‘I was quiet, but I was not blind’ – Jane Austen

Who really knows.

I’m not one of those people who likes conflict. I hate it. It drives me mad. It stresses me out. If anything, conflict is one of the biggest triggers to me tumbling into a downwards spiral. I’ve always been one of those people who would rather sit down, talk, and find a compromise, than get into a full blown argument with someone. To me, that’s always been the better option.

I’m not going to say it’s healthy. In the long run, it’s probably quite the opposite. I’d rather not show anyone just exactly how they’ve hurt me, or how angry I am, so it just ends up bottled. It grows and grows, and eventually explodes, or at least, implodes, into something not good at all. I’m an internal combustor, a nuclear bomb that only collapses inwards rather than shatters outwards. No one can see it, no one feels the aftershock, and there’s no casualties. Except me. I’m a casualty, but quite an invisible one. It’s just who I am. I’d rather keep it hidden, keep it under wraps, keep it as something that only I have to deal with, than as something that touches other people’s lives. I’d rather be the one to suffer, than to bring suffering to others. Even if perhaps you deserve it.

But just because that’s how I react, just because I don’t shout and scream and tell you exactly how I feel, doesn’t make me blind to what’s happening. It doesn’t make me ignorant, and by god it definitely doesn’t mean that I accept it. But then, how do you know? I know with absolute clarity that I make things worse for myself by not saying something. If anything, I very much probably contribute to the continuation of whatever is upsetting me. And if you want to link this out further, it probably gives you the idea that you can walk all over other people too, because if I was quiet in my own destruction, perhaps they will be too. I basically handed you the materials you needed to turn me into your very own doormat-come-punching bag. And every time I let you step all over me, every time I didn’t say no, or didn’t voice my contradiction, it gave you the idea that I didn’t mind, or I didn’t care, or that I just wasn’t aware.

And I want to say I’m done. I’m done letting you think that I am blind to what is going on. I’m done letting you believe that me being quiet means that there is nothing going on under the surface. I have feelings, so many feelings, and I am done letting you disregard them. I want to say that. But how? How do you reverse going on 11 years of me choosing compromise over conflict; of me knowing that fighting you leads to absolutely fucking nothing; of me taking on all the pain and anger and hurt because I want to protect you when to be honest you’ve never done anything to protect me. How do I turn something around that is quite intrinsically me? I am at war with myself because right now, I’m not fighting you, I’m fighting me. I’m fighting everything I am, in a bid to actually help myself. Because god knows how much it would help me to just tell you.

But good for you. Ignorance is bliss, and in your case, I’m pleased for you, as you don’t know how protected you are in me not choosing the conflict. You’re safe every time I choose compromise, or choose to stay quiet. Because the amount of hard truths that you are so ignorant to is unbelievable. One day I’ll tell you, one day it’ll go too far, and I’ll actually be done. You’ll hear it all. And I wouldn’t be surprised if once I’m done, that’ll be it, you’ll never see me again. The door will be closed. You may think it unfair, but if only you opened your eyes, you would see the monumental cracks right under your nose and you’ll finally realise what you’ve been missing this whole time.

Your obsession with maintaining a ‘perfect’ family life, a ‘perfect’ ruse for the outside world is sad. You may not be the quiet one, but you’re definitely the blind one.

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