You can totally do what I did just don’t expect a different result.
I don’t regret many things but I regret not being able to tell my high school sweetheart that I wasn’t happy.
Being able to communicate when I was 19 would have been great.
Some people think communication is overrated. Some people are wrong. What more important thing is there than being able to effectively communicate with those around you. If you don’t believe me hang out with a toddler for a few days.
I’ve traversed the toddler stage four times and let me tell you, they are angry little creatures when they don’t get what they want. Yes, part of it is from their budding personalities but much more of that anger and frustration comes from the fact that the majority of the people whom they have daily contact with cannot understand their cute little mush mouth.
We adults aren’t so different. When our communication falls on deaf ears we act out much like a toddler. We will stop short of screaming and flailing our arms about if the cause is just. We want to be understood, we need to be understood, and sometimes we even demand to be understood.
It would be easy to pass the blame onto those in our life who didn’t put the needed effort into deciphering our mush mouth communication. It’s much harder to look at how we failed to get our message across.
So how did I fail at getting my message across… Well I didn’t relay any message to my beloved. I just slept with another guy.
Nothing says I’m not happy like banging a random from the bar right?
Here is a brief story of how communicating effectively would have saved me a lot of heartache.
If you’ve read my other blogs you know I went off to college in 1999 with my high school sweetheart. We were the typical small town cheerleader/football player combo. He was a mans man. He was a former skate punk turned frat boy. He was focused on living life to the fullest. He was having a great college experience without me for the most part.
Our specific Greek organizations didn’t really do a lot of functions together. He was involved with the most popular fraternity and I was on the opposite end of the popularity ratings in my organization. It worked fine for him, probably because he had no idea how I felt. Why? Because I didn’t talk to him. For the love of god I wish I knew why but I don’t…I just know that I was hell bent on these mind f*ck games where I just got an attitude and made him spent hours trying to guess why I was being such a bitch. I made passive aggressive comments and expected him to understand what I was talking about, I was angry after I gave him my blessing because he didn’t realize I didn’t really mean it. I was crazy, obviously.
Maybe not full on bat shit crazy but I was certainly delusional. My husband of 12 years still can’t keep up with my constantly changing feelings, I don’t know why I expected a teenage boy trying to live his life too….but I did. I became so resentful of the fact that he couldn’t read my mind I started looking for a way to get his attention. To really drive my point home. I started looking for trouble.
It should be noted that we had some other petty teenagers in love type issues and some big world view issues that would have eventually led to the demise of the relationship…. It was a dying horse but I finished the motherf*ucker off in style.
Like most other sorority girls in my college town we all went clubbing on a Friday night. I was angry with my beau because… You are going to love this…. He wasn’t upset when I called to tell him I was going out with my sisters.
He was back home and I could only imagine one reason why he wasn’t upset that I was going out without him…he didn’t really love me!
I can’t speak for him, I assume , based on his actions that he did in fact care deeply but to what extent…only he knows.
The story goes just like so many other stories like this…. I went to the club. I drank enough to justify my choices. I found a willing participant. I went home with him and f*cked him. He wasn’t special. He wasn’t a good lay. He wasn’t aware I had a boyfriend.
Like a nice respectable frat boy (different fraternity) he drove me home the next morning and we parted ways, awkwardly now that we were both sober. He didn’t promise to call. I didn’t expect him too.
In my comp class, later that day, I realized what a waste of time my little excursion would be if he didn’t even know what I had done? How could my transgression hurt him like I wanted with out him knowing? For some reason the idea of talking to him finally made its way to the front of the class and made a good enough argument that I decided right then and there that I would head straight to his place offer class and tell him just what I had done. I would get to see the look in his eye when he realized how capable I was of hurting him… I was so stupid.
I can’t bring myself to relive the words we spoke just yet. He had the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen, they turned black. I didn’t realize the scope of my actions. I didn’t realize the blast radius would be bigger than me, him, us, the other guy….
He left me standing in the hallway of my dorm. I must say for a few moments I felt pretty good about what I had just done but it didn’t take my brain long to remember the last question he asked me…
Does he live at… He named the guys apartment complex.
He knew where the guy lived because I told him the guys name.
When I caught up with him at the apartment complex across town he was already handcuffed in the back seat of a squad car. He was furious. He looked like a crazed serial killer. He was covered in blood. He wasn’t injured.
I noticed the ambulance right about the time he slammed himself into the side of the backseat and shook the entire car. I don’t know if I recoiled from the sight of the paramedics rushing in and out of the apartment or if it was the rage I could feel coming from the back seat of that car less than 10 foot away.
No one stopped me when I walked into the apartment. The EMS guys looked at me in a way that made me believe they knew I was the reason for all of this.
His bedroom was in complete disarray. His TV was smashed through his bedroom window. His walls were littered with holes from fists and thrown objects. His mattress was covered in blood.
I found him setting in the bathtub with a paramedic holding a large towel on his forehead and face. He was bleeding a lot. I asked him if I could do anything. He asked me to leave.
My boyfriend was now my ex. He was arrested and faced assault charges. I was asked to resign my office in my sorority. He was surrounded by his brothers. I was alone for real now.
What possessed me to believe that he could read my damn mind I’ll probably never know. But I do know that being able to tell my husband this very story is a great reward for this hard lesson learned. I found my voice finally. I voice that can now use to tell my beloved the very deepest darkest parts of my life and share the highest aspirations that I hope to see revealed.
I know that he understands. I don’t have to act out because I don’t expect him to read my mind. I talk to him. I scream at him in anger and in the throws of passion. I text him and I sext him. He married me because he loves all of those pieces of me and I don’t want to hide them from him.
I learned a hard lesson one of the hardest ways imaginable all because I neglected a little skill known as communication.
As I sift through my memories I ask myself why communication is on my mind. What am I learning from this memory? What is the takeaway here?
I think its that communicating a story to an audience is different than communicating with myself. Why?
What do I want to be? Do I want to go to school? Do I want to teach again? What if I answer no to all? What if my answer is yes…