“Never ignore your partner. It is extremely hurtful to be treated like you don’t exist by someone who is supposed to love you.” -relationship boosters
I told y’all that I’m dead ass serious about my growth. This means that I have to get real with myself about shit that I wouldn’t want to hear from someone else. I’m focused on one thing in particular right now, because it’s toxic as fuck and I have to find a way to be better. I’m sure a lot of you do this too, so let’s just be in this together.
I have the game on lock when it comes to silence. If being good at it isn’t bad enough, I do it comfortably. While other people panic and feel tightness in their chest, I can go days, even weeks without uttering a single word. It’s a power move, because as long as I control the communication, I control the situation. I get the first and last say.
I learned this as a child. I learned a lot of my toxic behaviors as a child because they were practiced in my home. On me. I can remember my mother coming down on me hard about a thing, anything and then she’d sit in her room and wouldn’t say a single word to me, even if she were the one in the wrong. She was never wrong. If I tried to talk to her, she’d flat out say not to say shit to her. Her tone scared me enough to make me shiut down and go to my room where I didn’t even have the desire to play or watch television. It makes me sad to know and realize that I was raised partially on love, but mostly on survival.
In my mind, silence is survival. If nothing is said, nothing more can happen. Good or bad.
Communication was always started with something that needed to be done. She asked me if I wanted to eat or tell me to take a bath. She would never talk about her behavior or the silence. Now I’ve carried it with me for 32 years. Thirty-fucking-two. I don’t actually think this was something I talked about in therapy. I need to. Note to self.
This silence has existed in every single relationship that I’ve had and I’m realizing that I took the powers of my partners away. I also put them in a position to have to constantly walk on eggshells, because they don’t want to trigger me to a point that I shut down and we’re back in a circle of nothing. Progress can’t be made in silence. Also, it’s emotional abuse. Sitting here realizing that I emotionally abused anyone is a hard ass fucking pill to swallow. I left others to linger and wonder in my silence, to assume or play with worse case scenarios.
Silence is a terrible defense. In fight or flight, I don’t want to be flight anymore. I want to be able to say this is my problem and talk about it. I want open communication with anyone that I cross. Crazy thing is that I’m not afraid of confrontation. I’m not a fan of it, but I don’t shy away from disagreements unless I’m in harm’s way. I just haven’t learned to be okay with being wrong in debates. A little, but not enough to not pack my bags when shit gets too hard for me, which is another toxic thing I need to unpack--no pun intended.
Sometimes I’ve even had the nerve to get mad when my partners no longer wanted to communicate. I hadn’t realized that I created that barrier. Who wants to confide in someone that will shut down at one wrong phrase? Nobody.
At the same time, my silence has another side. A side that is afraid of the other person's reaction if I say the wrong thing. Another awful piece of a toxic puzzle from my childhood. My mother had the worst temper and mouth. She got better as I got older, but it didn’t matter anymore. The damage had already been done. I’d already been a bitch, unwanted, and so many other things that made me feel less than nothing. I can remember being punched and called a bitch for almost stepping on a cake placed under my feet in the back seat. I had to be maybe three or four-years-old.
Words were a simple and difficult thing in my household. I believe it’s the reason I write, because I can control them.
I can tell you one thing though, at this age my throat chakra is more open than ever. Thanks to therapy and meditation I’ve been able to tell both of my parents about their ain’t shitness and move forward. Now I have to turn it on me, because sometimes I haven’t been shit. I’m checking myself, calling myself on my bullshit, because I can be better. You can’t teach old dogs new tricks is a saying for the lazy and unambitious. My mind transcends that way of thinking, because I believe in continuous growth. I want to evolve until I die.
In this I hope to choose for myself someone that understands that I need to talk and I need them to talk back. I want healthy boundaries for communication: no yelling, no cussing, no walking away. But even in walking away I need to be able to say that I just need a moment, because we are allowed a moment to adjust our thoughts to avoid saying things we may regret.
Unity over distance.
There is no real practice to stopping silent treatment, other than just saying what you feel. Think it, say it. Say it with love. And if that advice doesn’t help, let the words GROW UP hit you.