I'm too tired to talk.
People ask me if I want to talk, how they can help. It's exhausting. Talking, that is.
All I can do is cry.
It's not a silent kind of quiet. It's the sitting curled up in corners and chairs, tears streaming down my cheeks and sniffling to keep my nose from running. People ask if I'm okay, if they see me -- no. I'm not. Do you want to talk?
I can't bear the advice anymore. I can't bear the lists of how hard things are for other people (you think I don't know that life is hard for everyone? you think I don't feel trapped because I can't help other people more?) and how it seems to become a competition for who has it worse. I know your life is hard. I get it. Why did you ask if I want to talk, anyway?
I can't bear the criticism -- I'm so afraid of it that I can't speak. I can't even take the encouragement. I can't handle the "chin up," the "buck up," the "grow up and get over it."
Nothing's changing. I'm doing everything I know to do, and some things I don't know to do (if that even makes sense). Nothing's changing.
I can't bear the torrent of emotions that will break out of me if I speak. I can't cry that hard for that long -- I don't have time. I don't have the desire. It won't change anything.
I'm not brave. I'm not special. I'm not important. I'm not different from any other person -- I get that.
It'd be nice, though, if someone just didn't say anything. Didn't expect me to say anything. Just for a little while. If we could just both be quiet.