It’s one of the hardest things to deal with in a relationship. You want to maintain good communication, not just good things, but good quality. And sometimes your partner may be going through something that makes communication awkward or stressful. There are many ways one can try to overcome these issues, but silence is never one of them.
This is my personal hangup.
When I was in high school, I had a violent temper. I would say or do whatever I wanted, regardless of who it hurt all in the guise of honesty. True, I was being honest, but honesty to the point of cruelty is never a good thing.
This scared me about myself and was one of the first goals I set with my counselor at the time. Unfortunately, I had many other emotional issues that were clouding this so instead of being able to bring my temper down to a reasonable level, I went to the complete other extreme. I silenced myself. This combined with everything else was also a bad thing.
With more therapy and years of problems, I finally realized that I have a huge problem with confrontation. I will do anything to avoid it even if it means lying to myself or suppressing my voice. This is not an excuse, rather just a documentation of how problems can mutate without guidance. I have been in counselling on and off for a dozen years, and I can attest that it is better to stick in treatment as best you can, though take what you can get. Some care is better than no care.
Though it does come with the fact you may regress a bit.
Tonight I realized just how bad I regressed and it both hurt me and exhausted me. I had been wanting to talk to my boyfriend about some problems I was having for months now. I even made a list last Friday of wishes I wanted to work on with him. But for some reason, I just couldn’t speak to him. It was either not the time, I was nervous about upsetting him, I didn’t feel good, I made an excuse for everything.
The thing is I was making excuses because I didn’t want to rock the boat. I wanted everything to be okay and that’s a problem because sometimes, that boat needs to be rocked. And sometimes, that boat is you. I was scared because as long as those problems are in my head, they aren’t real. If I don’t speak them, I can act like everything is okay and it will just go away. But that’s not how things work.
I am a powder keg. My issues and confusion didn’t get any better, they just got more confusing and my depression got worse. Depression is a horrible thing. I could have had this conversation before my physical ailments took me, but I didn’t. And then once you’re in that emotional cage, well. Everything is extreme. What could be a small deal is a quicksand pit. It doesn’t matter if you sit still or not, you’re going down. And if you don’t ask for help you will suffocate.
I lost my barrier tonight. All the stress, all the depression, all the misery just flooded out. It’s still flowing. All the raw pain I refused to acknowledge found its way out even though I tried not to. It is hard to feel safe to speak when you don’t have a condition. But when you’re seeing the world with a fog of depression, you can’t see straight.
The important thing is to try and learn your warning signs. Learn when you’re starting to crack. If you don’t feel safe, try and get yourself reinforcements. Get a counselor, a friend, a mediator. Ask their help in helping you to talk to others if you’re concerned that the condition will speak instead of you. Try to take care of yourself. Those who love you will be glad you’re trying to be self aware. And if they have anything of concern to speak to you about, the mediator can help translate it through your blurred vision.
No one deserves to hold things in until it hurts. But if you don’t help yourself, then you can’t expect others to help you. It’s a delicate balance, but one that has to be made.
I don’t presume to know all the answers, especially when I am still very, very flawed. But the best I can think to do is to tell you what mistakes I made, what I tried to do to fix it, and hope that you won’t repeat my mistakes. So feel free to leave your suggestions or share your thoughts in the comment below. Heaven’s knows I would appreciate learning more too!
Good luck friends!