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