The girl inside who learned not to try to explain pointed something out to me.
She’s not really silent most of the time. She’s just a liar.
She gave up trying to explain long ago, and settled for self-protection. She hides behind a curtain of words, but it’s chatter, because she learned that if you’re sullen and silent, grownups think you have a problem, but if you’re chatty and act cheerful, they think you’re fine even if you didn’t actually tell them anything.
If I want her to just write lots of words, she can do that, and they’ll be pretty words that hang together well and tell a plausible story. They won’t be honest words; they’ll just skim the surface. Perceptive readers will notice that and point out that she’s shallow. Sensitive readers will notice at a different level, and her stories will leave them with the feeling that the ice is about to crack under them and dump them into something really unpleasant. A horror story lurking under the romance.
But I’ve been trying to be more honest, and to go beneath the surface. And she won’t let me do that. Because they won’t understand, they can’t understand, they try to change us and hurt us, and the only way we’re safe is if we keep that curtain of words in place, to hide behind. Her — our — survival is at stake.