Samuel disappears with his cell phone after it rang. He returns to the kitchen and says, “Gotta. Thursday and Friday.”
“What, you’re working?” I asked, surprised, then rolled over as I usually do acquiescing to another’s wants and needs while discounting my own. “Well, I will have to change the garage sale to Friday/Saturday, losing a full day of selling.”
And as that sat a moment, I began banging the cupboard just a bit too much and the more it settled the louder and more vocal I became. The ‘F’ bomb was used nicely a few times rolling out of my mouth with a satisfying bang.
“How could you? We have worked all week clearing out the basement, and you know I can’t pick up Cindy Thursday without you here.” I spoke loud and clear, making my needs known, feeling they need more respect that his boss’s.
He quietly grabbed the phone and disappeared again. Returning to the kitchen he says, “Just Friday.”
I thought, can I handle it? Having my needs respected? And decided I could very much. Tears fell, because beneath the anger is pain. That fight didn’t last for days, the same old clash for years. Anger begets anger. Neither learn what lay beneath it. Both of us are talking…and still learning about each other.
Many have trouble expressing their feelings, as Samuel does. But for me, it is a problem highly compounded by the childhood trauma of sexual abuse. It is excruciatingly difficult to notice my needs, respect them and speak up because I was shamed into silence even as atrocities were being committed against me and my body.
The voice lost dares speak as the need for respect grows larger than the fear of abandonment.