Hello, darkness, my old friend. The opening line of an all-time favorite song of mine. It also seems to be a theme in my life. Ever feel that way too?
It seems easy to carry on polite conversation. In fact, I’ve always been a “talker”. I can talk to anyone, strangers, friends, mere acquaintances, but only about general topics.
When someone asks me a question, I can easily join in and add “my two-cents worth”. I’m a “story-teller”, not in the sense of a fabricator, but I can easily relate experiences in my life to topics of conversation.
However, when the general conversation turns to emotional subjects of communication I tend to try and make lite of things. I try to ease the subject back into easier, funnier topics. I like to joke and laugh in public and save the more emotional stuff for my private time.
Obviously, because my emotional side seems to take me to dark places in my soul, which brings me to darkness, my old friend. Now I hope to let some of my silence come forth on Soulfully Speaking.
“The Sound of Silence”
“The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, the lyrics and following information found here.
The track about the inability of people to communicate emotionally was thought by many to be a response to the Kennedy assassination as it was written during the same time and then released three months later in 1964.
Paul Simon originally wrote the song as an acoustic ballad for their debut, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, but Simon & Garfunkel’s first single version died and the album was considered a commercial failure.
Later in 1965 it was recorded and released by Bob Dylan becoming one of the most successful remixes of all-time.
A third version of the song was released in 1982 on their (Simon & Garfunkel) internationally successful live album, The Concert in Central Park.
Inability to communicate emotionally
Honestly, there is an actual condition called Alexithymia which is the inability to express emotions or to understand others’ emotions. … Usually, they are unaware that certain sensations are actually emotions.
However, the majority of people are aware of their emotions and really feel their true emotions but for one or several of many reasons they are afraid to express them outwardly to other people.
Reasons for not communicating emotionally
- Conflict Phobia You are afraid of angry feelings or conflicts with people.
- Emotional Perfectionism You believe that you should not have feelings such as anger, jealousy, depression, or anxiety. You think you should always be rational and in control of your emotions. You are afraid of being exposed as weak and vulnerable.
- Fear of Disapproval and Rejection You are so terrified by rejection and ending up alone that you would rather swallow your feelings and put up with some abuse than take the chance of making anyone mad at you.
- Passive-Aggressive Behavior You pout and hold your hurt or angry feelings inside instead of disclosing what you feel. You give others the silent treatment, which is inappropriate, and a common strategy to elicit feelings of guilt (on their part).
- Hopelessness You are convinced that your relationship cannot improve no matter what you do.
- Low Self-Esteem You believe that you are not entitled to express your feelings or to ask others for what you want. You think you should always please other people and meet their expectations.
- Spontaneity You believe that you have the right to say what you think and feel when you are upset. (Generally, feelings are best expressed during a calm and structured or semi-structured exchange.)
- Mind Reading You believe that others should know how you feel and what you need (although you have not disclosed what you need). The position that individuals close to you can “divine” what you need provides an excuse to engage in non-disclosure, and thereafter, to feel resentful because people do not appear to care about your needs.
- Martyrdom You are afraid to admit that you are angry, hurt, or resentful because you do not want to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing that her or his behavior is unacceptable. Taking pride in controlling your emotions and experiencing hurt or resentment does not support clear and functional communication.
- Need to Solve Problems When you have a conflict with an individual (i.e., your needs are not being met), avoiding the associated issues is not a functional solution. Disclosing your feelings and being willing to listen without judgment to the other is constructive.
Burns, D.D. (1989). The feeling good handbook. New York: William Morrow.
Why Darkness is My Friend
First and foremost, I’ve always felt that I needed to hold it together for my kids. Being a single parent for the majority of their lives I became the one stable adult in their lives. Except for my parents, so when they lost their Granny at a young age, even though I wanted to totally lose it myself, I had to pull it together for my kids. I sought the darkness of the night as my old friend to suffer in the sound of silence.
Darkness is my old friend because I also learned as a teenager that some of my friends didn’t think of some of the same apparently odd thoughts as I did. I already said that I’ve always been a talker and a joker. Earlier in life, I had not learned when to shut up or hold back. Let’s just say I obviously had a strange sort of humor. Maybe a little dark or too sarcastic and some of my teenage friends didn’t laugh as much as I did. So I had to learn when to shut up and keep some thoughts to myself. Finding a friend in my darkness.
Now in my older adulthood and on the internet through blogging, I have found that I’m not alone in this darkness! Thus is created Soulfully Speaking… A place that my soul can speak out through the darkness to others like myself coping with depression, anxiety, aloneness, and even anger.
Hello, Darkness my old and new friends! Speak to me, connect with me! Let me hear from you through comments, social media or emails! Tell me what you want or need to talk about! I want to hear from you! You can also check out my more public blog about mental illness at Happy & Healthy Living Blog
JOIN my Soulfully Speaking Facebook group here to join in open discussions. It is a private group, so you can feel safe to talk openly there. Kindness and acceptance only allowed there. Hope to see ya there!