I am told I am a good listener, like it’s a compliment. I have been called a calm beacon in a tempestuous verbal sea, a paragon of serenity, a wise woman, a crone, a santuary of silence. They called me the keeper of confessions.
I try never to be dependent on other people. I live alone and I’m happy that way. I actively resist offers of lifts into town, shy away from being obligated to anyone, I am wary of owing a favour and I shirk social expectations repeatedly. It’s not that I am introverted, so much as self-reliant. Not misanthropic, just easily disappointed. I keep myself to myself, and I wish others would do the same. I am a good listener, but I hate manipulative and malicious gossip, bad-mouthing is a cardinal sin.
So I am a good listener, and as a result I have struggled over the years to cope with people who talk too much. People with issues around personal boundaries, issues around anger, all that misdirected energy and wasted time.
People whose mouths run away with them, people who tell me things, people who tell me things I don’t want to know, about people I don’t even know. People who become personally affronted when I tell them I don’t want to hear it, who lash out and tell me things about myself, things that I also I don’t want to hear. In the midst of all this over-sharing shit show I find I am losing my voice.
And they called me the keeper of confessions.
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