When I was little and my brother and I would get into a fight, my diplomatic and hippie-era mother would insist that we “talk it out”. While I hope this had to do with the fact that he was a boy and two years older than me and she was somehow concerned about my physical well-being, I suspect that it really had to do with the fact that she truly believed in communication to avoid violence. (Almost makes you want to sing a Peter Paul and Mary song.) My mom really believed that if you presented your case “in a calm voice, never accusing anyone and only using the pronoun ‘I’ to tell your story” that everyone would be able to understand each other clearly.
It’s not that I don’t believe that my mom’s method had some merit, communication is clearly important in any relationship, but I also believe that she may have unknowingly created the greatest debate team this side of the Mississippi River. My mom unknowingly set us on a path where we became articulate, witty, influencial communicators, that are sometimes miserable to be in a relationship with. I’m not a bad person, I have just been finely tuned and polished to influence people around me. Influenece until they “get it”…or until they run away screaming. Sigh…
What I’m beginning to discover is that sometimes no amount of influential rhetoric or convincing argument can ever make someone understand how I think. Sometimes there are no words that can navigate the journey through my thought process. Sometimes what I’m thinking and why I think it really doesn’t matter. The point is that I do think it.
I spent so many years never saying important things because I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t make those I loved understand it, so I never gave it a voice. I spent years denying how I felt as illogical and unimportant. Today, I know that the only explanation I need is that it’s how I feel. When you love someone you give their voice credence because you respect them, not because it always makes sense but because to YOU their thoughts matter.
I know that my over developed language and communication must be exhausting for my friends, my family and most especially my boyfriend. (Seriously people, you have no idea what he puts up with.) I know that I am difficult and stubborn and believe that I can talk my way through almost anything. I know that there are very few times when I am at a loss for words and that my ability to communicate can be daunting and scary. I know…I know. So today I apologize to those I love and want you to know that I can’t always make you understand why I feel or think a certain way, but I thank you for loving me enough to know that how I feel matters. And mom…between you and me, you were secretly afraid I was the one who would hurt my brother, right?!?