People think I don’t talk because I want attention. Or because I feel like I have nothing to say. Or I’m copying that guy in Little Miss Sunshine. Those aren’t the reasons. I just woke up one day and stopped talking. No reason. I just stopped.

It naturally upset my parents. They poured money into numerous doctors and therapists. Obviously none of it worked. So they got used to it. We somehow over time formulated a way to communicate. Movements of hands, tilt of the head, even blinking. That lasted for 6 years.

Then one day I picked up a pen and wrote a note for the newbie that that I got paired with on a school project. It was simple. Around 10 words or so, but everyone around me saw it as progress. Assumed I was on the road to recovery. I let them think that. It comforted them.

I only wrote notes to her though. Kept up the communication because she always spoke to be like a person would normally when they are having a conversation. That was nice. That was new. People tended to over enunciate their words, or shout, like I was deaf not mute. She didn’t.

I kept talking to her, even when we no longer worked together. I found it nice. Talking to someone who wasn’t trying to ‘fix’ me.

Talking but not talking. Not having to use my vocal chords, or re-train unused muscles.

Eventually I started writing notes for my parents. It brought a proud look to their eyes. Like they had accomplished something. Like all that money they had spent hadn’t been wasted, because now I was communicating. I think they thought it meant that I was closer to opening my mouth.

I wasn’t.

I haven’t said an audible word in eight years. I’m not doing it for attention even though I am getting a lot. I’m not doing because I have nothing to say. I’m a listener to many conversations and disagreements, believe me, I have a lot to say. And I sure as hell am not copying any fictitious character. I don’t talk because I don’t want to. Plain and simple.

Some people make the choice to body build or learn another language, and I made mine. Silence. Vocal silence at least.

Who knows if I will talk verbally again? I don’t have yet. But I guess we’ll see.

Main sign off

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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