It hurts me to type those words, because I love words; I love reading them, I love writing them, I love hearing them spoken. But words lie.
I know this because my words lie all the time. I’ll say “I’m fine” when I’m anything but. I’ll say “I’m just tired” when really my head is so clouded by pain that I can barely focus on things. I’ll say “I just tripped” rather than admitting that somewhere between my brain and my foot, the signal got jumbled and I just fell flat on my arse.
Words lie and can cause hurt. Words have hurt me this year.
Actions lie a little less. There’s truth in a lingering look, in a touch between feet under a table, a long hug compared to a robotic one, in ignoring someone who’s just fallen flat on their arse.
Actions are more truthful but have hurt me a lot more than words this year.
I’m being vague. I don’t mean to be. But there’s two sides to me at the minute: the side that doesn’t want to use words to hurt, to cause drama, to be nasty and retaliatory. Then there’s the side of me that wants my words to be honest, to be real, to help me connect with people in real and honest ways and not be a shield that I can hide behind and pretend everything is fine when it’s anything but.
So here goes. My honesty, my truth, my words:
Just before Easter, my husband said we needed to talk. He asked me if I was happy in our marriage, if I still loved him, if I could see us being together for the rest of our lives. Yes, yes and yes. We talked for a bit, and he finally said that he wasn’t happy. In fact, he had already started seeing someone else.
I asked the obvious question; who. His words only confirmed what I already suspected from seeing a long hug and a lingering look the night before. He had been “seeing” one of my closest friends. Someone who was married herself. Someone who had kids. Someone who was part of our close knit friendship group who we saw practically every weekend.
In the days following, I found out that the words “I’ve been seeing someone else” were probably never intended to be spoken. That there was an expectation that the truth would never come out. But it did because of actions taken.
“I’ve already started seeing someone else”
Those words didn’t lie. But they made liars of all the words that came before. The actions didn’t lie, but it made liars of actions that came before.
In the months that have followed, I have silenced my words. I was absent from social media in the hopes of avoiding any drama. In the hopes that words wouldn’t be turned into weapons, and flung around in anger. There is no anger in my words; only truth. And if you have been told any other words, then you need to question the truthfulness of those words.
So it turns out that words themselves are not liars; they are what they are. It turns out that people are liars.
I won’t be a liar. I’m going to be truthful. I won’t hide behind words and use them to turn bleakness into sunshine, to turn truth into lies.
My words won’t be liars.