I’ve always felt like no one was listening. It started with one person. It’s not that he didn’t hear my words. I don’t know what it was really. He didn’t get them. There was something lost in translation. Something between what I needed to express and what he understood. And I blamed myself. I blamed myself for not getting my point across, for not making him understand, what I meant, what I felt. And so I stopped talking.

I stopped trying to tell people what I thought because I hated the feeling of being misunderstood. It was like being trapped in a glass box. Shouting and shouting and no one can hear you. Like I reached down inside, grabbed my voice, pulled it out, but as I extended my hand to give it, it was empty. Sneaky, elusive voice.

I hated myself for not being able to perform the trick of pulling my voice out of the hat and having other people see it. I reached inside to pull it out and pulled out…an invisible voice! Invisible voice, invisible rabbit. I wasn’t very good at this game. So I stopped playing.

I also felt like, if I couldn’t get someone else to see my voice, maybe it didn’t exist. If my voice didn’t exist, maybe I didn’t exist. Like the tree falling in the woods thing. If the other person didn’t hear you, do you exist? I didn’t like the feeling of not existing. So I hid.

When you are older you understand that just because someone doesn’t understand you, it doesn’t mean that you are not real. But when you are young, and the people around you who make your existence don’t hear you, you don’t understand that. But you learn. You learn to tuck these things away inside yourself and save them for a time when there will be someone who can understand them.

That’s why a friend is such a sweet thing. Because you share things and they say, ‘yes, you do exist.’ And you say, ‘thanks, I thought so, but until you said it just now I wasn’t 100% sure.’

Because we keep these things inside and we cherish them. But until we actually share them with someone, do we exist? We say, ‘yes.’ We believe, ‘yes.’ But humans are made to connect to other people, to be seen and heard. So until that happens, we are hiding things away and really just believing in faith that we are real.

So we pray, we pray and we hope for the miracle of these friends who can affirm our existence. Because we believe we are real but it is really, really nice to have some confirmation.


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