Josh is what most people would call, nonverbal. He doesn’t talk, but gets his point across. He understands what you are saying, but doesn’t communicate back with words that many understand. Most times, I understand where he is coming from. I get that he cant communicate with words, but that he understands them and I do my best to accommodate without holding him back. I give him the opportunity to speak his mind, the way he does, without words. And trust that in doing so I am helping him the best I can to survive in this world.
On the flip side, I love words. I hate reading, and would do without talking if I could. But words. They hold a real special place in my heart. I love to make words reach deeper than they were intended to, and enjoy stringing words together to make sentences that form paragraphs and so forth. Which is ironic, since I hated spelling and grammar when I was in school, and am still a pretty terrible speller. Its also ironic that my words support most of my down time, and trips. But that is beside the point.
And then there is this thing I call a curse 99% of the time. Something that I often assume many people have. Some call it intuition, others call it a sick sense. Whatever it is, I can usually guess fairly accurately, how a person is doing/feeling/thinking just by watching them. When someone enters the room – I can usually gauge them pretty accurately. It is mostly beneficial with Josh, who doesn’t have the words to tell me how he really feels. Just by watching his actions, facial expressions, and other body language – I can tell where he is coming from and where (most times) he is going.
But this often gets me in trouble. Because it doesn’t stop with Josh.
Friends, Family, Customers, Clients…I can usually read pretty far between the lines, and even if they wont admit to it, 90% of the time – I am not that far off base. So when a close friend of family member, or someone important to me – tells me that they are ok, when I know they are not…I react. In ways that I probably shouldn’t. I panic, I fear the worse, I run the other way, I shut people out, and bury my head. And usually a few days later it comes out – that no, they were not ok. And they fill in the blank that my mind has already filled in with the worst.
Usually its something fairly meaningless, but the fact that their actions and words were not meeting up was enough to send me into a tail spin panic.
Which is where I am tonight. Judging off of actions, and not words – because words have failed me, time and time again. My love hate relationship with them has spun me out of control many times. I want to trust them, I want to listen to them, and take them in – yet I have been fooled by them so many times, that I don’t dare. I carefully watch for actions, for eye twitching, and other signs of a “Im ok” person, that really isn’t ok.
Friends who say they will never go anywhere disappear seemingly over night. Family members who say they have my back run the other way when Im not looking. And people who say they are there for me – get distracted by something shiny and never return.
I love words as much as I hate people sometimes.
But even in saying that, I am reminded…that if I really hated people? I wouldn’t care so much about their unspoken thoughts that wreck havoc on me night and day. And while I really wish sometimes that I didn’t read so far into them, I know that if I couldn’t – I would miss out of learning so much about the one I really do care for. And if that is the only way he can communicate, effectively, then I will take the broken words, false actions, and devastating results.
Because I would rather hear what he truly has to say WITHOUT words, than listen to someone who has words with no meaning.