In one of the summer holidays (I don’t remember exactly which), I had broken my left arm thanks to a sleepy bus driver, and an ensuing bus accident. The doctor to which I was referred made some soothing noises and slowly rotated my elbow to check the extent of the fracture. I duly rendered the yowl expected of me. But till date, what has stayed in my mind is the gentleness with which he treated me…..kind words followed by even kinder actions.
On the contrary, I even remember certain people for their brusqueness which, though expected, always triggers unpleasant memories :(. The most recent is that of my ex-manager, who had actually conveyed to my senior project manager that I was too aloof and did not mingle well among the team. This effectively stalled the promotion due to me. All because I worked my butt off for the project and earned the praise of my clients, instead of maskafying him. Harsh words followed by even harsher actions.
Somehow, I have never been a person of words. Most of the times, I am lost as to how to comfort people. But invariably, I end up comforting them by some means of physical contact – a touch on the arm, a squeeze on the shoulder, a tight hug for close friends. However I rarely give the chance of anybody comforting me because invariably, I end up withdrawing into my shell, analyzing and re-analyzing things and coming to a proper conclusion. Until then, it is one big silent torture….. the search for the elusive answer(s). Sometimes, these thought processes occur like a silent background activity, mingling with the rest of daily duties. And the times when the distraction does become apparent, I fend off all the concerned question with a wave of my hand, a negative shake of the head and a small smile. Perhaps I am too used to dealing with things alone…..or perhaps my expectation of people does not match up to my own standards……perhaps I was used to being laughed at for expressing thus…..or perhaps prior experiences had left their deep mark. I wish I knew the answer.
Lately I have realized that this ‘withdrawal symptom’ of mine affects people close to me….and how! Their concern apparent, some wait patiently till I am my normal self, while others belligerently ask whether I am daft to shoulder everything alone.
I smile. They frown.
Those years of loneliness…..of frustration…..of being scared…..of being ridiculed…..of being ignored……of being rejected. I search for words to explain ….the end result that’s me…..changing yet constant…..friendly yet aloof….and they sound pithy to myself.
Finally, I resort to actions….. because actions, at least in this case, are louder than words.For a beginning ........