Speak For Yourself
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.