‘You haven’t done the recycling?’ is how the argument started.
Well, maybe this time. But it could have been anything; ‘Where is the baby’s coat?’, ‘Did you phone the estate agents?’ or ‘Did you buy the baked beans?’.
Simple questions that provoke an extraordinary response in me. Tears, slammed doors and screaming often follow as he sits there in stunned silence. Or, worse still, tries to console me by putting his arm around me and whispering ‘Don’t be silly.’
You see, the trouble is, I don’t hear what he says.
‘You are useless.’ ‘You got it wrong.’ ‘You can’t do anything right.’
Strong statements with no room for discussion.
I’m not sure when I started hearing this but it has become a problem.
Over the years I have developed the rules; the right way of doing things. The right way to look. The right way to behave. The right way to feel. The right way to make others feel.
And, if it isn’t right, it is wrong.
It makes things impossible. It makes anyone else’s words hard to hear.
I understand that this is a clear case of projection.
So I have tried to start a different dialogue.
I have tried to quieten that voice that tells me I am worthless and I am wrong. I have tried to hear the words of others and to take away the power from the words I have been hearing for so long. To stop and to breathe.
Always to breathe.