My co-workers asked me what my love languages were. They were surprised when words of affirmation was at the bottom of my list. I wanted to process that more:
I have a huge distrust of words, which is weird considering I use words to process things. I write to process through things, I write to express my love for others, I write in order to open up a space for my heart to lay bare. I write so that I commit things to memory, so that I don’t forget details of people, or memories, or things I’m supposed to do. I love words in stories. I love reading, and seeing the ways people use language to express themselves and build a narrative.
But I guess those are written words. Written words that are penned and kept in place. If we move to verbal words, everything changes drastically.
Verbal words hold little significance for me. Verbal words remind me of emptiness, of broken promises, of hopes and dreams that never saw the light of day.
I cringe a little when it comes to compliments, for I don’t know how to accept them. My responses to compliments are rigid and rehearsed, “Thanks“, “aw it’s nothing“, “you’re too sweet“…
I grew up hearing people make promises and watching them shatter one after the other. I saw promises of forever friendships go up in smoke, I witnessed vows of marriage burn in betrayal, I watched hopeful plans shrivel and die.
People nowadays say whatever in order to sound convivial. Promises to go on adventures, plans to catch up, assurances made that something will change to me have become seeds thrown onto the pavement. They sit there until they’re trampled on and blown away. They honestly, truly mean very little to me.
Every forgotten plan, every broken promise, every unfulfilled assurance hardens another part of my heart against words.
Words, my heart is hardened to them.
Yes. Yes there are people who carefully perceive the weight of the things they say and never let a careless phrase pass through their lips. I appreciate those people more than I can express. These are the people that keep that small unhardened part of my heart soft and hopeful.
But still, but still… I can’t bring myself to fully trust what people say a lot of the time. Another promise from someone garners another nod from me with the proceeding thought, “well, we’ll see“.
And so I wait. I wait for action to proceed the thought, the phrase. I wait for the follow up, for the change, for the assurance that I matter enough to be worth following through for.
So, we’ll see. We’ll see what actually happens.