The Silent Serpent

The silent serpent is not going to come from the jungle and engulf you or your dear ones. It might be in your room, and you might be unaware of it. Someday, just someday, it will have stayed hungry for a long time and then it will leap onto your dear ones and they will be gone, and you will stand there in awe, unable to do anything.

You might wonder why it didn’t take you. But why would it? You were the one feeding it. If you think thoroughly, you will realize how it happened. Wonder how did it come to be hiding in your house in the first place or who the serpent is? It is the utter or at least 60% lack of communication you show in every relationship or perhaps not just in some. Let’s break it down into bits and pieces.

You are the father of a 28 years old daughter and she lived with you until she was married off, yet hardly any words were spoken to her. She yearned throughout her childhood, for the words of love, for the words of wisdom, for some advice, for validation.

Now she is all grown up and she knows that you love her but you failed to express it to her. She has found a way to talk to you, to take off your layers and let you be you but this wound sometimes makes her feel aghast, though it was ages ago that it was given and you probably behaved the way you were brought up or your personality was that way.

The daughter is happy in her married life. But sometimes, she faces a problem. Sometimes the “you” is her husband. She will ask “you”, are you alright and the reply, that reply “hmm”, it neither gives anything away nor does she understand it. Yet she feels that she asked a question from the wall.

At first, she was quite okay, she understood the monosyllabic reply, but so many times and that one reply. Some day she did feel like banging her head against the wall she asked the question from. You didn’t give her due share.

You spent a good time with your friends and communicated with them too, discussing topics but she kept looking at you, to give her the security in a new home. She has accepted you but sometimes she feels it as if it just happened. But wait, does it still not happen?

For sure. It does; it is a habit or a nonchalant attitude that is difficult to change. The serpent thrives then and it doesn’t leave so easily. Love says you don’t have to change for someone, the acceptance comes first. But if it is so hurtful to the other person, shouldn’t one ask. Like once in a while, instead of throwing your own balls across the court when she hits hers, try hitting the ones she sent.

It is the wife talking of her fears. And the husband looking at the news and nodding his head. The wife has a need for an emotional connection. Maybe she chose the wrong moment but sometimes it becomes difficult to tell which the right moment is when she mostly doesn’t get an answer.

Communication is truly an art. Talking, many people do on daily basis. But communication is an art that keeps the relationships nurtured and sparkling. It keeps the serpents away. But why take the example of men alone? In most cases, men have been taught by the society that hiding fears is being strong, that lack of expression of love is masculine, that complimenting your wife, daughter or son is not necessary.

They, in return, learn to do the same in most cases. But “you” could be a woman too. Maybe you have a lot of trouble communicating with your husband, and he feels that you are disinterested in him. He asks which color looks good on him in your opinion, and you let the words hang in midair, making him think why did he bother to ask in the first place. Truth being, you find it hard to express, for one reason or another.

It seems fair to conclude that the silent serpent can be in any house. It leaves you shaken at the sight of engulfing but what about the ones who have been engulfed? Those who kept looking, tried many a times to share that there it was, the serpent hiding under the bed or in the closet, hissing and making them afraid. Sometimes they were with a group of people or busy, and they would not feel it.

But at other times, let’s tell them that It is okay to feel lonely even amidst a group of people. The people are there and you are trying to create a channel. But it is the feeling of being unheard, being not responded to by their dear ones or sometimes by anyone at all. They feel the need for emotional connection, and feel insecure despite having friends and they do try to get over it, but it is not simple.

So they should hang in there. It is really not that difficult. If you are one of those, who takes communication lightly, think about it. Did you give your spouse the listening ear they required? Do you see them drifting apart? Are you the father of a daughter and you don’t know how to make her listen to you?

Perhaps you should listen to what is going on in her mind. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to say that the serpents will leave when you start trying to communicate, and not talk. Relationships deserve respect and love, and communication appears to be one of the most vital pillars of any relationship. It is simple enough; hear what they say, repeat in your words what they have said and show that you understand. Instead of reacting, show a response that you understand them.

Aneeqa Mehmood
the authorAneeqa Mehmood
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