Every once in a while,
someone makes a comment that makes my mind spin.
Their words screech through me and
I can feel my body shifting to the flight or fight response.
My entire spine tenses to a heightened awareness
and then nothing.
My mind and voice become totally disconnected
and I find myself either changing the subject
or removing myself from their company. Why?
Why could I not respond? I’m not a shy woman.
What happened to my brain? My voice?

Does this ever happen to you?
The words are whirling around inside your brain
just waiting to be lined up in to sentence formation
and released into the conversation,
but for some inexplicable reason, the circuit
has been cut and you are left with nothingness.
I retreat scolding myself and then, a little too late,
recite to no one in particular,
exactly what I could have and should have said.
This ridiculous lack of mental control is childish,
and makes me feel weak. I am not weak!
But how, I ask you, how can I connect the dots?

As I look back over some of these experiences,
I realize that maybe walking away was
the right thing to do at that time.
Many of these peculiar comments were made
at social functions where creating a heated conversation
would have been inappropriate. Other times
the person delivering the left hook was someone
I wouldn’t want to spar with anyhow.
Could it be possible that during that moment
of flight-or-fight, my mind chose flight
for a reason I could not consciously comprehend
quickly enough? Maybe.

I have learned a great deal over my many years
of befuddled responses.
Since reminiscing in frustration far too long,
I feel confident that when my volleying opportunity
presents itself again, I will calmly, respectfully
and without hesitation express my opinion.
Unless, of course, the angelic voice from my right shoulder
intercepts the ornery brod from the other side of the tracks
from expressing herself, which unfortunately,
I have little control over.
I’m guessing the subject matter will determine the outcome.
But let’s be honest. At the end of the day,
after all the could-a should-a, would-a’s,
some things are actually better left unsaid. ♡


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