Gobby, Witty, Loud, Confident etc …. often words that might of described me in the past (plus plenty of others), but now I think better words might be sullen, quiet, reserved, moody, introvert …. all of which might be true at a first glance, but underneath, just a mask of the position of life I am in. Let me explain.
My Slovak is, well, let’s say, limited. I can do all the polite things, even shopping etc, but, when it comes to a group of people, esp family, that know each other well, that relax and just have general banter, I still get lost. If people take the time to talk slowly, simple words, I can hold my own, but, otherwise, I need Miska to be around to help me translate, to keep me in the game so to speak !
Well, Miska has forgotten this, in her defence, she is actually giving me more credit that I deserve, she thinks that I can now cope, and believes that if left alone, I will be ok, and will learn faster. Sadly, she is wrong. We speak about it, she realizes this, but, it is tough for her to remember. Especially when we are hosting, she is busy with getting things ready, and then, with 10 people all talking at once, she forgets to hear my voice. Another issue you don’t realize is this, When is the right time to talk ? When you all speak the same language, it’s simple, you understand, know when sentences end, and can chip in .. I can’t do that ! I have no idea when the lull is right for me to talk. I also find it impossible that people NEVER respect when I am talking to Miska, they just but in, talk over me. I find this very rude, BUT, the same logic has to be applied… Do they know when a natural break is coming when we talk English ?
I found myself on Sunday feeling very alone in amongst all these people that love me and care for me. I had tried maybe 5 times to get involved, tried talking to people about work and the weather (limited Slovak remember), but after one sentence, they were off talking about general family shite we all talk about at BBQ’s.
I went and sat in the pool with my Son, that was perfect, until, the couples little girl, 3 yrs old joins us, and talks to me in Slovak / Czech …. lost again, I have to either disappoint her (she looks at me like I am a tool), or call for Miska to translate …. after a few mins, she realizes that I am in fact a Tool, and goes off to the trampoline, taking Matej with her, leaving me in the pool, alone again. Eventually, I get out, walk off and disappear inside, no-one is going to miss me anyway.
So, I have become a very quiet person. I don’t get to talk at all, only when Miska and I are alone. When people visit, I tend to do the polite thing, but then retreat to leave them to talk without me. It makes me sad at times, and even more determined to learn Slovak (which I might add, I am finding VERY hard to do). That is the only answer here, and, telling Miska I still need her help. It frustrates me that friends and family have given up on me, trying to engage me, I guess there are only so many times they can ask “How are You?” …..