relationships, Well being

Sticks and Stones – Relationship communication

Sticks and Stones

11/29/2022

10:26 pm

It was a late night, full of anxiety and distress. The depression was rearing its ugly head and it was causing discord between myself and the online person.

We were having a miscommunication between us, and the prolonged delays caused by service connection issues were also increasing the frustration.

In a moment of internal chaos, my written words were not kind, harsh, and very blunt towards him. I immediately regretted what I wrote and deleted my texts but this caused more stress. He was correct, that by my deleting what I wrote, he was not given the chance to know how I felt.

My thinking and point of view, at that time, was that I did not want to hurt someone I cared about with my words. I had done that too often in the past and it never turned out well.

The one thing that he says he likes about me is my ability to be open and frank about my feelings. I told him nine years of therapy is why I just say how I feel. I try to live in my truth every day.

It is true that once you speak those thoughts out into the universe, to the person you love or care about, you can never take them back. That is always there and it can be damaging to the relationship even if they tell you that they forgive you.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was a quote that I remember teachers telling us in elementary school. It was meant to convey that kindness should always be practiced not only in our actions but in our words as well. This was in the late seventies to early eighties. Nowadays, words have been known to hurt the ego or self. Unkind words will forever cause a wound to the soul of a person.

I was thinking about those moments we have had over the course of not only the last six months but also when we talked two years ago. I am still that same person, open with my thoughts. He is still also very honest as well, and working on being open with his thoughts or feelings. In my experience, not everyone is comfortable with stating how they feel, and I try not to push. I try to make sure the person knows, that whenever they are ready, I am there to listen.

As I mulled over those incidents, others came to mind that profoundly changed my relationships with others in my life.

I grew up in a toxic environment, where teasing a person was the norm, but for my parents, it turned into belittling and being made to feel inferior to my half-siblings. As I got older, that same demeanor of talking down or making my thoughts or feelings seem pointless and unimportant continued. It was never pleasant to deal with them. Their behavior coupled with the traumatic history, I endured by them, made trust a major issue for me.

Then experiencing similar incidents of emotionally and verbally abusive behavior, during my adult life from relationships, also compounded that feeling of mistrust. It has taken an exceptionally long time for me to feel comfortable enough to trust another person. I still make missteps in letting my anxiety affect my thoughts, but it is getting easier, and the person I am talking to has been a lot more understanding and caring.

***Update: 12/5/2022, 3:45 pm – Continuation

Well, I spoke too soon about “caring and understanding.”  We had a major argument that went on for hours, it ended in him just not talking to me. He logged off and deleted his Instagram account and I did not hear from him. I deactivated all my social media accounts and WhatsApp as well. I was preparing myself to be alone again. I went back later and restarted WhatsApp, sending him a message that I was still there.

I was so upset because it was, once again, another anxiety-filled moment that caused the latest argument, but this time, he said he had enough.

He was angry and said some things that will forever stick in my thoughts, but I know it was out of frustration with everything that was being said. The feeling was mutual.

I assumed that it was over by how the conversation ended. The sense of loss was so great that it felt like I was suddenly grieving. My anxiety went into further overdrive, I felt lost in those moments, and I ended up cutting off my long hair.

The one thing I wanted this whole time, this relationship, was gone because I could not control my anxiety. I felt like a failure.

I cried for hours from that afternoon into late at night, my son tried his best to console me, but I was not consolable. I finally just fell asleep from exhaustion.

He finally texted early the next morning. We briefly talked about everything and smoothed things out, sort of. At this point, I had deactivated all my social media accounts, I was convinced that I would no longer be online again. In my mind, it was the source of all my anxiety-filled moments over the last five years. I did not want anything to do with it anymore.

I went an entire day, thinking about everything, and making some decisions about how I would proceed forward. I reactivated my Instagram and Facebook account, mainly because it is where I stay in contact with my kids. I also remembered that I started these accounts to find inspiration for my creativity. It was not only about meeting other people out in the world.

He has texted several times since then, and he called me last night. I was happy and he said I sounded surprised; I was. He asked me why I deleted my Instagram, and I told him. He had reactivated his account and could not find me. I told him I had restarted them again and he sent a follow request. He texted this morning and left me a voice note as well. He promised that our communication with one another would improve.

Words can and do hurt.

Once they are put out into the universe, you cannot get them back. They stick like splinters in our thoughts.

Sometimes, what we say can be unforgivable, and we must accept the consequences. Other times, if there is a mutual understanding of why it was said, then it can be overlooked but it still will not be completely forgotten.

Honestly, I do not know where we go from here. I know it will take some time for us to get back into the same daily rhythm as before. I am taking it very slowly.

During our phone call, he mentioned still arriving here by Christmas. I told him he would meet both of my sons, and we briefly talked about that. He joked about whether they would like him or not. I told him not to worry about it. My sons are reasonable men, but they are overprotective.

I joked that he really should worry about my daughters, they can be very intimidating and obnoxious when it relates to new people coming into our family. My daughters will not be here this holiday season, work requires them to stay near home this year.

We will just have to wait and see what happens.

I do know that I ignored the anxiety moments that I was having over the last month, and that was not the best strategy for dealing with it. I won’t make that mistake again. The anxiety compounded and then it got out of hand. I feel better today than three days ago when all of this started happening.

This morning he texted briefly when he woke up, but it has been all day since then, more connection issues, and my texts are still waiting to send. I will not worry about it. I won’t let myself get anxiety-filled again because I did not hear from him. I know there have been connection and phone charging issues for him. I know there is a time difference between us to contend with as well.

I also know that he said he still loves me, and that makes all the difference to me. Even though my thoughts and anxiety got the better of me, he still came back, even after our angry outbursts at one another. He came back, and we are trying to make amends with each other. I told him that I still loved him.

It is late in the day for me, and it is late at night for him, but he just texted. He texted to make sure that I was doing okay and to let me know that he missed me.

The written word is a powerful thing.

It can bring people together and unite them or it can cause issues, breaking people apart.

We need to remember to choose our words wisely because kindness goes a lot further than harshness.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Have a wonderful week!

Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes, always!

Suzanne