Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vine-Strangled Roses

Sometimes the male mind perplexes me. Sometimes I wonder why he says the things he does. It's not my place to censor or stifle him, nor do I want to: I want to hear his true thoughts. I want him to feel like he can tell me anything, without worry that I will be anything but supportive.

It's just, sometimes, I wonder about the rationale behind his words and why it is so easy for me to get hurt by them.


navelgazes said...

Dear Thorn,

I hope you feel the same from him: that he wants to hear your true thoughts, to know you can tell him anything without worry that he will be anything but supportive.

I am a sensitive girl. And I have come to see that this sensitivity is an asset, for it allows me to feel him in ways I could not, were I not. But the flip side is that I get hurt easily, sometimes by things that even I know, at the time, are not meant to be hurtful.

So, I ask about his thoughts, his words, his expression. I tell him how I feel. In fact, I am required to tell him if something he says or does, causes me hurt, regardless of whether it "should" or not. I am constantly asking, What are you thinking, Papa? And, Why did you say that, Papa? And through his willingness and patience in giving me time and attention, to explain and talk over these things, I learn (again and again) that I am cared for, that I am safe.

Hugs and best wishes,

his_new_pet said...

Thanks Sami...I always appreciate it when you post...yours was the journal to which I was referring in my previous entry.

He wants to here my thoughts...and part of the problem is that I have a hard time talking sometimes. He can see when I'm upset, he asks me what's wrong, and I just try to shake it off because I don't want to be needy and annoying. But this is wrong of me. I need to talk to him about things that bother me, I need to.

And when I do open up, he usually works through things with me...and shows me how resolvable these situations are. But I need to bring myself to communicating better. I don't think he would hurt me purposely, I think sometimes he just doesn't know why I am hurting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thorn -- for your generous words and the grace with which you expressed them. I think I mentioned to you once before that I see a lot of me and my experience in you and yours, and I find it incredibly lovely and wonderful to know that you have the same kind of blissful joy as I do, with your master.

I have to say that I was a little taken aback by the responses to your community post in LJ. I understand where most of these people are coming from -- they are basing their responses solely on your post there -- but they should know better! Especially if they're going to make such blunt assumptions about your relationship.

I have a hard time telling my Papa about things that bother me. I often try to minimize them, or convince myself they're not a big deal, or whatever. And sometimes I hem and haw for so long, they end up festering and growing and getting awful. Here are a few things that help me:

- I tell him I have something I need to talk to him about. He knows that when I announce it like that, it's something difficult for me, that I feel is important, and he absolutely will not let me off the hook until I spill it.

- I say, "Papa, I'm having a hard time." This tells him that I'm struggling, and need him to help me process something. (I have several other "code phrases" like this, that I say when I can't say the actual thing I need to say.)

- I write letters, long, long, EPIC letters. You are a thoughtful, careful, eloquent writer, so perhaps this will work well for you?

- Sometimes even letters feel too direct, so I write private blog posts. The different format makes a big difference for me.

- I talk to him about having a hard time telling him things, about feeling too needy and being too much work, etc. Then we talk about it -- this essentially functions as approval to tell him things that I worry might be hard or difficult or painful for him to hear. We seem to need to do this regularly -- I need the reassurance.

- After we talk about things (and even during, sometimes), I ask questions to "review" the way I brought up the issue, talked about it with him, etc. Like, "Papa, was it okay that I said X?" And, "Papa, was the way I told you about Y proper and respectful enough?" This really helps reinforce my efforts to bring up and talk about things in good, productive, appropriate ways.

- We almost always talk until I feel that he completely understands how I am feeling. He is very good about expressing my feelings back to me -- he says, "What I'm hearing you say is...." -- and I am learning to do the same to him. Unresolved issues rattling around inside me are recipes for sad, fearful, anxious Sami!