8.5.06

I Hate Not Fighting With People.

I hate not fighting with people. I like living together with people in harmony and the daily interactions of people who misunderstand, take the time to explain, come to a place of understanding or apology and carry on together on this adventure we call life. But I hate not fighting with people when something is wrong.

I’m the kind of person who is not at all reserved usually. Part of my process in becoming a grown-up has been to learn not to say every thing that comes to mind out loud to whoever is in earshot, not to give my opinion on EVERYTHING, and to realize that not everyone thinks my stories are as vastly entertaining as I do. (Except in the blogosphere, this place is perfect for me.) So I am puzzled by those who avoid confrontation, or don’t choose to tell someone who has offended them how they have been offended, or who don’t say anything to the person who has done wrong but talk to others about that person’s foul-up, I hate living in that sort of below the surface tension where I feel defensive but don’t know why, or feel as though I am walking on eggshells to avoid starting an explosive emotion vomit fest, or worst of all, feeling like I am constantly trying to please someone so that they will like me again and forgive me for whatever I did to cause the nameless cloud that is hanging over us. I have learned that the latter is a completely stupid thing to do and is a sign of places where I still do not obviously have enough self-esteem.

I always give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this kind of thing. I naively assume that their intention was not to hurt and that given the information that their actions are hurtful they will apologize, change, make things right. I assume this because I am this way. If I have offended someone unwittingly, as I often do, I am honored when they think well enough of me to be honest about how it affected them so that I can apologize and make it right. One of my best friends is this way, she will tell me within a minute of my having said something stupid and hurtful to her without realizing it what I did, and I can apologize and ask her to forgive me and our friendship is actually strengthened instead of weakened because she doesn’t allow the hurt to fester and cause problems.

Once I lived with five other girls for a year in a bar turned to church on the beach and it was one of the hardest/best times of my life. I learned to love people I couldn’t stand, not just tolerate them but also truly see them as the incredible woman that they are and so vastly different from me. I learned soo much about myself and who I am, things that you can’t learn unless you are in a community of people who you can trust and who will give you the gift of honest feedback. After we learned to trust each other it was like I had an incredible family made of people who were strangers just months before. I’ve missed them ever since we parted ways.

I have another family now, a husband, his family, whom I love especially for their bold honesty, and my children. But I feel myself these days needing to clear the air or something. My genius husband does have a habit of avoiding conflict, or discussions about how he is feeling, and especially telling me if I am doing something that bothers him. (His mother tells me it’s probably her fault for spending so much time drawing things out of him, he now expects people to do that for him so he can process things.) He makes it known in subtle ways; like forgetting to talk to me, monosyllabic responses, and leaving without saying goodbye. He denies it all of course and I have to sit him down and force him to talk to me. I usually cry, which he thinks is a sign that these talks should continue to be avoided, but I don’t think so, the alternative is isolation and me becoming increasingly paranoid. I am often imagining things, which is easy to do when husband is incommunicado, and it’s good for me to find out for certain if I am or not by forcing him to communicate with me. (Is this too much information? Well maybe I’ll delete this if I can write a better conclusion without it.)
The current problem of course is that I am pregnant. I admit to being emotional, bitchy, slightly irrational and overly weepy during my pregnancies. I hate this because I like to think of myself as rational, calm, and clear headed at all times. Unfortunately it’s not true. What I hate the most is the way the Genius husband‘s eyes glaze over, his body language screams “RUN AWAY”, and his entire demeanor suggests that he is enduring this because he has to because to him EVERYTHING that I get emotional about or concerned about during a pregnancy falls into the previous irrational, bitchy, weepy, hormonal category that I mentioned earlier and then I do become all of these things as I see that he is NOT LISTENING TO ME AT ALL or taking me seriously, something it’s hard to deal with when I’m used to him actually listening to me and us having interesting and complex conversations about a multitude of subjects. It drives me mad.

I’ve decided that we need a third party opinion so I’ve asked my MILly, yes you read right, my MOTHER IN LAW to sit in on a discussion. I need someone I trust to not immediately blame it on hormones to tell me if I am being irrational, or if some of my concerns are valid, and to tell him to. Of course I’m hoping that she’ll tell him to listen to your wife but she may not, and I’m prepared for that, but in keeping with my preference for keeping things out in the open, I’d rather know.

4 comments:

  1. I love that your experience in community was so wonderful. Living with twenty other people on ten acres and the whole iron sharpening iron thing was so profoundly intense and character building and lovely that i treasure those days as the best in my life. Of course now i have started my second life, with a family made up of husband and kids and these days are great in their own right. I also love your mediator idea. i think that only good must come of it.

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  2. I love the way you talk about Aaron. Sometimes I share your wit with Bryan - he thinks it's funny, too.
    I know exactly what you mean, though, about talking through things right away as to avoid the festering emotions... I respect you for being a "talker". I know you know what I mean!
    :) I miss you. Let's play.

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  3. HOLY COW woman! Your mother in law?! Will she be sweet to you no matter what? I can't even imagine. I'm not sure if I'm in awe...jealous... whew

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  4. About my mother in law. I am incredible blessed. I'm not allowed to call her my mother in Law, Milly is the nickname she invented and it's supposed to stand for mother in love. I'm her Dilly, guess what that stands for. She once told my husband, by way of warning when we had been married about three years that I was "Her girl now, and nobody, not even her oldest son, treated her girls badly and got away with it."

    We joke that he married his mother, though that's not quite true, we also joke that if we ever had problems and split up I would take the kids and stay with his family and he would have to figure it out on his own.

    So I feel safe asking her to listen in, I tell her everything anyway, and she is one of those rare creatures who can know people as they are and know they're not perfect and love them anyway.

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