An Explanation

superstillSo this is what I want to tell you. Those moments when you look at me and ask ‘what?’ and I don’t say anything back. This is what I think when all the words become stuck:

I want you to know I’m not ignoring you.  I’m just feeling overwhelmed. And it’s not that I don’t want to talk but my head is full and there’s no space for more questions. 

When I don’t say much, it’s not that I’m distracted. It’s just that the energy goes on the listening. I am – listening.  I think you’re great. I love to hear how you’re thinking. And I want to give answers – good answers, as bright as your words. It just takes longer. So when I say things suddenly, they don’t come from nowhere.  It’s just that in my head I never left the conversation.

I’m sorry I don’t have a name for it.  Being like this.  It’s not introversion or depression or a bad day or not taking meds.  Those things make it harder – but I think it’s just me. I’m trying to explain it, but it’s like describing a colour.  It’s just purple, that’s all.

And it’s not that I’m anti-social.  I like talking but in bits.  There are so many people and it’s noisy and all at once and I want to draw a circle round so I keep a little space. That’s why I sit there – in case I need to run out. I need to know there’s an exit. I need the draught so I can breathe. But I’ll always come back.

I’m sorry that I don’t like hugs. Too close andwheretoputmyhandsandwhentopullaway.  But I do like you.   And if you warn me in advance I might start to enjoy them. That’s a joke.  I’m sorry if the timing’s wrong. (That’s why sometimes I get the silly and the serious mixed up). But I can be fun as well as serious.

Please don’t think I’m just the weird stuff.  I know it gets the headlines, but there’s normal underneath.  Beneath the fear and the quiet I’m not so different to you. Thank you for taking the time to find out.


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4 thoughts on “An Explanation

  1. This is me. Entirely. So so thankful that you’re able to put it into words when it can’t. Thank you so much for making me feel so less alone

  2. Oh-my-gosh. Well, this is exactly how I am while engaged in conversations. I love people, I love listening and growing to understand them, but I cannot respond quickly to questions. I cannot speak even if I want to, because my mind hasn’t formed what to say. Part of it is my anxiety, sure, but a part of it is just who I am. It’s not changing, and sometimes it’s frustrating as heck…but I’m learning how to embrace it. Slowly learning, or trying to, at any rate. Like Jen says, thanks for making me feel less alone. :)

  3. Dear Emma

    I am a chronically-fatigued-non-responder! Not because I’m anti social, or too shy, or depressed or not listening or anything I can explain other than by saying that I sometimes don’t have enough energy… or I feel anxious about it… or something close to that

    Suffice to say, I understand


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