Communication: A Foreign Language

Written in 2013.

Imagine yourself moving to a new country where NOBODY speaks your native language. Television is in another language. You stare at the news commentator and hear all these foreign sounds coming out, and you do not understand ONE THING he is saying!
You turn on a cartoon to relax and the very same thing happens.
You turn on the radio to listen to music and you hear the tune and the harmony, but you don’t understand the words.
(Many of us have experienced this going to another country to adopt)

As time goes on: days, weeks, months, you begin to forget your own native language. You haven’t heard it much, and you are concentrating SO HARD to try and figure out this new language; and beginning to catch on with phrases and sounds that you didn’t know existed before.

You are even starting to communicate quite well in “conversational language” such as, “Hi, how are you!” “May I go outside?” “Yes, please pass the potatoes!” “Thank you”….etc.

But deeper thoughts, thoughts you REALLY need to share, and really wish to convey remain frustratingly locked in your mind, unable to get out because there are no words to express them.
You may begin to feel pent up frustration or rage and feel like you are going crazy!

And then…. it is that moment where you are upset because you can’t express your feelings, you explode with the strongest language you can come up with. It ISN’T what you really want to say.
So it doesn’t make sense and you KNOW it doesn’t.
But to save your dignity, not wanting anybody to know that you REALLY DO NOT understand all they think you do, you stop trying to express what you cannot.

Even in the most caring of homes where parents understand communication issues, it can be so frustrating to try and work through these issues.

On the parents side of this, they are trying to help you communicate. They are trying to explain in ENGLISH, and offering more words, explaining each meaning. The more they try, “in the moment”, the more frustrated you get.
And then you just say, “NEVER MIND!”
But parents don’t want to hear “Never Mind”….they want to keep on trying to understand.
And then you let the H BOMB go…. “I HATE YOU!” That is the strongest thing you can say to express your frustration. And those words pierce the heart of your parent…..even when they know it was said in the “heat of the moment”….. They pierce your heart too…. because you just epically failed!
And you see their pain….
Then you feel shame. And you don’t really know how to express that very well either.

You feel like your parents are dissatisfied with you all the time because of your “tone”; even though you know they are only trying to HELP you with it.
Maybe they are trying to help too much…. maybe.
It might be a good idea to remind you how VERY WELL you are doing in most areas of life!
Sometimes parents forget.

So, you went 3 steps back….. you apologized for your words…. and you both know, that the deeper words for expression are not there yet.
And that is ok. We can try again another time, a better time….
And then, you pray and reach out to the one who can heal all wounds.
And a little snuggle, that universal understanding of mutual affection that needs no words, doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

Comments warmly welcomed!


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