Silence. That’s all I hear when I babble to someone about trivialities or lie to them when they ask a personal question. I’m saying nothing while I’m speaking because I’m trying to disguise how I feel and my turmoil inside. I’m disconnecting bit by bit from my friends and family and the rest of society. It’s by choice to spare what little dignity and glue holding me together from breaking apart entirely. 

One more snide remark about my choices. One more thoughtless laugh directed at me. I’ll just fall apart in a pitiful furious pile on the floor and curse everyone and everything. Then what? They pity me. I’m an incomplete human, beneath them. I’ve been battling this image all of my life, it’s not what I want either. 

So I smile. I nod. I comment with courtesy. I leave as soon as I can and avoid real talk about me like the plague. I shut myself away. I go out less. What is left of my speech is filled with silence. I cry to myself at night. Hoping for a miracle. Hoping for some fantastical thing to rescue me from my silence.