On trying to be heard

by MB

She asked me why I rebelled. Why I lost my temper, my rational side.

Is it to prove a point? She asked knowingly, eyes to soul back to eyes again, the blues of her irises interlocked with the muddiness of my own.

Or is it to be heard ? She pontificates further, perhaps an afterthought (though not to her, I realize now, with the benefit of hindsight, of perspective.)

We lose ourselves in the patterns that comfort us. The frustration giving way to disease, disappointment, disapproval. The cycle of my childhood - my adolescence, repeating itself as though by fate, lacking agency.

The easiest admission (though admittedly, not the truest) is that I wish only to defy. To rebel. To demand I am heard only because I have not been: defined by the absence of hearing - the comfort that my solitude is mine alone to bear.

With the benefit again of hindsight, with therapy and journaling and the moments left unsaid lingering between us at night - tangled between bedsheets and hidden beneath Trojan wrappers tucked in the corners of our apartment - I realize that is unfair. I know he hears me, that he values my voice.

What I crave is the validation. Of 20 years of acknowledgment left unspoken and unsaid. Of bodies left undiscovered and tucked beneath oversize shirts and grey sports bras. The comfort of ‘ok’ - that she is ok - that there is nothing wrong with her. That her emotions are not too much, the overwhelming there-ness of her body not too cumbersome to deserve consolation, validation. Her feelings - of sex of love, emotion and fear and that tingling feeling of prepubescent longing - are not a burden.

I shout and scream and disagree - seeking not the rebellion of youth but the companionship of camaraderie. Screaming into the nothingness - she is not alone.

I am not alone. We are a team. Sex and bodies are normal and weird and gross and perfect and not wrong. Alone and apart and apart and together.

I challenge him to test his allegiance. A shameless pattern of self destruction, Seeking confirmation of my worst fears; my needs are un-fillable and intolerable in their there-ness, too demanding to be satiated.

Comforted only by the familiarity of loneliness. Of the absoluteness of ‘I- told-you-sos’ inextricably linked with worries that I am too much. The knowledge that these things are indisputable.

Proven wrong.

Proven right.


I am trying to be heard. But only so that when I am not heard, when I cannot be heard, when my voice is too shrill and too much and too timid and too meaningless, that I was right all along. A self-fulfilling prophecy. Penelope’s weaving and unweaving of her loom each night, burdened both the reality of circumstance and blinded by the fantasy of what may be.