoyance. It hurt both of us. I apologized and more than that I tried to revive the normal us back for a whole month and more. I tried everything to help us revisit the foundations we had created, where we knew what we were entering into. But, I realize the bitterness was deep and I remember how I was told, "You will feel the pain". Every good effort ended in a pungent comment, a frowned face or an escapist gait. That much anger and agitation, it could be sensed in words said and unsaid. As much as it was a punishment for me, I wonder how much the person suffered on the inside. I felt we shared a bond where we could be transparent with each other and share difficult emotions and it was the best thing happening to me. But, anger at a 5-minute failure triumphed over all the experiences put together? It set the thought train amock? It was so easy to overlook the good we did? It pained to have a simple sweet word? I tried to talk, reason, wait, laugh, force or whatever could work in that situation through a long list of terse comments. It was heartbreaking to see things come to this pass. I was being intrusive? It didn’t feel alright.

I won’t call anyone’s perspective a delusion. And I believe active rage would have been better, the passive anger was torturing me madly. I even communicated this. I wasn’t showing it but it was making me miserable. And why was I tolerating? As an apology? For sake of old times? In hope of good times? Or for simple basic care friends have for each other? I grew tired. I felt alone. The person I considered my support was fighting me to the bitter ends and misunderstanding me. I did not want this fight. And there I, silently, started retreating. I gave up asking for outings, I stopped asking for the small coffee and lunch breaks, I backed off from reaching out and even discuss those small assignments we had planned to work together. I pulled back even from our group talks as I was already being judged 'jealous and possessive'. Albeit I was being differently treated. I would no longer message or call. And it felt all the more worse not being able to ask, "How are you? How is life treating you? What brought you tears?" Last I asked the answers were but evasions, I felt like a stranger forcing my way in the conversations. Honest, expressive or I was violating their space? My fault, I could not kill the care with all the energies I could summon. And whom should I blame? If caring was weakness, I preferred weakness? And did I buy into the ugly idea of strength?

This is how the walls came up. Someday I think care and concern, other the ego and yet another the self-respect. The difference is too fine. But I remember, at this point, I had wished for all the goodness back or a simple silent, dignified end to beautiful experiences we had created. I had to be ‘the-difficult-person’ in the room. Blame me for it all. But, I was no longer short-selling myself or anyone around me. It was a tough time, to stay silent and fight through it all - the presumptions, the overthinking, the expectations, the name-callings and the memories of goodness. As it happens, the walls became the well, the sounds and cries got trapped. It was lonely at the bottom. And indeed, I fell apart rather loud.

But should I regret it? No. It was human and maybe required. And it set us all free? Did I ever wish for such silence?

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