I never watched the movie nor read the book. And to be honest, I have no plans to do either of these. But, the statement seemed appropriate, so allow me to use it.
I'm known for my gargoyle stare and sharp tongue. So, it no longer surprises me to learn that people are afraid of me. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion of other people. In much the same way, I believe that multiple encounters with someone, allows you to gleam into who they are, thereby changing how you see them. It didn't bother me that people were afraid of me because if they knew who I really was or even just a portion of who I was then they would realize that I wasn't someone to be feared. At least, I thought that was the way it was until certain events proved me wrong.
The realization came to me in a fashion no less shocking than if I had taken on the ice bucket challenge. It was shocking. And, at the same time, quite painful. Even my friends were afraid of me. The people who should have known me better still found me frightful. Well, I suppose knowing that wasn't quite as shocking as I might want to make it out to be. I've always known that. But finding myself in a situation where all I could do was take all the words they've dealt to me and not find the option to say anything back just made my situation clear, defined and quite permanent, like it had now been set in stone.
I've known people who have shut their mouths closed and kept their retorts to themselves because they were afraid that voicing out how they felt would start a feud with me. They never understood that I wanted them to speak their minds, to say their piece and to be frank. Because, that was the way I was- I spoke my mind, I never shut up until I've said my piece and I was frank. I was born with a lack of verbal filter and am quite tactless. This has hurt some of my dearest friends but I believe that this has also been the reason for the insurmountable trust we have for each other. Being able to say what I want comes with the price of having people judge me with the same harshness. I've known this my entire life and I welcome the criticism. But people have always mistaken my honesty and bluntness to be an offensive scheme instead of an invitation to have a real, honest and true conversation.
It wasn't just one event. It was a succession of events that had slapped me in the face and nearly crushed my spirit. The fact that I had lived with this open invitation to a verbal sword fight of sorts made it extremely hard for me to find myself in a situation where people were asking to change who I am without giving me the opportunity to defend myself. It was done out of concern, perhaps even care or love for me. It was a simple case of telling me my apparent shortcomings and faults. Why am I taking offense in this when I said that I was open to criticisms? Because I felt cheated. They were telling me all these bad things that I did. And, while I admit that some of them were true to varying degrees, some of them were just plain wrong and simply a misinterpretation of my actions.
I was cheated because I wasn't given the opportunity to present my side. Because they were so quick to blame everything on me without taking the time to look in a mirror. Because I felt like the verdict was given without a proper trial. And, yes, I could have had chosen to voice my thoughts out but doing so, at that time, felt like it would shatter the fragile connection we had. I felt trapped. And, I felt cheated because they didn't have the courtesy to offer the same invitation I had always given to everyone around me. And, to add insult to injury, I felt like they were trying to change me into this person who I was not. It was like they didn't understand the meaning of compromise, of friendship.
They did eventually ask me to speak up. That is, they asked me in the most incomprehensible way before quickly changing the topic and picking up a microphone to sing out loud. Maybe one day I'll get to have that conversation with them. Maybe there will come a time when this won't just be a post of a lone soul but a multi-sided conversation. It could happen, probably when no one's so ass-drunk that they wouldn't remember the conversation had it happened. But for the mean time, I find myself still licking my wounds.
There's a reason only so few have heard my innermost thoughts. Not everyone can handle the darkest me. Not everyone understands. And, that's okay. Because I only need the few who bother to try and look past all my layers.