“I” Statements

This morning, I was razzle-frack-a-lackin around (remember the sound Fred Flintstone made when he grumble cussed?) while I got dressed.  There’s this… situation…in my life where I have to bite my tongue, shut up, suck it up and let it go.  Y’know, what we grownups call “a Tuesday.”  The situation is causing me some uncomfortable moments because I’ve spent 12 years in therapy trying to learn to speak up and now I’m practicing the shut up.  It all seems so counterproductive.  

WARNING:  Here comes some language.  Good old fashioned Olde English.  If you don’t like cussing… I suggest you squint until you scroll down to the picture.  

I first started talking to a therapist when Fartbuster and I were splitting up.  After 10 years of keeping the world OK for him, I had surrendered my voice.  Not only did I not speak up for myself, it never dawned on me that I should speak up for myself.  Or that I might have been allowed to expect something out of our relationship.  I bit my tongue.  I shut up.  I sucked it up.  I tried really really hard to let it go.  And that never really took 100% so…therapy YAY!  The first thing my therapist asked was, “So what do you want to learn how to do?”  

Without even thinking, I blurted:  “I want to learn how to say “Fuck you!” if that’s what I’m thinking.”  

She laughed and said, “Oh, we’re going to get along just fine.  I kind of have a reputation for teaching women how to do that!”  It was a solid match.  We’ve made great strides.  If you don’t believe me, well FUCK YOU.  

During that first year of sessions, we worked on me finding my voice as I separated from Fartbuster.  One session right before the holidays, I told my therapist that I was anxious about the people I would be seeing.  This whole speaking up for myself thing was fresh and it was starting to feel a little shaky.  She thought it would be beneficial to practice some of the things I could say to protect myself in uncomfortable situations.  

She asked, “So what is it you REALLY want to say to this person?”  

I snorted.  “What I really want to say is ‘Shut the fuck up.'”  

“True, but they won’t be able to hear something that aggressive.  How about a more polite way to convey that same message?”

 I considered an alternative.  “How about ‘Soooooomebody needs… to shut the fuck up!'”  I wiggled my eyebrows and smirked.  

It was her turn to snort.  “OK, OK.  How about you try expressing this as an ‘I’ statement?”

“Oh!  I think somebody needs to shut the fuck up!”  

Nailed it.  

Maybe that’s why it’s been 12 years?  

My Capstone Project From 12 Years on the Couch.

My Capstone Project From 12 Years on the Couch.

So the razzle-frackin continues, even though Tuesday is in the books.  The only I-statement I can come up with today is “I feel like punching you in the throat when you breathe.  I would like you to shut the fuck up.”  

What’s your I-statement for today?  Share it in the comments!  

24 thoughts on ““I” Statements

  1. Susan Fliegel

    I’ve never been good at speaking up, either, but have learned a lot from my husband, Stu — a man my father used to describe as being able to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they would look forward to the trip. My biggest moment was when I finally learned to say, “That’s none of your business,” and walk away. My second was when I was able to gather enough calm to state, “I’m too angry to talk to you about this now. We’ll talk after I calm down some.” I just wish I could have been that assertive when I was younger and had some much bigger problems.

  2. Tracy Ward Tilley

    I know it’s not like to talk like that but I like to say bad words. I even say them to myself when I’m at home by myself. If I pull a drawer all the way out and the stuff spills out I say bad words and it makes me fell better. Truly. I DON”T say them around the children although they have now learned some and love to say them too. They like to say things like ASSphalt. At this moment in our lives, we are going through some tough times and I think it’s ok to spew every now and then. It’s empowering when you seem to have no power over anything else. I mean, shit, you know what I mean?

  3. stephrogers

    1. I feel amused and highly entertained when you write exactly what I was thinking. I would like you to please NOT shut the fuck up and to keep on saying amusing things.
    2. I feel annoyed when you make me watch Dora in one room while simultaneously listening to Hi5 hits in the other room and won’t let me switch off either. I would like to take a blow torch to all the technology and knee-cap the person who decided children’s television and entertainment should be an industry.

  4. Pingback: Lessons | A Long Run

  5. Felicia Wheeler

    Lofl. You always make me laugh. I have no problem however with the fuck you statement. It’s the filter of when I should and shouldn’t use it openly, freely, and loudly 😉 xoxo

  6. Debbie

    My life improved dramatically when I gave up on the silent treatment strategy and started using my words!

    1. Baddest Mother Ever Post author

      Oh, the SILENT TREATMENT. I need to write about how amazingly stupid that treatment is!

  7. Billie Rosen

    Ashley, I went through 24 years of marriage doing the same thing! I can certainly relate. I am still in therapy!

  8. Diane

    Ashley, it takes more strength than I have within me to NOT tell my husband to “shut the fuck up” or “get the fuck away from me” on most days. So I plod through anger management. Yep, Little Miss “I-Love-Jesus-But-I-Cuss-A-Little” Me. He is my polar opposite and we clash all the time. I cannot imagine being on the other side and being able to hold my tongue. Cheers to the opposites among us who keep the world in dysfunctional “balance.” xo

  9. Chris

    Can I borrow yours and save it up for the future? Today was — relatively — pleasant, and productive, too. I’ve used my yearly allotment. Like exclamation marks, I try to save f’s for just the right occasion. My generation usually frowns on that language, but you’d better believe that when it comes out of the mouth of an 80-year-old woman (really 83), folks stop to gawk, and they listen up. Over the phone it’s even more effective.

    1. Debbie

      Chris, you might be my hero! I’m going to save a few Fs for my 80s to use judiciously for maximum impact.


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