A bundle of contradictions

like the emotions in my chest that well up at a simple check-in.

[This post is available in audio form at this link.]

The things I really want to say, but I know I will not say.

That feeling like panic that wells up inside us, that if I was sane I would be able to identify as grief.

I have to be strong – and more importantly, I have to be okay. Overall, I must still convey that emotion of ‘okayness’, as these words leave my lips.

the truth that I am really tired. That I think I might be drowning. The tone that changes the message.

I have to be careful, that the look in my eye can still reassure and bring people some measure of comfort.

If we all dissolved into salt, there would be nothing left in the fact of this ocean.

I am too afraid that I will betray my own emotions.

It was just a little, so late it is, I want to say bitterly and rue this is too little too late. But what does that say of us that the emotion twisting in my chest is a desire to kneel down and break into a thousand little pieces for someone to gather up the pieces of us.

That I was forced into a position where we were asked to trust you. That we grew into a position of not relying on you because you couldn’t be.

That I have strangely, started to lean on the weak reeds that lean on me – this false heather.

I say strange because I know it’s not a good idea. None of this really was.

If I gave back all the pain that you put us through, what would you do?

If we were not on the brink, or if I let myself be swept up into this wave of emotions that roils inside my chest – I think I could even grip your shoulders and force you out of this zoom room.

This morning, K did it for us.

Part of this was that unpleasant emotion of horror, and more than anything I hate that I didn’t get to enjoy my feeling of catharsis.

From the sinking dread that mingled with the prickling at the back of my neck. Tugging R’s sleeve and trying to get back to work, catching M’s eye across the table.

We want to say bless K who vocalised in a moment all the sadness and disappointment that boiled over for me in that moment when I said ‘oh I made cupcakes’.

But I can’t really, either. Because of how he didn’t just scold you but hammered home how hurtful all of this has been. How uncomfortable we are, even when you are being scolded, because those words hurt us all.

Because those words would hurt us.

Now I can’t forgive that kind of carelessness. I can’t forgive you for these difficult and painful emotions that you have put us through.

At some point, this emotion already sank into my bones.

This tiredness with you – I could no longer excise out of me.

If I think back to the start, I wonder why my first thought was checking in that everyone else was fine, rather than losing it and calling you out.

Because I wanted to make sure everyone else was okay, yes, but why did my throat close up up up when there was the opportunity again and again to tell you that you were just being plain unkind.

What do I call this breed of conflict, or negative emotion adversity?

Because we all, at different points, in different ways and different languages tried to tell you that you were hurting us, that you should say it in a different way.

And for me, I know no clearer statement than that one outburst I had, where I said, exasperated and on the verge of () that “Guys, you know sometimes I have feelings.”


are the things

I think that you are missing.

Or at any rate, you have them

and you don’t care about ours.

Or you cannot tell and you do not

care to tell.

Or if you can tell, then

it doesn’t matter

in the slightest to


I cannot tell you precisely how much

that hurts.

But it does.

My own emotions concluded two months ago that I couldn’t live with this team, if the people were not good. But the fact is that everyone else is.

I can’t tell anymore if it is in comparison, or in absolute terms, but they keep me going and that’s all I need to know for now. I will take them any day, any hour.

I do not know how to be your partner. I don’t know how to support you when you act like you () us or that we’re just such a humongous bother.

Maybe, I can’t. I don’t understand. And more than anything I hate that I can still be hurt when I know the spirit that pours out of your mouth.

You are actually seriously, slowly killing me. You might already have killed some of us, and maybe I am trying to revive them, or just generally, I don’t know what to do with that.

But I’ll start by telling you this, again.

Those things are your moot, and we aren’t begrudging you that. But you all are my moot.

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