She's Not Silent; She's Screaming
Start writing a post

I used to be frustrated by the days when I would ask her, “Hey, how are you?” or “What’s your favorite color?” and receive a shrug in response. Or when I would tell her about my weekend and she’d just nod and smile. I was even jealous of my mom when she was glorified with the response “No thanks” to the question of “Would you like some hot chocolate?"

She’s a regular girl, I promise. And she can speak and hear just fine. She’s seen Fifth Harmony in concert, she stresses over tests in school, and sometimes, all she needs is some quality Wii time. Yet her aversion to dialogue was a difficult concept to grasp. Some of the other kids at school tried to play a little game with her to provoke her to talk, egging her into responding to their questions as if it was a contest. As if she couldn’t comprehend how they were teasing her. I think she won the game with her signature technique: silence.

Raised by two Chinese parents who spoke broken English, she was incredibly reluctant to speak, only uttering words when called on by a teacher or another adult. I had the hardest time understanding why she was so hesitant verbally because when we texted, it was as if she was a social butterfly. Our dialogue would flow as we talked about our love for Aly Raisman, our struggles in Chemistry II, and our passion for crafting (especially paper folding). Each conversation would bring us closer together and each time I would go over to her house and play Wii Sports, her talking to me out loud, I would hope, in vain, that the next time we were in school we would be able to speak as casually and eloquently as our emoji-filled texts did.

For the longest time, I couldn’t imagine how she could function without much verbal communication. People would think of her as merely “the girl who doesn’t speak” even though she was really just shy and insecure about her voice. But I realized that she wasn’t at a loss for words; she simply didn’t need them. In her silence, I heard the roar of someone dismayed at the “popular” kids for teasing her, the stressful environment surrounding her, and the American culture for its reliance on words. She didn’t need a formal language - Chinese, English, or even emojis - to communicate.

The sound of silence thunders in my ears as I write this. It encapsulates all of those afraid or unable to speak, the swirling vortex of stories told and untold, and the messages that simply cannot be conveyed with words. It’s the thoughts that only remain as thoughts, the angst that can tear through a person’s face, and inexplicable joy. And it is her. A girl who has the power to speak, but nearly always opts not to. Because in her silence, she is screaming.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixaba

Unfortunately, the time is here. It is officially the spring semester, and you know what that means: lots and lots of studying. If you are in the same situation I am, then you are probably doing your 3rd semester of online/hybrid school. Not being at school or not attending classes in person definitely makes learning and studying a lot harder. Because I know this struggle all too well, I put together a list of study tips to hopefully help us all succeed a little more this semester.

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.


You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.


I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.


I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments