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Don’t tell me what to do, he thought; “If you say so,” were the words that he spoke instead. What he felt rarely made it to the ears of the people that deserved it. He was told how to work, how to speak, and sometimes even how to bathe. One would assume that at the age of 45, he could function of his own accord; do as he pleases with his body. But that was hardly the reality.

His personality was unfortunately one that resisted controversy and, more importantly, confrontation. He was attuned to succumb to another’s will. Submissive, you are, he was told . He smiled a genuine smile cause he had no logical response. Your silence is mistaken for inaction, some others said. He laughed with knowledge that his battles were fought in his own time.

But, he wasn’t this nonchalant on the inside. Quite the contrary. He was faced with a quandary; his need to voice his concerns battled it out against his adamant nature to stay sombre. This battle was fought within his mind and fought frequently. Despite the unease, the silence always won.

But, for him, this wasn’t a new phenomenon. He had heard the same statements for years. He had already been through the three stages of grief. First, there was the denial. Then, the years of trying to ‘fix’ it. Finally, the acceptance. Now where is the fix?

“Hidden deep within you,” his therapist told him. How deep and will he ever unearth it? These questions the therapist refused to answer. He needed to figure it out all by his lonesome self. No matter how old he gets. The path he knew wouldn’t be conflict free but it has proven to be a disconcerting and discomforting task.

And he is still finding his way.

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