“Don’t Ask Me” Fiction. Based on a True Season Where I Didn’t Want People to Ask Me How I Was Doing.

“We all experience life differently, but we all know what it’s like to suffer.” –Rohan Dixit

“Don’t Ask Me”

Fiction. Based on a True Season Where I Didn’t Want People to Ask Me How I Was Doing.

by K.E.A

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Don’t ask me how I’m doing because I can’t answer that. Not without the words stopping in my throat and the tears stinging my eyes. I try to rehearse my responses, but the truth I keep on the inside. Underneath the veneer of calm is too much, too raw. If you ask me, I will try to say fine, but the trails of wet will tell you the truth.

It’s happened before where that one question split me open, releasing every unspoken thing despite my best attempts to hold them inside. It comes unbidden, and I can’t control it.

Because the truth is that I’m not fine and I’d rather you not know.

Because when you ask me if I’m ok, it’s usually out in public where I can’t hide—where I would prefer no one see what I carry within. It’s not a safe place, not a place I want to display my trembling voice, puffy eyes, and blotchy skin. Not where I want my vulnerabilities to show. At least with a text, I can hide my face while spilling my guts. Face to face, there’s no hiding.

There were and still are days where I pray that no one asks me how I’m doing because more often than not it’s asked on the rough days, and I don’t know how to respond. Tell them the standard answer or be honest? If you ask for the truth, it will be long and messy.

I don’t think you’re ready to see it.

I force myself to walk the public spheres because I know I can’t hide forever, but it is hard to keep my head up with so many familiar faces and eyes on me. It’s like they can see what I’m trying to hide, and I don’t want their pitying looks. I know you have the best intentions, but it feels like salt in a wound. That alone makes me not want to leave my house, that fear of being

recognized.

Church was always the worst because it’s where I spent a lot of time, knew a lot of people, but I wanted to get in and get out. Maybe make it through a sermon without crying. Often, I would find myself praying, “God, just let me keep it together here and when I get home, I’ll cry as I meditate on the sermon.” There were also those who I didn’t want to talk to because it would mean another verse given with good intentions, but not received well. I know what the scripture says, but at the moment, I find no comfort in it. Unless your response if “That sucks” or “I’m praying for you”, I don’t really want to hear it. There’s no polite way to tell people that.

Somedays it felt like I had to carry a warning sign that said: “Please don’t talk to me. Just send vibes.” It’s like moving across a minefield of emotions, not sure what small thing will set off the tears. My tears usually stem from sadness and or frustration. Differentiating between the two can be difficult.

One day I’ll be able to answer the question honestly and with a smile. There are a lot of knots to untangle and emotions to face. Bear with me because I’m a work in progress, just trying to put all the jagged pieces back together.

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