Lost in Translation


I have, for the most part, found it easier to express myself through writing than verbalizing my thoughts.  With the mind sometimes jumping around in its confused state…trying to articulate what it is I am wanting to express can come out woefully inadequate.  If I was standing before you talking, trying to express something that I was feeling, you might well see a woman with eyes as round as saucers, waving her arms about in all directions, tossing out verbs, adjectives and the odd noun or two.

In this excited state I might make sense…then again, I may not.  I know that when I get nervous I can say things that are totally inappropriate because I am trying to relieve stress and I will, in my ‘wisdom?’ try to inflect some humour.  Doesn’t always work…so then I just stand there and sweat and eventually, if the pressure becomes too much, curl up in a ball and suck my thumb.

Now I am sure there are a lot of people who know me who would disagree with this.  They would tell you, ‘Make sure she has taken her medication…then she can talk just fine!’

Okay…I am having fun at my own expense here.  The point to all of this is that when I get really passionate about something I can usually express it better in written form than in verbal communication.

This is not always the case.  With my post on Friday I mentioned the work I have done with James who is a sexual healer.  In my head I was trying to find the words that would honour the quiet presence and stability he has provided to me that I needed.  That post came out much the way it usually does when I am talking.  I was attempting to find simplicity in something that has so many subtle complexities.  In my head, it made perfect sense.  Didn’t quite make it to the page this time.

What I gained from this is that not everything can be simply explained with a few choice words and the meaning can get lost in translation.  The other thing that I gained from this little exercise was that I should not make assumptions about how someone may have interpreted something I have written.  I need to ask them.  It is just that simple.

I have a tendency, if I perceive that someone’s response is not what I expected, to think that I have hurt or offended them in some manner.  And rather than ask, I simply go to the extreme and apologize and admit what a mess I have made.  In the past, I have had people just look at me strangely then ask…’Why are you apologizing?’

So this is part of my neurosis.  I get that.

I suppose the other thing would be that perhaps saying ‘thank you’ is enough.  At times I think I need to come up with some grandiose dialogue to convey my appreciation.  I don’t know why I think I have to do this.  Again it is likely part of my neurosis.

It is an interesting chain of events that I go through when I have these little moments of emotional ping-pong.

Ping!  ‘I have offended you.’  Pong!  ‘ I need to apologize.’

Ping! ‘ I am so sorry…I have made a mess…I did not mean to hurt you.’

Pong!  ‘I really am sorry.’   Ping! ‘You have no idea how sorry I am.’

Pong!  ‘Do you think I am over reacting?’  Ping!  ‘I think I may be a bit hyper sensitive right now.’

Pong!  ‘ I think I am being just a tad neurotic…yes?’   Ping!  ‘I think I should just stop talking now.’

This usually occurs over the course of a few hours.  I go from feeling absolutely horrible because in my head I have hurt someone I care about.  I mentally flog myself, then throw myself down and during the gnashing of the teeth phase of these little episodes I apologize for every sin I think I have ever committed.  And if I am feeling particularly bad, I will apologize for the sins of others as well.

At some point though, I stop and ask myself…’don’t you think you are being a little dramatic?’   Of course, then I become quite conciliatory.  I step back a bit…take a look at the situation from a different angle then reevaluate and accept that I have perhaps overreacted…just a little.

Now the funny thing is the person I am dealing with seldom is aware of what I have just put myself through.  They have gotten a dramatic apology…later followed by an admission of my neurotic behaviour.

Ah, yes!  Now that I have explained all of this…if in tomorrow’s post I am apologizing for all of this…know that I will be fine in a few hours.

The sun is peaking out and my work day is calling to me.  Enjoy yours!

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2 thoughts on “Lost in Translation

  1. I find I often formulate thoughts much better in writing than through speaking, and produce new ideas as well. Hence the title of my blog, ‘Thinking through my fingers’.

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