Speak For Yourself

Photo by MagMos/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by MagMos/iStock / Getty Images

She said, “I have trouble communicating in relationships, I just shut my mouth”.  I knew what she meant, I had just become aware of “my trouble” communicating in relationships too.   She didn’t want to speak up, to speak for herself.  A strong and capable woman, scared of what would happen, if she expressed her needs honestly.   

Like any other afternoon, I was at home in my kitchen, with my husband and toddler.  I began to feel uncomfortable, and annoyed.  Something was building, a pressure, inside me.  It was like a force, I couldn’t ignore.  Today was different though, today, I could see and feel without reacting.

I knew I was changing, he could see it too.  “What’s wrong?” he says,  first I see and hear my martyr reaction, “I’m fine” wasn’t going to cut it, “Are you hungry?”, “Can I get you something?” “I’ll just clean this up”.......And then the victim, in my head I was angry, blaming, normally I would spray this emotion without thought.  I realised I had something to say, and I wanted it to be heard.

A part of me wanted to change, and now, that part was greater than the sum of the others.

A small step, or a giant leap….

Just as I was sure I would explode, I spoke.  I spoke, calmly and surely.  I felt as though I had to be ready for anything, I couldn’t believe what I said, all that intensity and I said

“I don’t want to do the dishes all the time”.   

Those words may seem a small step, I understand.  But, they were my words, and they were true, and now they were said, and heard.  Sitting opposite each other at the table, I waited for a reaction to match my internal emotion.  

He listened, and nodded, then stood up, went to the sink, and did the dishes.  

I couldn’t believe it, I could speak for myself, and I was safe.   This action began to break that old belief, the man in my life now, wasn’t the man in my life then.  

I learnt so much from that moment.  The more I see myself, the more I know myself.  I know I won’t feel like that again, if I ask myself, and listen, and hear.…..I am responsible for meeting my needs, and happily give up control, to make way for freedom.