I can’t tell my family I love them.

I can type it out, or write it out, but verbally saying it is so hard for me. This past Thanksgiving, my brother wanted to visit his best friend (and my long-time crush since I can remember), Jeff. We had been having a good time, playing games and hanging out. Once the drinks started flowing, Jeff started talking about his inability to be emotionally verbal to his family. I felt so relieved, but so surprised because I had the same problem. I think we both knew what reality was at a young age, so it was hard. I knew that death was a part of life, so yes it’s awful and it’s sad, but it happens. So I can separate my feelings and pull away from it. I’m not even sure what that has to do with not being able to be verbal, but I think maybe that goes along with it?

That’s part of the reason I feel distant or slightly judged by my family. Because for years and years I’ve just had trouble saying it out loud to them, even though I do love them. I would do anything for them. My mom would remind me constantly that I was a bad person for not ever telling her, and always asked me why couldn’t I be like other daughters who tell their moms they love them. That is another reason I felt so alone in my days of being depressed. I felt like I was always being compared to another person, or my brother.

I still feel like sh** because of it sometimes, but I’ve accepted the fact that it’s just who I am and how I work. I do remember that I used to be verbal about telling people I loved them, until my mom met my ex-step dad (you know, the no-good abusive one). Shortly after they got together and he moved in, I remember that’s when I stopped saying it. Maybe it was because of all the subconscious stress I was in from all the constant yelling, threatening and cursing. I don’t know. Maybe it’s from my parents divorcing as a whole, or my brother moving out and I didn’t know how to express it. I just don’t know.

Now that I’m 20 years old, I have learned to swallow my pride (a lot) and I’m slowly getting there. I’ve worked up to saying, “You too” and sometimes even, “Love you too” but I’m not all the way there. A lot of people don’t understand it, but I don’t either. It’s really hard for me, and it used to be something I would think about and punch myself for every single day. Why can’t I just be normal? Why am I like this? Is this why people don’t like me?

I thought (and still think) for the longest time that me not being verbal was why I didn’t have many friends. To this day, every single time I speak to a new person I am already beating myself up inside my head because I said too much or too little or said something weird. Every time I speak to someone new, I am self conscious and immediately think that (especially if it’s a girl) they don’t like me, or they think I’m snobby or just rude. I’ve had people tell me that they were either intimidated by me, or thought I was snobby or a bit**. I don’t want people to think that, and I will actively try to seem more outgoing when I speak, only to sound more stupid.

I’ve never been verbal about anything. I have always talked relatively fast so a lot of people had a hard time understanding me. Maybe that’s why I started writing very young. I would write letters to my Granny, all the time instead of just calling her. I would leave people notes to make them laugh or smile. It helped me sort out my words and my thoughts. I guess that’s why I blog. 😉

I keep almost every letter, card, and note that people give me. I guess written words take more thought, so they mean more to me.

So I now embrace my introverted self, in all of my non-verbal ways. I just wish other people understood it, too.