Saturday, April 2, 2011
Say "I love you" if you mean it.
I'm going to get a little bit deeper here than I usually do.
I've always been a very loving person, but over the years I have obviously, like everyone else, been hurt. Had my heart stomped on. Eh, it happens, right? Hindsight is 20/20. But, the problem is, sometimes you take just a little bit of that pain with you, without noticing it. It might affect you in weird ways.
My last relationship suffered from this. The most obvious side effect was that I found myself blaming him for mistakes that my exes had made. Sometimes, my fears were valid. Sometimes, they were not.
The thing that I realize now, is that most of my fears (especially my nightmares) were just my brains way of saying, "I love you. Losing you would be more than I could stand. Literally my worst nightmare."
But when I took the time to tell him my nightmares, instead of interpreting it that way, he would interpret it as: "I don't trust you. You are going to cheat on me."
The side effect that we dealt with from the beginning was my somehow complete inability to just say, "I love you." I'm not sure why, but it had suddenly become three awkward words that I couldn't utter. When he said it first, I was able to repeat it--but I could never, or almost never say it on my own.
Very early in our relationship he asked, "Why don't you say it?"
I responded with, "I don't know. I feel it. I just can't say it."
He told me that this was okay. It didn't bother him that I couldn't say it.
But you know what? It hurt our relationship. Whether or not we realized it at the time.
And now that we don't have this relationship, I want to scream it. I want to post it on his Facebook wall and punctuate our gchats with it. I want to text it to him and call him pet names and say ridiculous things that I should have been saying all along. I passed a girl leaving a voice mail message for someone today: "I love you, and I'll talk to you later." she said. And I was envious that the words came out so easily. Has she never been hurt? I thought.
He's alive, but it almost feels as though he's dead. People mourn that they 'never had the chance to say 'I love you' one last time', but this is the same way. I could say it, sure, but it has become inappropriate now. It would be met with an: "Alison, let's not do this. This never ends well."
He doesn't read this, so I can say it here. Inappropriate or not, this is my blog. I love you. And, additionally, the words I have been saying over and over for the past three months, but haven't changed anything: I am so sorry.
(I attended a workshop the other day on ways to communicate more effectively. It held a mirror up to my flaws and really just made me upset. If I had gone to this meeting six months ago, we might still be together. I only hope I can apply what I've learned and he may one day reconsider.)
So the point that I want to get across with all this? Say "I love you" to the people you love. Even if it's hard. Even if it's awkward and you're afraid and you've been hurt. Because not hearing it has an impact--and when you are no longer able to say it, you'll wish you could.